DEFENSIVE LINE: B+ This defensive line is still, well, this defensive line. They come to play each and every week, and play well. The Steelers ran for under three yards per carry on the ground and were in Ben’s face. Big Mo nearly got to Big Ben for a safety early in the game. Imagine how that might have changed the context of this game, huh? Sheldon Richardson was huge as well, posting 5.5 tackles and a forced fumble. I’m certainly not going to take them to task in a game where nothing happened on the ground.
LINEBACKERS: B These guys, as usual, were stout against the run as well. David Harris led the way with eight tackles and one sack. However, there were open lanes for Big Ben to throw all day, especially over the middle. Big Ben’s favorite target, Health Miller, was open most of the game, posting six catches for 84 yards. Antonio Brown added 86 yards on nine catches.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: D+ Now these guys were flat-out awful. Antonio Cromartie said that his knee wasn’t bothering him, but he clearly was not himself. Nobody defended well on the back-end. Anytime the opposing quarterback completes 76% of his passes, like Roethlisberger did yesterday, the defensive backfield played quite badly. Not a great day for Cromartie and friends.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B We up the grade for the special teams just a bit because Clyde Gates was actually a positive influence on it. He ran back two kickoffs and averaged over 28 yards per return. Yes, that Clyde Gates. Shocking, isn’t it? So the garde goes up to a B as the special teams unit did its job, as usual.
Where do your grades lie?