View Full Version : Steelers Report Card: Game Ten vs. Chargers

11-17-2008, 09:41 AM
Steelers Report Card: Game Ten vs. Chargers
Monday, November 17, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Quarterback- B+
Ben Roethlisberger did not throw a touchdown pass for the third time in the past four games but, more important, he didn't throw an interception. It also was the second consecutive game he has attempted at least 41 passes and the second game in a row he didn't attack a secondary with deep passes. In the end, he led the offense on the winning 13-play drive.

Running backs- B
After missing five of the previous six games, Willie Parker returned and topped 100 yards for the third time this season, finishing with 115 yards on 25 carries. He carried six times for 31 yards on the final drive. But after being stopped twice on the goal line against Indianapolis, Mewelde Mooore was stopped again on fourth down in the first quarter.

Receivers- B
Hines Ward had a season-high 11 catches for 124 yards, including three for 35 yards on the final drive. None was bigger than his 7-yard catch on third down at the Chargers' 41. Ward also had three holding penalties. The biggest holding penalty, by backup TE Sean McHugh, cost the Steelers a touchdown with 15 seconds remaining. Tight end Matt Spaeth had six catches for the second game in a row.

Offensive line- C
The failed goal-line surge in the first quarter and the four QB sacks continued to be nagging problems. But the line allowed only one sack after halftime and the team rushed for 79 of its 124 yards in the second half. The line did a good job blocking down on NT Jamal Williams, none better than when RT Willie Colon opened a hole for Parker on a 5-yard run to the Chargers' 15 with 1:04 left.

Defensive line- B
The biggest priority was to keep LaDainian Tomlinson in check, and the defense did that, holding him to 57 yards on 18 carries and not allowing a run longer than 12 yards. The Chargers couldn't control DE Aaron Smith, who kept plugging gaps. DE Brett Keisel had his best game of the season, registering a team-high seven tackles, getting his first sack of the season and batting a pass.

Linebackers- B
James Harrison continues to make most of the big plays, getting a sack, forcing a fumble in the end zone that produced a safety and intercepting a poor pass from Philip Rivers at the Steelers' 10 that led to a late first-half field goal. Holding TE Antonio Gates to two catches for 10 yards was big. But not making any plays and allowing a 17-play drive in the fourth quarter almost wasted the solid effort.

Defensive backs- A
Safety Troy Polamalu made two great individual plays, none of which ended up mattering. His diving interception and 21-yard return on the first series was wasted and his 12-yard TD return to end the game was wiped out by an official's ruling. A pass interference call against CB Ike Taylor at the Steelers' 3 set up the only Chargers TD. Still, they held Rivers, the AFC's No. 1 passer, to 159 yards.

Special teams- B+
Jeff Reed missed his first field goal of the season in the first quarter, but it was a 51-yarder on a sloppy field. Nonetheless, he atoned with three others, including the winning 32-yarder with 11 seconds remaining. The coverage teams held Darren Sproles in check, but there were way too many penalties, including a 15-yarder on Anthony Smith on a fair catch.

Coaching- C+
It probably wasn't a smart move to try a 51-yard field goal on such a sloppy field. And it never looks good when the offense doesn't score a touchdown and the team commits a season-high 13 penalties. But the offense had


11-17-2008, 09:56 AM
the "coaching" grade does not make an ounce of sense.

tomlin's moves and motivation off the field this week are they reasons ben and willie came out big.

also the linebacker grade, errr harrison grade, needs to be an A

11-17-2008, 10:40 AM
the "coaching" grade does not make an ounce of sense.

tomlin's moves and motivation off the field this week are they reasons ben and willie came out big.

Agreed, on the motivational tactics. But the 51yd field goal try was a terrible call, should have gone for it. The worst call, IMO, was to rush the goalline attempt. A timeout should have been called instead of rushing up to the line and barely getting off the Moore run that was stuffed. Those were two bad decisions that fall squarely on Tomlin. Speaking of rushing to the line; there has been an ongoing issue with delay of game penalties (the team escaped two yesterday). Delay of game, pre-snap penalties all point to coaching.

11-17-2008, 10:52 AM
LBs only get a B? Harrison's performance alone pushes that up to an A. Without Harrison's efforts, this team would be 6-4 this morning.

11-17-2008, 03:50 PM
Sheesh, what does it take for the coaches to get an A?