Literally a Close Call: Grading the Steelers Week 7 effort
It was quite an ugly game by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who seemed to do everything possible to lose this game. Seeing how the fumble ruling worked out, one could argue they SHOULD have lost the game. I’ll take a “W” but this one was ugly.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 302 yards and two scores. Why does he only get a C? He carelessly fumbled the ball three times. By the grace of God his fumble at the goal line on the final drive didn’t result in a turnover. It probably should have. He made some great throws down the field to stake the Steelers to a lead, but he just as easily could have been sitting here after the game as the GOAT.
Running Backs: D
As a team they rushed 27 times for 58 yards. Starter Rashard Mendenhall only had 37 yards on 15 carries. Granted it’s hard to get going when you’re constantly getting hit in the backfield, but I imagine Mendenhall himself will tell you this was not a good effort today.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A
These guys just kept making plays downfield for Roethlisberger ALL day. Mike Wallace blew past his defender for a huge 53 yard touchdown. Hines Ward was consistent all game long, catching 7 passes for 131 yards and a score. It was easily his best effort of the season.
Offensive Line: D
The offensive line gave up three sacks, got called for a few holding penalties that wiped out big games, and they were unable to generate any kind of consistent run blocking. This was not a very good day for this group.
Defensive Front Seven: C
Once again the Front Seven held an opponent’s top running back in check. This time it was Ricky Williams and his total of 48 yards. Larry Foote accounted for the only sack of the day, and the unit as a whole didn’t generate much pass rush. You have to wonder how bad the loss of Aaron Smith (Rumored to be done for the year) is going to hurt this group.
Chad Henne had all day to throw and kept completing passes to sustain drives. However it did seem like the secondary made stops when it had to, holding Miami out of the end zone all but one time. It also seemed like he was making some really good throws into tight coverage. Would have been nice to see an interception here, but when you win, it tends to make things look a little better.
Special Teams: C
Emmanuel Sanders fumbled the opening kickoff but earned a slight reprieve as the defense held the Dolphins to a field goal. The rookie then had some big returns including a return to the Miami 48 to start the final game winning drive. Jeff Reed hit all three field goals and Daniel Sepulveda was his usual solid self in terms of punting. Antwaan Randle-El is still showing me NOTHING on punt returns. Please put someone else back there.
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