Report card day was generally a positive experience for me growing up but for many others it was not. And so it is for the Steelers this week. As with all reports cards, these grades were assigned without consulting similar efforts from others.
I don’t care what the stat sheet says, Ben Roethlisberger’s timing and accuracy have been off since his return. He didn’t have help from his receivers early on, and did well late in the game under a fierce rush. Still, his pick six end any theoretical chance of a comeback. Grade: D
Like most of the offense, Rashard Mendenhall’s final stats are mislead. Neither rusher had much room to work with, but Mendenhall nor Moore could make lemonade out of lemons. Mendenhall also seemed to flinch on a key block. It might not be fair, but the Steelers needed more out of the running backs, and didn’t get it. Grade: D
Great week if you had Steelers WR’s on your fantasy football team. Good thing fantasy football does not count drops. Errors by the wide receiving corps negated two sure and one potential touchdown on two separate drives. You can’t do that if you want to compete in Prime Time. Grade: F
If the Steelers are to contend for anything this season, Jonathan Scott must play better. By the end of the evening New England was collapsing the right side of the line at will. The line failed to protect its quarterback and failed to open holes for the running game. Grade: F
BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn’t run on the Steelers at will, but he was close. The Patriots imposed their will, and it began up front. Grade: F
Everyone knew going into the game that the New England was going to try to cut up Pittsburgh with short to medium passes. New England went and did it anyway and against what was labeled here last week as the NFL’s best linebacking corps. Grade: F
William Gay has gone settling in as a comfortable choice at third corner, to looking third rate, getting burned by a tight end. One of the reasons Brady could get off so many short passes was the HUGE cushions the Steelers corners gave Patriot receivers. The secondary rarely made New England ball catchers play and gave up plenty after the catch. Grade: F
Apparently, this was one miss too many for Jeff Reed. The penalty on Keenan Lewis should not have occurred and does not bode well for a player with discipline issues. Beyond that, the Steelers special avoided any major mistakes but also failed to provide a spark for the team on the night when one was needed. Grade: C-
Time will tell if Bill Belichick published the template for how to beat the Steelers. Either way, he and his staff made Mike Tomlin and company look like amateurs. New England came in with a better game plan, and executed it better. The Patriots were in control of this game from start to finish. Grade F
There was little to smile about Sunday night, but Mewelde Moore, whose spent most of the year having fans question his role on the roster, turned in a solid performance. His 14 yards on four carries were not stealer, but he had nothing to work with. He also served as Roethlisberger’s safety value, and did not flinch at his blocking assignments.