Report Card: Grading the Steelers win over the Ravens
There are times as an educator, something I was for 16 years, when you see that stack of quizzes or tests sitting on your desk and you just have to wait to grade them. Sometimes it is based on the fact you just haven’t carved out time to dive into the grading process, and other times you have a strong feeling the class, as a whole, didn’t do well on this assignment.
When it comes to grading the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 5 game vs. the Baltimore Ravens, it was more the latter. As always, I felt the best course of action was to just wait a bit, let the dust settle, and then visit the grades without the emotions of the game still fresh in my mind.
Did it improve the grades much? Sort of. Time to get out the red pen and try to make this not look like a murder scene on the offensive side of the ball…
Sometimes the last thing you remember is how you might grade this unit. In that regard, it would be the clutch Pickett to Pickens touchdown. I’m sorry, but I’m not that guy. The crap sandwich we were all forced to digest the first three quarters remains on the mind more than the strong finish. Can they build upon it? Sure, but it will have to be proven after the bye. Nonetheless, the finish saves this unit from a failing grade.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Steelers defense saved the day. This is where you tell me to stop, but you get what I’m saying. Was the defense perfect? Not at all. In fact, if the Ravens wide receivers could catch this grade would be far different, but they didn’t and this unit gets a passing grade for…saving the day.
Brad Wing continued his consistency the past two games, Chris Boswell made his kicks on a windy day, and Miles Killebrew’s blocked punt was the play that changed the game. Perfect, right? Then Connor Heyward and Gunner Olszewski collided and fumbled. Almost perfect, but that gaffe almost lost the game for the Steelers.
I’m not sure if it was the extra padded practice(s) or the awful offense, but I never felt like this was a great coaching game. Sure, Tomlin had them ready to play, but outside of special teams I don’t think this game was in any way a situation where the Steelers out-coached the Ravens. Danny Smith’s special teams saves this grade from being much worse.
This game was huge for the Steelers, and that is no secret. Tomlin had the team ready to play, as motivation is his strong suit, but there was still a ton of details which continue to be a problem for this team. Hopefully the bye week provides some type of elixir for what continually plagues this team.
Overall Grade: C-
What grade do you give the Steelers after the win over the Ravens? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the bye in Week 6 of the regular season.