´ Steel Curtain Rising: Steelers Report Card from the Ravens Route

Who gets the game ball for the Steelers win over the Texans?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Steelers Report Card from the Ravens Route

Anyone who has ever worked on the teaching side of a class room can tell you that grading can be the most difficult and often times depressing aspect of education. Issuing the Steelers report card for their 35-7 debacle in Baltimore isn’t difficult at all but certainly depresses.

As usual, we offer the standard caveat that no other grades were consulted.

Quarterback
Has Ben Roethlisberger had a worse game? The ’06 game at Oakland might be a close second, but that’s about it. Ben threw 3 picks fumbled 2 and a half times, and far too many of his passes were wildly in accurate. Grade: F

Running Backs
Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman ran well but their opportunities were too limited to allow them to be a factor. Mewelde Moore looked good catching passes, until he fumbled. The fumble had zero impact on the outcome, but it was endemic of the malaise that infected the entire team. Grade: C
Wide Receivers
If there was any bright spot for the Steelers on Sunday, it was the wide receivers. Mike Wallace showed he was more than a one-note Johnny, Manny Sanders looked sharp on the only TD, Health Miller and Hines Ward were their reliable selves. Grade: B

Offensive Line
The Steelers will go no where if line play does not improve. The Ravens owned the Steelers backfield through and through. Jonathan Scott looked like he should be a back up in Buffalo instead of blocking Terrell Suggs. The team’s weakest unit turned in a thoroughly poor performance. Grade: F

Defensive Line
No one runs on the Steelers right? Think again. Ray Rice and Ricky Williams gouged the Steelers. Cycling in Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward helped not at all. Flacco had a spacious pocket to throw from. This line looked like a group of amaturs, not one made up of seasoned veterans. Grade: F

Linebackers
The strength of the team? Could have fooled me. James Harrison was ineffective, but at least he has back surgery as an excuse. Timmons, Woodley, Foote and Farrior were non-factors and that is generous: Grade F
Secondary
Yes, Ike Taylor erased Lee Taylor from the field. Everyone else stunk. Joe Flacco hit who he wanted, when he wanted to hit them. Grade: F

Special Teams
Spare the talk about Antonio Browns fancy foot work, Dan Sepulveda’s long punts, the touchbacks or the work of the coverage units. This unit gave up a two point conversion run by a punter who was holding on a kick formation. Inexcusable. Grade: F
Coaching
The Pittsburgh Steelers were not physically prepared, they were not mentally prepared, the coaching staff did not enter the game with a good game plan, they were completely unable to adjust and, worst of all, Baltimore simply wanted it more. Other than that, Mike Tomlin and his coaches did a great job. Grade: F

Unsung Hero
Ike Taylor has rightfully won recognition for his play against Lee Evans, so that leaves Isaac Redman as the team’s unsung hero. He only had a few carries, but he ran hard and delivered on all of them, including a third down conversion.

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