Steelers Report Card vs. the Browns

Each Week Steel Curtain Rising issues its report card, grading the performance of individual units in the pervious week’s game. As a caveat, I offer Scouts honor that I have consulted no other report cards.


Seeing number seven under center was a site for sore eyes. Ben looked at little rusty through the first half, throwing one pick and missing a few key throws. The rust was gone by the second half, and 21 points resulted from it. Grade: B+

Running Backs

Rashard Mendenall got 84 yards and while his 3.1 averge might fail to impress, it should not as he had several strong runs, at other times he had little room to run. Redman had 31 yards on six carries and should have spelled Mendenhall after the outcome was no longer in doubt. Grade: B

The downfield pass returned to Pittsburgh, and the recivers took advantage. Wallace, Ward, El, Sanders, and Miller all made big catches. Grade: A

Offensive Line

The line suffered another injury, but their play must be considered subpar nonethless. Mendenhall had too little room to run on too many occasions. And while Ben was not sacked, the protection could have been better. The OL’s performance was “above the line” but they need to play better. Grade: C

Defensive Line

The Browns could never mount and effective running game, and that starts up front. Nick Eason did a good job filling in for Brett Kiesel, but why didn’t Ziggy Hood play more? Why was there not more pressure on McCoy during non-blitzes? Grade B


The linebackers had another monster game, led by James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, who terrorized the Browns for 22 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 tackles for losses, two pass defenses and five QB hits. Oh yeah, and the other linebackes looked good too. Only the lack of pressure on McCoy during non-blitzes knocks this grade down. Grade: A-


The seondary picked of McCoy twice, but garbage time or no, hey did comlete 281 yards woth of passes, including some long ones, including one late score. This isn’t entirely the fault of the secondary, but the late scores are becoming too common. Grade: B

Special Teams

Keyron Fox recovered a fumble, and Emmanual Sanders looked good in his debut. Outside of that special teams went largely unnoticed and that is nothing to complain about. Grade: B


While this game had a lot of potential for a let down, that did not happen. The coaches made a wise move by getting Emanual Sanders into the game. Their continued insistence on using Mendenhall late in games that are decided is tempting fate. The late long balls must be addressed. Likewise, while the Steelers did get to McCoy, there were other times when he had too much time to throw. Grade: B

Unsung Hero

Emanual Sanders. He only had two catches for 37 yards, but he looked good in his first NFL game, and this is important as it is imperative that the Steelers develop this young receiver.

P.S. All apologies for spelling errors, language is set to Spanish and English spell check not working…

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