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Revisiting the Steelers vs Patriots: Game Grades

at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

QB- Big Ben had a solid performance against a revamped Patriots Secondary. For the most part he was a solid but made a bad decision to force a long pass that was intercepted along the sideline. He threw a late touchdown with 2 seconds on the clock. He finished the game passing for 351 with a touchdown and a pick.
Grade B
Running back- DeAnglo Willams had a very impressive game in his first appearance as a Steeler. He finished with 127 yards and will Johnson scored the lone rushing touchdown. His first as a pro.
Grade B+
Wide receivers- For the most the wide receivers played well. Antonio Brown was his normal typical self he finished with 133 yards. Markus Wheaton had a few nice catches. One in particular down the right sidelines Heyward Bey had an up and down performance His 43 yard catch should his exceptional speed which he known for but his catch in the end zone where he didn’t keep his feet in the end zone was possibly a game changer.
Grade B
Offense line- The offense line for the most part kept Ben clean and open up some nice holes for Deanglo but at times killed the offense with some penalties. Wallace had a hold on a nice gain by Williams. Gilbert and Beechum each had big penalties.
Grade B-
Defensive line- The defense line main job was to stop the run and for the most part did a good job. They didn’t create much pressure but had a respectable effort.
Grade C
Linebackers- I have a mix feeling about this unit. Ryan Shazier had a great game. He played like a man possessed and was all over the field. Bud Dupree had a sack on Brady but it was confusion on a play in which Rob Gronkowski was passed to the secondary. The Steelers Mix up the unit and we saw several different combinations.
Grade C
Secondary- Rob Gronkowski might be the best tight end and just to not even account for him is no excuse. He was left alone when he lined up at wide and wasn’t even covered. The communication was the biggest issue and on several occasions the unit looked confused and lost. Mike Mitchell made a good play on the strip of Lewis but Will Allen couldn’t come up with the ball. Julian Edelman had a great game out of the slot and at one point Brady completed 19 passes in a row.
Grade F
Special Team- the coverage units did well but no big gainers. The obvious mistakes were the 2 misses that hurt. Hopefully this was just a bad outing and a 1 game thing. I can understand if it was a cold winter day at Heinz field but you have to make those kicks in the summer at Gillette stadium.
Coaching- Mike Tomlin had issues with the headsets and maybe that led to the communication problems. The offense drove up and down the field but couldn’t finish drives and that was the difference. The attempted gadget play on the Antonio Brown pass killed a potential good drive. The defense is a work in progress and hopefully will learn from this performance.
Grade C
The Steelers should be better from this point on. The big scope is that you can’t make certain mistakes against Brady and Belichick. The Patriots are too good and took advantage against mistakes. The Steelers lost by only 7 points without 2 Starters and a young big play receiver. Let’s not lose fact of that point. It’s a long season and they will be better once they get in sync.



  1. DaveB

    September 14, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    One player the Steelers wont have to be concerned with this year is the Ravens Terrell Suggs . How ironic , after going low on Sam Bradford two weeks ago in a preseason game and deliberately trying to take out Bradfords knees knowing he just came off ACL surgery , Suggs blows out his own ACL this past Sunday . Oh well , what goes around comes around .

  2. DrGeorge

    September 15, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Mr. Chapman’s grades seem approximately right, but over all, the Patriots-Steelers game was one of the more entertaining and well played of the entire week. It was the first game of the season for both teams, and it showed. However, most of the errors – too many penalties, lapses in pass coverage, missed field goals, sloppy tackling – ought to work themselves out with a little more playing time. Remember, the starters barely saw the field during preseason.

    The defense, which I expected to give up 40 points, played respectably, despite the confusion in the secondary. In another week or two, the confusion should be gone. The bad news is not that the defense played poorly, but that it played as well as it can. Even after the players know their assignments cold, the secondary will continue to struggle in coverage and the D-line will continue to struggle to stop the run. It isn’t a bad defense; it is just an average defense. My guess is that the defense was emotionally “up” for the Patriots and will play “down” to their average against the 49ers, who beat the Vikings handily. Our first home game will be a truer measure of the quality of our defense.

    The real disappointment in the Patriots game was the inability of our offense to score against a defense that wasn’t much better than ours. The failure to score in the red zone continues to haunt Ben R., who had better stats than Brady (most of the yardage came between the twenties), but Brady was more efficient. When it counted, the Pats put up 28 points, the Steelers only 14. (I’m not counting our last garbage TD that the Pat defense gave up to keep the oddsmakers happy.) This deficiency was a recurring cause for lamentation last year. If red zone efficiency doesn’t improve, the Steelers cannot put up 30 points a game consistently, and our playoff hopes will go a-glimmering.

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