Regular readers are familiar with Steel Curtain Rising’s Report Card series, inaugurated in 2009. The genesis of the Report Card was simple and similar to the genesis of much of the rest of the material on this site: Looking at the stuff that the pros do and thinking, “Hey, I can do this.”
An additional reason is that keeping post game summaries to a reasonable length often times means neglecting to recognize individual accomplishments or tendencies.
I thought it would be interesting compare Steel Curtain Rising’s grades to that of Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette and Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest.
The first thing the jumps out is that the only area of agreement is with regard to the secondary.
Beyond that there’s a lot of variation.
It is no surprise that Steel Curtain Rising stands out on the quarterback rating. Ben Roethlisberger won lavish praise for his play against the Ravens, and his ability to bring them back from behind is commendable.
But he had a really shaky first half and his turnover came back to haunt the Steelers badly. Those two factors as much as anything else put the Steelers “below the line.”
Both Labriola and Dulac seemed hesitant to give out a good grade to the offensive line, to that I can only say: The Steelers offensive line neutralized a defensive front that has terrorized the Steelers backfield of late, “What more did you want them to do?”
In reading Dulac and Labriola’s commentaries, its also clear that perhaps I rated the linebackers a little too highly – although I thought that the outstanding performances by James Harrison and Larry Foote needed recognition. Still, the linebackers do deserve to carry some blame for Flacco’s superhuman 3rd down performance.
Ditto on the Special Teams. In truth, Baltimore had more success with its return game then I had given them credit for, and the special teams grade could be lower.
Labriola, who works at the Steelers complex on the South Side, never grades the coaches (surprise, surprise) and Dulac was a little less demanding than I.
The only other minor surprise is Dulac’s low grades for the running backs and wide receivers, as he commented on the fact that they were not used more in the game. I agree completely that the Steelers would have done well to have run more, but that is the fault of the coaches, and not the players themselves.
Time permitting, Steel Curtain Rising will do more report card comparisons in the future.
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