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SteelersGab Game Grade: Steelers vs Panthers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers, 37-19, due to a complete effort from offense, defense, special teams and coaching. After the loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week two some critics felt the Steelers lacked talent. Displaying a dominant performance against a well-rounded team in the Carolina Panthers will silence the critics for the time being.

Coaching:

For the first time this season the game plan was consistent the entire 60 minutes. Mike Tomlin did a marvelous job inspiring to play well on the road. Tomlin did a great job at keeping his team focused while dealing with three injuries on defense during the game. Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau called efficient plays that kept constant pressure on quarterback Can Newton. The run defense looked liked the run defense of old. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley may have coached his best game with the Pittsburgh Steelers thus far. Both the running and passing game was excellent.

Grade: A

Offense:

Ben Roethisberger didn’t turn the ball over the first time this season. There were also no fumbles by any running backs.  The Steelers rushed for over 240 yards, the most under coach Mike Tomlin. There were key interference pass play calls that opened up the offense. The offensive line only allowed one sack clearly it’s best performance this season. Overall the offense was efficient and was careful with the football.

Grade: A+

Defense:

Forced 3 sacks. Kept dual threat quarterback Cam Newton contained. The run defense held the Panthers offense well under 100 yards rushing. The multiple penalties are a bit concerning but that’s part of the game now. The front seven kept constant pressure all night long which led to the crucial fumble created by outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.  The defense allowed a couple of deep passes down the field in the second half.  The Steelers continued to hold it’s own even when three starters went down due to injury. A very positive sign.

Grade:  A-

Special Teams:

This unit was the x-factor in the game. Kicker Shaun Suisham connected on four field goals. Not much happened in the return game especially with several touchbacks on kickoff. The defensive return team did not allow any big returns and forced a fumble on a punt play that led to a touchdown which ultimately sealed the deal.

Grade: A+

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