How do you grade a train wreck? That was the assignment for Alan Saunders and Chris Carter on this week’s Locked On Steelers Podcast, as Chris handed out his stars and skulls grades from the team’s ugly season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Outside linebacker T.J. Watt unsurprisingly got the best grade, while there was plenty of competition for the worst of the worst, as six Steelers players got three-skull grades — and there could have more.
Chris and Alan also broke down the injury news of the day, with defensive captain Cam Heyward expected to miss eight weeks with a groin injury, and how the Steelers can possibly replace his production in the middle of their defensive line.
He suffered the injury early in the game and tried to return but could not finish the game. As a result, Heyward could be through the Steelers bye week if he goes on the injured reserve. Pittsburgh’s bye week is after Week 5.
Guys such as Keeanu Benton, Montravius Adams, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Armon Watts, and others will be critical to step up with Heyward out. It is a tough blow for the Steelers to swallow for their All-Pro defensive lineman, who has been a bastion of health over his career.
They also talked about the cornerback play, and how and why the Pittsburgh secondary was unable to deal with Brandon Aiyuk and the San Francisco 49ers passing attack.