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Home >  Sports >  Steelers >  Steelers Report Card Printer-friendly versionE-mail this story
Steelers Report Card
Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Monday, November 11, 2002

 

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Grading the Steelers:

Jack McCurry is in his 25th season as the head coach of the North Hills High School Indians. He has won four WPIAL titles.

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Grading the Falcons:

Ron Wabby is in his 21st season as the head coach at Brashear High School. His teams have won five City League championships.

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Offense: B

After a slow start, Tommy Maddox sparked the Steelers with an impressive air attack. Plaxico Burress' circus catch for a touchdown and his reception in overtime highlighted an outstanding performance by all of the Steelers' receivers. The offensive line gave Maddox adequate protection and Mike Mularkey's play-calling did the rest.

Offense: B

Michael Vick was confused by the Steelers' zone blitzes, so he turned to the running of Warrick Dunn. The pregame hype about Vick and his third-down magic was proven right. In the third quarter, Vick converted on several third-and-long plays to keep Atlanta hopes alive and force overtime. The way he brought the Falcons back, his name should be Superman.

Defense: C +

Any time your defense surrenders 34 points it is not a stellar game. Its performance was highlighted by Joey Porter, who was outstanding throughout. It played well on first and second down, but had problems on third down. So what happened in the fourth quarter?

Defense: B

The Falcons were concerned with stopping the running of Amos Zereoue and forgot about the arm of Tommy Maddox. The lack of a pass rush gave Maddox too much time to find open receivers. The defense did stop the Steelers several times late in the game. The interception in the overtime gave the Falcons a chance to win.

Special Teams: C

Antwaan Randle El had an exciting punt return and nifty kickoff return, but his fumbled punt return was disastrous. Todd Peterson's inconsistency continues to haunt the Steelers. The special teams just didn't get it done.

Special Teams: A

The special teams forced the fumble by Antwaan Randle El in the fourth quarter that set up a touchdown. The punt return late in the fourth quarter set up the tying touchdown, and the blocked field goal in the overtime provided Vick with another opportunity to pull out a victory.

Coaching: C +

The defensive game plan consisted of two options ... pressure Michael Vick with blitzes or fall back in coverage. The blitzing scheme worked a lot better than the coverage package. What happened to the Steelers 'offense late in the game? Too conservative or too complacent. Whatever it was, it wasn't good enough to protect the lead. OK fellows, pucker up. It's time to kiss you sister.

Coaching: C

The trick plays the Steelers used had the Atlanta coaches scratching their heads.The game plan to stop the Steelers' running game left the secondary exposed to Maddox. Wake Up NFL coaches. The Steelers now have a three-pronged attack ... passing, running and trick plays.

Team Score: 90

Team Score: 90

 

Key

 

100-95

 

Super Bowl performance

94-90

 

Division title contenders

89-80

 

Wild Card possibility

79-70

 

Shooting for high draft picks in 2003

69-less

 

Check waiver wire

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