Stillers 21, Clev 18 ……. Sep 10, 2017…………Game # 1
Stillers-Browns Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers went to Clev for the season opener. As is usual early in the season, and on the road, a Tomlin-led (sic) team sputtered, stunk, and struggled like complete bitches. They held a flimsy 14-7 lead at the half. Then in the 4Q, they not only allowed Clev to go on a long march, culminated by a 4th & goal TD, but also allowed a WALK in 2-pointer. Clinging to a flimsy 3-point lead, the Stillers luckily salted the game away on an ill-advised Hail Mary -like downfield fling by Ben that AB miraculously went up and out-snared three DBs for a clutch grab that essentially forced Clev to burn its final 2 TOs on a TO and a coach’s challenge.
Poor, high crosser pass to Bryant, 2nd series. Failed to get the snap snapped in time, early 2Q, and was flagged for DOG. How long has Benajmin been an NFL starter??
On 1st & goal at the 9, Ben scrambled right and had an ACRE of open room, but instead pussed out and threw the ball out of the EZ. Ben could have easily gained 5 yards before stepping OOB. Good TD strike to James 2 plays later.
Held the ball forever, 2nd play of 3Q, and got sacked. On the next play, he threw deep to an open Bryant that was over thrown by a good 25 feet.
Once again, in the 3Q, on a critical 3d & goal at the 2, Shitlesberger allowed the clock to wind too far down, and had to burn a TO in order to avoid a DOG flag. How many years has this genius been a starting NFL QB ??
In the 4Q, foolishly had a pass batted when Eli was one on one with a MLB down the seam. Then, on the very next play, threw a queer, lollipop lob down the seam that was tipped by a Clev defender and then INT’d at the goal line, and then returned to about the Clev 30.
I actually despised the late-game downfield fling that AB caught on a jump ball. There’s 2:47 left, thin 3-point lead, and instead of Ben either running the ball (heresy for 2017 Ben, I realize) or making a smart, safe play, Ben FLINGS the ball, high into the air, into TRIPLE coverage. There was at least an 89% chance this ball would be batted away for an inc. that STOPS the clock, and at least a 50% chance it would be INTd. It was a completely dumbshit play that luckily worked out.
Speaking of Ben the Pussy, he had ZERO running attempts (not counting the late-game kneel downs). For Ben to be effective, he needs to use his athletic ability to take the 5 or 8 yard gain from time to time when the coverage is tight and the pass rush is coming on. It appears Ben feels he is “above” that kind of dirty work, and it’s this kind of haughty, pompous attitude that will derail this team. All in all, a woefully inadequate day at the office. C-
Bell - Stutter Bell looked rusty, groggy, and shitty most of the game. He finally warmed in the 4Q and had a couple solid runs. Failed to corral a screen pass, early 2Q, and you can only wonder if this piece of shit would have caught it had he participated in camp. Flagged for an illegal peel-back block, 2Q, which negated a rare good pass play. This perhaps was actually called on Nix. Finished with 10 rushes for 32 yards, and 3 grabs for 15. Nowhere near good enough. D+
Conner - Got some PT here and there. Had 4 carries for 11. Appears to be a capable backup to Bell. B-
Nix - Played only sparingly on O.
Brownie – carelessly fumbled the ball on RAC, 2Q, but luckily it rolled OOB. Very sloppy, and careless. Finally had a big play, grabbing a slightly deflected pass and scampering for a 50 yard gain late in the 2Q. Made a nearly miraculous 1-handed catch on a key 3rd & 4, 4Q. Then made another near miraculous catch on a high, deep lob under 3:00 in the 4Q, which AB reached up and snared the pig. One of the very, very few players to show up ready to play today. A+
Bryant - dropped WR screen, 4th play of game. Rare, good grab on an out pass near the chalk, 3Q. 2 grabs for 14 won’t cut the mustard from a #2 WR. C-
Eli - Had only 2 grabs for 11, which is disappointing, given that Clev had their safety 25 yards off the ball and this man should have been eating them alive on underneath routes. If only Haley had some intellect. B
Heyward-Gay – non real participation on O.
JuJu - On his very first NFL play, he was flagged for a needless hold on a WR screen, ruining an 8 yard gain. This pretty much set the tone for the entire 1st half. Then, in the 4Q, Bell finally had a good run for 12 yards, only for this buttfucker to commit his 2nd holding flag of the day. Aside from the overall shit and slop, my biggest disappointment was that the staff didn’t insert Schit-Schuster during the late game kneel-downs to see if he might be able to get a Hat Trick with his third holding penalty of the day. F
Jesse James - was WIDE open for a grab, first play of 2Q, but of course took about 6 seconds to get up field for more yardage. Good TD grab in tight coverage, late 2Q. Snared a short pass for a 2-yard TD, 3Q. Had 6 grabs for 41. His run blocking was only average. B
Grimble - nowhere to be found.
McDonald - flagged for a hold on a WR screen, 3rd play of game. Dropped a 3rd down pass, early 3Q, although he was well short of the sticks. So much for this pilo shit supplanting James. He sucks ass thus far. D-
OL: Overall, this line blocked like complete shit in the running game. Al the bullshit fawning and hype about how dominant this line was going to be, and time an d time and time again, there was SHIT for room in the running game. Had the team signed 5 lineman at the NFL minimum, they could have gotten the same run blocking as they received today. A classic case of a collective group reading far too many press clippings.
3d & 1, early 3Q, and they got shit for movement., and the play got stuffed. Rarely ever was there ANY hole whatsoever on running plays.
Villeneueva - shoddy on the sack, early 3Q. Got shoved and turned around by the DE. He had a sorry camp and is now the weak link of this OL.
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus surprisingly didn’t commit any penalties or pass pro boners.
Foster – Ditto as Marcus.
Pouncey - flagged for a hold, around 3:00 4Q, which negated a 5 yard gain by Bell that would have been a 1st down.
DeCastro – surpassingly didn’t have his weekly false start.
Hargrave - Bulldozed the center and then sacked the QB on the first play after the awful 4Q INT. Had 3 solos in a solid effort. A-
McCullers - Did not dress. Not sure why this pilo shit was kept on the roster anyway.
Heyward – stuffed a run, early 2Q. 1 solo and 2 As ain’t enough for his salary. C+
Alu - chipped in well with 2 solos and 3 A. B
Tuitt – Blew up Clev’s 2nd play, a run, for a 4-yard loss. Of course, as usual, Tuitt got injured that series, with an arm injury, and never returned. Armed with a new, fatty $60M deal, he’ll probably coast and sit out the next 7 games.
Walton - Good stop on early Cleve draw play.
Vinnie– Okay game with 4 solos. Allowed some extra yards rushing that I would have liked to have sealed up. B
Shaquier – Flagged for a silly, brainless hit on a sliding QB, early 2Q. Good clean-up hit on a RAC on a 3rd down a few plays later, forcing a punt. 4 solos and 3 A in a decent effort. B
Harrison – Meager impact in a handful of plays.
Chickillo - chipped in a stop of early Clev draw play. Got a sack, 1Q, after the QB had some time and found nothing. Good hustle, though, by Chick. Had 4 solos and 2 A in an active effort. B
Dupree – Yancey Dupree did not dress (surprise!!).
Watt - Nearly had a sack, early 2Q. Got credited with a coverage sack, early 3Q. Flagged for a personal foul on a sack, in which he had ZERO BUSINESS diving at the QB there. Compete, jack-assed stupidity. He atoned for it the very next play, when, dropping back in coverage, he snared a high pass for a clutch INT, showing better hands than 90% of the Steeler WR and DB corps. This ability to drop into coverage is what Watt gives you over Harrison. B+
Matekevich - failed to corral the QB on a QB sneak that scored a TD, late 1Q.
Moats - Thankfully saw no PT on D.
Mitchell – Good blitz, 2nd series, on 3rd down, in which he shoved the RB backwards and forced the QB to tuck the ball, after which Heyward got the sack. Was too late on a deep middle completion, 6:00 4Q, good for 29 yards. Never ANYWHERE to be found near the ball on ANY downfield passes. B-
Gay - Got tooled on an early 3d & 11, allowing a 13 yard gain. Very poor. Blistered a Cleve WR who juggled the ball, 3Q, but he was incorrectly flagged for a personal foul, some 65 seconds AFTER the play was made. Complete bullshit. Dropped an INT about 4 plays later. Flashed in and tripped up a ground play, 4:40 4Q. B-
Burns - flagged for a hold, 3Q. For all the talk about how physical Big Artie was in camp, he got shoved aside on the quick slant TD at 3:36 4Q. Very soft, and feeble. C
Davis - Slashed in and stopped Crowell on a ground play, late 1Q. But, 2 plays later, committed a critical 3rd down PI that was completely unnecessary due to an off target pass, and it gave Clev the ball at the 3. Had 3 solos. B-
Haden - Got the start at CB. Good coverage, and nearly had an INT on a pass down the seam, 2Q. Got tooled and allowed a long bomb to Williams, but he grabbed the ball OOB. Of course, there was a complete lack of safety help on this play. Good tenacity on a late 2Q blitz, fighting thru the block and nabbing the QB. Got tooled on a backshoulder pass, 1st play of 3Q. Got beaten deep by Duke Johnson at 6:40 4Q, but luckily the pass was too long. Brainless play, though, as you need to simply keep everything in front of you at that point. Seems to lapse mentally from time to time, and too often. C
Wilcox - good clean-up hit on a dump off near the Stiller 3 yard line, 4Q. Two plays later, delivered a blistering hit on a Cleve TD pass, but got shaken up as well.
Jordan Berry – punted shabbily, with a weak-assed 40 yard average on 6 punts. Vomity punt, 2Q, and only a big roll allowed it to be 39 yards. The man continues to suck ass. C-
Boswell – A rare game for him in which he attempted no FGs. Good KOs. B
Rogers - decent punt return, 10:00 4Q.
AB - no PT in the return game.
The rarest of rare birds….a big play by the Stiller ST unit! Matekevich blocked an early punt, and Chick corralled the pig in the EZ for an early TD.
DHB was flagged for a hold on a 2Q Cleve punt, forcing the starting position back to the 8 yard line. What a tool. His ONLY function on this team is on STs, and then he commits this jack-assed mistake.
Given an early 7-0 lead due to the blocked punt, Haley decided to get cute, and began the game with -- get this -- FOUR consecutive WR screens. Four !! Two were called back due to holding calls.
I fuking despised the sequence of calls early in the 2Q. After an Eli grab set up 2d & 1, Haley calls a high risk, low reward TWO yard out pass to, you know, the fellow who fuking skipped camp, Leveon Bell. After this incomplete pass, a vanilla, entirely predictable line plunge was stuffed to force a punt.
Next series, 3d & 3, and instead of allowing James to post up on a short 5 yard pass, they try this bullshit, low probability deep out to James that was busted up.
The grab-bag continued all during the game, with Haley, until late in the 3Q, having no clue on how to attack a defense that stupidly placed its FS a full 25 yards off the LOS. There was an ACRE of wide open room to complete passes underneath this far-out FS, yet all Dumbass Todd was thinking about were bubble screens. I remain incredulous why Haley thinks the lanky Bryant is a good option on a bubble screen. News Flash !! He’s not !! He’s easy as pie to tackle with those long, gangly legs. You need a quick JITTERBUG on those plays, such as Eli.
This is looking like yet ANOTHER season of all talk, all bullshit from this supposedly vaunted offense. F
Keith Assler had the luxury of facing a greenhorn rookie QB (Kizer) making his first ever NFL start. Sure as shit, Assler struggled like a little bitch…which he has also done like 6 times previously.
Allowed a long, laborious, 12-play TD march of 68 yards, 1Q. Very soft, and shitty. Early in the 3Q, allowed a 7-play, 58 yards march for a chippie FG.
In the 4Q, he allowed Kizer to march 73 yards in 8 plays for a TD on a 4th down play, and then, on the 2 pointer, allowed the Clev RB to WALK UNTOUCHED into the EZ. Very shitty. You could pretty much bet your mortgage on Clev, had they gotten the ball back around 1:40 left in the game, they would have marched for a chippie FG, if not the go-ahead TD. Kizer will probably look like complete shit the next 5 games, but today he looked like the 2nd coming of Aaron Rogers. It defies all logic that Assler struggled against a rookie QB making his firs NLF start, combined with a corps of WR/TE that are entirely average. D-
HC: Mike Dumblin once again failed to have his team ready for a season opener. There was a continual litany of slop and grab-ass. 13 penalties for 144 yards, showing the acute inattention to detail during camp and the general laziness that leads to the 8 or 9 holding penalties. Confusion. Slop. Wasted TOs. Careless drops. Silly-assed flags. Brainless late hits.
Bell thumbed his nose at the entire team, skipping all of camp, and Asslin REWARDS him with a start. Go figure! Brilliant ! No wonder there’s no accountability. It all starts at the top, and Mike Asslin failed in every measure as a HC leading up to, and though, this slopper of a shit-mess. F
Synopsis: One almost wonders if a loss would have been better to deliver a lesson learned. Win a slopfest like this, and the team may assume they prepared and performed more than well enough. There is quite a lot of pompousness and cockiness with this team, and it needs to get addressed, and soon. The defense allowed a rookie greenhorn QB, with average skill players, to march up and down the field, and the offense was putrid and sorry-assed in all facets. Not quite a recipe for success.
Bear with me next week…..I’ll be at the Stillers game (and the Pitt game the day prior), so I might not have a post-game report.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
Follow Mill on Twitter, at StillMill1