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Stillers-Ratbirds Postgame Analysis and Grades

October 04, 2010 by Still Mill

Ratbirds 17, Stillers 14 ��� Oct 3, 2010
Balt. 17, Stillers 14���. Oct. 3, 2010 ����Game # 4�������������������������������


Stillers-Ratbirds Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers slopped about the ol� Heinz Field acreage in a mighty scrum with the hated Ratbirds.�� The Stillers had a 4-point lead, but just as happened time and time and time again last season, the defense got soft and flaccid in the 4Q and allowed the Ravens an easy TD march for the winning TD with 36 tics remaining.




QB:Batch came swiftly back down to earth and showed why he is a career journeyman.��� He was tentative and scattershot nearly the entire game, although he came alive in the 4Q on a good TD march.He finished a paltry 12 of 21 for 141 yards, which is more of what you�d expect from Tino Sunseri and Dave Wannstedt�s anemic passing offense at Pitt.The 1st series set the tone, where, on 3rd & 5, he timidly stood and stood and stood, and refused to run or shuffle, and was finally sacked after eons of time.He missed a WIDE open Miller on a flag route at 10:00 2Q, and then foolishly allowed himself to be stripped of the football at his own 2.�� Luckily Pouncey recovered, or this would have been disastrous.He took intermittent turns at both underthrowing and over throwing Wally on deep balls.�� There were a couple solid completions on the 4Q TD drive, but overall the play and output wasn�t nearly enough.��� C-


RB:Mendy had an ok day, although, with Batch mostly ineffective, the Ravens stacked the line and there were very few sustained drives.�� He gained 79 tough yards on 25 rushes, and grabbed 2 passes for 9.Mendy had a GL plunge for a TD in which, once again, he was running far too upright.�� 3 years in the league, this should be corrected or at least improved upon.�� He also had a good speed scamper for the other TD.��� Moore played only sparingly.������ B


FB:Redman saw some PT but for the 1st time this season, he did not tote the pig.�� He had 1 grab for 6 yards.He had a good blitz pickup in a key 3rd down reception by Miller in the 4Q.������ B+


WR:A quiet day, although, as noted, Batch was scattershot.�� Ward was held to what may be a career low of 14 yards, on 2 lil� piss-ant catches.�� Wally had a piddly 24 yards on 2 grabs.He nearly hauled in a bomb for a TD, but the DB, to his credit, did an amazing job of prying the ball loose just as it arrived.��� El had a rare grab beyond 3 yards, doing a terrific job to high-point a long lob for 34 yards.�� Tonio Brown had 1 grab for 6.Battle failed to haul in an fairly impossible snag on an out route that was thrown too far in front.�� B-


TE:Miller, who should have been a primary target all day, was mostly ignored until the 4Q, when he grabbed his only 2 catches for 32 yards.�� He committed a foolish hold on a 6-yard running play in the 3Q.��� Spaeth, the worthless pile of manure that he is, did nothing, which is quite normal.He did, however, commit a horrific, painful false start on the 3d & 7 late in the game, on a simple RUNNING play where he was assigned to block the man DIRECTLY IN FRONT of him, on his home field.��� What a buttfuck.�� I swear, if I were Tomlin, I�d cut a pile of crap like this, just to make a statement and send a message.�� ���Miller:B����� Spaeth:F��

OL: After looking so cohesive and confident last week in Tampa, the line faced much stiffer competition and had a host of problems.��� Ngati in particular spent half the game in the Stiller backfield, and when he wasn�t, it was Suggs or GayRay.Pouncey had his worst game of his rookie foray.�� He had problems with the interior linemen, especially Ngata, and was also flagged for a hold on a running play, which you never like to see out of an O-lineman.Like Batch, Legursky came thudding down to earth.�� He played so well last week, and we can�t be sure if he got a big head from reading all of his press clippings and his co-Hard Hat Award, but he got manhandled today and was continually slow on his pulls.��


Kemo struggled on many ground plays.�� Then, to add salt to the wound, he committed an assaholic false start on 2nd down & 8 on his own 5, which really put the offense in a bind.��


Starks had a decent game.He was flagged for a really ticky-tack illegal formation penalty in the 2Q.Adams had a solid game; not great, but he opened some holes in the ground game and wasn�t tooled badly in pass pro.�� He did have 1 false start.�� ����B-


DL:An ok day by the DL.�� They got gashed here and there by McGayhee, Rice, and McClain, but overall the Poe�s only gained 70 yards on 27 rushes.�� Smith had a solid game, although he got caved in on McGayHee�s 10 yard TD run.�� Neither Keisel nor Smith did much AT ALL to harass or hurry the passer.�� Fat Casey stripped Jacco of the ball and the ball plopped right by Tubbo�s belly, but somehow -- unbelievably -- he failed to recover it.�� Very poor.��� Hood and Eason saw a fair amount of PT.��� Just once, it�d be nice for this D-line to provide some heat, some harassment, perhaps a rare hand in the face, and perhaps a batted ball -- something, anything -- to slow down the opposing QB.���� B-


LB:Timmons and Harrison once again led the way here, and it�s becoming a vast chasm between the 2 �have�s� of the LB corps compared to the 2 �have nots�.���


Timmy led the team with 6 solos and 7 assists, and was all over the field, making plays tackles on plunges as well as pass receptions.He had a couple missed tackles where he flew in off balance and didn�t break down, but overall this guy continues to come into his own and continues to impress this analyst -- a longtime aficionado of linebacking -- with his instincts, speed, and force at impact.�� ���


Harrison created a huge turnover in the 3Q, putting a huge lick on McGayhee that jarred the ball loose and left the RB senseless.He was penalized twice, both of which were bullshit flags.�� He was flagged for a hold of WR D. Mason, who SLIPPED coming off the LOS and was NEVER HELD.�� Worst case, this is a JAM, which is perfectly legal.He was whistled for a neutral zone infraction in the 4Q, but only after the Ravens center had moved the ball forward a COMPLETE YARD as he crouched into his stance, on 3d & 1.�� Harrison did jump, but with the LOS essentially moved, illegally, by the Balt. center, this likely affected his posture on this play.�� (Perhaps he should have re-adjusted after the center adjusted the LOS.)�� Harrison had some pressures, but due to LT Michael Oher getting away at least twice with moving BEFORE the snap, Harrison wasn�t able to slash by the big LT.��


Taunto Farrior had a shabby game.�� On the 2nd play of the game, he whiffed on a dumpoff to McClain, which allowed an extra 4 yards and the 1st down.In the 2Q, on a 2d & 7 at the PIT 9, Farrior went to fill the hole on a routine dive play up RG/RT, and proceeded to get his jock juked off by McGahee.While Willis pranced to the EZ untouched, Farrior was kneeling on all 4�s, feverishly humping the turf with all his might.�� Why Farrior felt the need to attempt an ankle-grab tackle instead of a basic, steady waist-grab is beyond anyone�s comprehension.�� A really, really sickly play made by a LB who is very clearly arcing downward at a horrendous rate of speed.�� Taunto did have a rare pass breakup of a 3d & 3 pass to Heap early in the 4Q.��


Jason Woodley was like the invisible man.�� Dude hardly did anything the entire afternoon.A total NON FACTOR.�� Anyone who dares argue otherwise is brimming with excrement.�� He made one noteworthy play all day, a trip-up in the backfield at 6:00 4Q.�� He applied next to nothing in terms of heat and harassment on the QB.�� He�s reverting back to his lazyfuk methods from last season, where he thinks he can routinely bullrush an OT and do NOTHING else.The 1-trick pony, whose effort level is 40% less than Harrison�s, has done little all season and today was just another example.He also got mauled on the McGayhee TD run.����


Timmons and Harrison:B+����� Farrior and Woodley:D+


DB:A mostly raggedy day by this crew.�� With little pressure on Jacco, they got sliced & diced quite routinely.�� Ike Taylor --stop the presses -- snagged an INT! He�ll probably insist on keeping the pink Breast Cancer Awareness gloves for the rest of the season, as he typically allows these kinds of easy picks to clang off his mitts.�� Ike was flagged for illegal use of hands on 3d down in the 1Q.��� His coverage -- mostly lined up in press coverage -- was pretty good, and he played better than any DB starter.


Pola was fairly quiet.He had a few backfield harassments off blitzes, but overall he wasn�t much of a factor.He whiffed on a screen pass RAC late in the 2Q.


Clark had his usual game -- a big hit on a defenseless receiver (Heap), but otherwise very, very little in the way of pass coverage.�� He was easily out jumped by Mason on a deep ball in the 1Q, which gained 40 yards.�� Once again, Clark made it thru another game without making a single play on a ball thrown in the air.


Gay had a solid day in the nickel, which appears to be his forte.�� He had consecutive bust-ups in the EZ late in the game, on 3d & 2 and then on 4th & 2.


McFadden had an ok day.��� He gave up a lot of underneath stuff, although this is at the blessing of Dick the DC.�� He was flagged for �not playing the ball� (exact words of the ref) on a deepish lob that he deflected away.�� The worst play by McFadd, of course, was the TJ Housemanad TD with 32 tics remaining.�� McFadden bit on the out route, and then got tooled badly when TJ ripped upfield and hauled in the 18-yarder to win the game for the Ratbirds.With that little time remaining, and with the Ravens having no TO�s, I have no idea what McFadden�s thought process was that would force him to jump a harmless 8-yard out pass.�� A really, really stupid play by a veteran in this defensive scheme.���


Ike:A��� Pola:�� B���� Clark:C��� McFadden:�� C-��� Gay:B+


Spec teams:No major disasters by the coverage teams, which was rare but nice.��


The major goat, of course, was none other than Jeff �Slicer� Reed, who did a major choke job and missed 2 very makeable FGs to help snatch defeat from victory.�� Just as in the Chicago loss last season, this was classic Reed, gagging away and missing 2 critical FGs.�� The 1st miss, from 49, had plenty of leg, but hit the right upright.�� The 2nd, from 45, was badly duck hooked to the LEFT and never had a chance.��� Very, very, piss poor.��� Worse, after doing fairly well with 2 prior KOs, he booted this ridiculously shallow, feeble-assed KO after the Stiller TD in the 4Q.�� This was fielded at the 20, and easily returned to the 33 for terrific FP for the PoeBirds.�� I can�t fathom what in the fuk went wrong with this KO, but it�s this kind of asinine boners that separate a win from a loss in such a tight game.�� Lastly, on the somewhat long KO return by Balt. that was called back for a hold, Reed gave this pathetic little babyfied forearm NUDGE to the ballcarrier as he sauntered up the middle of the field.�� No one expects the kicker to hit like Mel Blount, but wouldn�t just a tiny little bit of effort and toughness be the minimum we should expect, especially from a brawling pugilist of paper towel dispensers??

Sepulveda had a rare good day, booting 5 punts at nearly a 50 yd. clip.��


El muffed a punt deep in PIT territory; luckily we recovered.�� It�s getting to the point where I have to hold my breath every time this guy fields a routine punt, which ain�t good.��


Battle had a good stop on punt coverage.Sylvester had an illegal block on a punt return in the 4Q.Fox was flagged for a very tickytack holding call on the final punt, which was booted from the PIT EZ.�� He did reach out with his right arm and hand, but he never grabbed the jersey or the neck, and, with the quick get-off of a punt, he needed only jostle his man and Sepul had the time to boot the ball.���


Tonio Brown fielded the late KO a good 6 yards deep in his EZ, and like a complete dumbass he passed up the CLOCK SAVING touchback and tried to run the ball out.�� He was easily nabbed at the 15 and wasted time in the process.�� Surely, didn�t a coach explain this possibility prior to that kickoff ???


Reed:F��� Rest of ST:B


OC:Arians employed a dull, Wannstedtian offense than had all the creativity of a Crayola coloring book.�� Waittt a minute....Wannstedt�s office is in the same complex as the Stillers.�� How did Arians steal Wannstedt�s gameplan??��� The offense plodded along, running mindless plunges with all the tempo of a floating glacier, and a passing game that had no cohesion, no purpose, and very little productivity.��Case in point:on the offenses FIRST play of the 2nd half, they ran an end around, which gained ONE yard.�� What was the purpose here?��� You don�t run an end around when the defense is fresh, focused, and unfrazzled.�� You run this kind of play 4 or 5 plays into a drive, when a defense is wheezing, befuddled, frustrated, and taking shortcuts.��


The refusal to get the ball to Miller from the very 1st series was bizarre.�� Not surprising, but bizarre. With a rabid, over-biting LB corps like Balt�s, Miller should have been fed a steady diet of pop passes.


Arians was handed GOLDEN field position -- TWICE, no less -- in the 3Q.Here�s what he did with it:


���� - ball on Balt 27:��� End around, 1 yard.���� Mendy run, 2 yards.��� 3rd & 7, sack.


���� - ball on Balt. 33:�� Pass to Miller, inc.����� Mendy run, 1 yard.��� Offsides on Balt on 3d & 9.���� 3d & 4:inc pass on deep pass to Wally


The assaholic playcalling that set up the final punt simply enraged me.�� On the 3rd & 7 that Speath, the dumfuk, was whistled for a false start, this was going to be a Mendy run to the right, behind the bunch formation.�� Gee, how clever !��� It�s highly unlikely this would have gained the 7 yards needed to salt away the game.��� After that flag, the Stillers faced a 3d & 10 at the 3.�� This means that the RB, Mendy is a good 4 yards deep in the EZ when the ball is snapped.�� What does Arians, the stupidass that he is, call?�� A COUNTER play, with Legursky (in his 2nd career start) pulling to his left.Suggs steps in; Legursky fails to maul Suggs; the play is blown up south of the goal line; and Mendy is nearly safetied before he barely gets back to the LOS.��� Memo to Arians: You don�t run a pulling-guard counter on your own 3-yard line, you dumb bastard. C-


DC:You�ll hear all kind of praise and adulation over Dick after this game.�� �Dick did this, and Dick did that.���� And it�s all pure, patent, unadulterated bullshit.��� At the end of EACH half, Dick got shredded and tooled in embarrassing fashion.���


���� - Late in the 2Q, Balt. took over at its own 37, and marched and marched and marched like Sherman on Atlanta, going 14 plays before settling for a chippie FG as the half expired.��


��� - late in the 4Q, with the Stillers in the LEAD, Dick allowed not one, but two long marches, in which he was as helpless as a 1-legged man in an asskicking contest.�� The 1st such 4Q drive consumed 11 plays and marched the ball from the BALT 33 to the PIT 3.�� I guess we should shout with glee that our vaunted defense stopped a ONE-dimensional offense led by Joe Jacco that had to pass the ball, all gleeing over a cake-easy 64-yard march that pinned the Stillers down on its own 3-yard line.Gee willikers, I�m so fuking impressed !!�� Then there was the final drive -- 9 yards, then 3 yards, then 10 yards, and then 18 yards for the win.��� Hooray for Dick!�� He�s just so clever and diabolical.���


And then, there was the long, methodical, hot-knife-thru-butter, 83-yard Raven TD drive after the Stillers had taken a 7-0 lead.��


Making Joe Flacco look like Joe Montana is difficult to do...unless you�re Dick LeBeau.�� Jacco was rarely harassed and most often had plenty of time and room to pick apart Dick�s vaunted defense, to the tune of 24 of 37 for 256 yards.��


We�re constantly and continually bombarded with one news story after another, praising Dick for all of his clever schemes and diabolical defenses.But just as happened 5 times last season; just as what happened in the Super Bowl 2 years ago; and just as what happened dozens of other times under Dick�s supreme, Lordly tutelage, the defense got soft and flaccid late in the game (and late in the 1st half) and then gave up yardage faster, and with less resistance, than the French in any major armed conflict.�� ����C-


HC:Tomlin deserves considerable blame for this debacle.�� The sloppy, undisciplined play -- with 12 penalties -- is just unacceptable 4 games into the season.��


Worse is the chickenshit, play-not-to-lose TURTLING with the offense that forced the punt and gave Balt. the ball back late in the 4Q.�� Remember -- JUST LIKE the Jax playoff loss in January 2008 -- a 1st down here SEALS THE WIN.��� A 1st down salts away the clock!!��� But it was abundantly obvious that Tomlin still hasn�t learned a lesson from that debacle and had ZERO interest in making an earnest attempt at the 1st down.�� We know this, because he ran 2 vanilla plunges and then, on the 3d & 7 (where Spaeth was flagged for a false start), this was a RUNNING play that had a 1% chance of gaining 7 yards.�� Given where the ball was, I just don�t understand the faggotty timidity.��� If you punt from your own 5 or so, you risk THREE things:�� a.) a bad snap,b.) a blocked punt, orc.) a hasty punt that is either shanked, or booted with no hang time, which results in either a long return or golden FP.��� PLUS, Tomlin himself has seen his 2-minute defense get shredded like provolone cheese, oh, about 17 times since he�s taken over as head coach.�� ��


On paper, it sounds �low risk� to plunge the ball 3 times and punt, as opposed to, you know, actually trying to GAIN a 1st down.�� However, given where the ball was (at the Stillers 3-yard line) and given how slovenly this defense played the drive prior, plus dozens of times at the end of games the last couple seasons, the TRUE low risk move is to GO FOR THE FUKING FIRST DOWN.��� The punt is the RISKIER alternative.Tomlin talks a lot of bravado and gusto, but come crunch time, he�s more often than not as chickenshit as Dave Wannstedt.��� We know Tomlin will claim, �I wanted to put the game in the hands of my defense�.�� He already babbled after this loss, �We wanted to run time off the clock.�What a dumfuk!!�� What total horseshit!�� Just as in the playoff fiasco versus Jax nearly 3 years ago, time was meaningless; the first down was everything.What part of that does Tommy not understand?How many times does he need to learn the same lesson??


Note to Tomlin --your 2:00 defense sucks elephant gonad!!�� Stop being a blind believer!�� This softee defense has proven dozens of times of being totally incapable of closing out games in the final 2 minutes.Blind believers belong in Jonestown, Guyana; not in the NFL.Keep the Koolaid to yourself, Mike, as I�ll pass.�� D ��


Referee Crew:This loss falls squarely on Tomlin and his players.�� They, and they alone, lost this game.�� I must issue a grade, however, to Ed Hochuli�s ref crew, who did a barf-laden job all afternoon long.I�m not sure what bar these fellows were out carousing at in the wee hours of Sunday morning, but Goodell and his minions need to assess this game and rip Jochuli and his henchmen a new sphincter after this grab-assed attempt at NFL refereeing.��� Cases in point:


���� - As noted above, the SLIP by Mason, and the follow-on acting job he did, resulted in a holding flag on Harrison. Worst case, this is a LEGAL chuck within 5 yards of the LOS.


���� - As noted above, the �not playing the ball� (exact words of the ref) declaration on a deepish lob that McFadden deflected away.�� If his body rammed into the WR before the ball, then it�s a flag and the ruling is simply �pass interference�.��� Period.�� If not (and the lone replay was inconclusive), then it�s a bullshit call. ��As long as you don�t make illegal contact with the receiver, you can do anything you want as a defender in terms of BATTING the ball (which is what McFadden did), even doing a handstand (while �not playing the ball�) and using your feet to deflect the pass if you so desire.�� Nice of Hochuli�s crew to make up NEW fuking rules as the game goes along.��


��� -3d & 1, PIT 26, 5:03 4Q.�� The Balt. center, upon getting into his crouch, takes the ball and moves it FORWARD a full half-yard to the 25-yard line.�� In essence, Balt. already had the 1st down.�� You can see the line judge side-way-backpedaling to his spot as the ball is about to be snapped, so he obviously didn�t get a look at all on this.�� Harrison is flagged for a neutral zone infraction.The REAL infraction is by the Balt center, which is a 15-yard penalty.��


��� - 2nd & 8, PIT 19, 4:11 4Q.��� Oher, the LT, BLATANTLY commits a false start on this play.��� I replayed this in frame-by-frame mode on my Tivo, and while the ball is still STATIONARY in the center�s hand, Oher is clearly backing up in pass pro against Harrison.�� This was a ridiculously obvious FALSE START.�� Oher did this all day, although most of it was legal.�� There was at least 1 other very questionable instance, and if I had the time, I�d probably find 2 or 3 other instances.�� This play was a completion to Heap for 11 yards and a 1D.


���� - 4th & goal, PIT 2, 2:44 4Q.��� The RB, Rice, clearly moves his right foot, and then even points to himself as the whistles are blown.��� Jacco called TO a full 1 second AFTER this FALSE START by Rice, but inexplicably, the ref crew never flagged this.��� ����D��


Synopsis:A sour-tasting loss to the hated PoeBirds, in a game the Stillers should have won.The Stillers won the turnover battle (2-0 before the INT by Batch with 20 secs remaining) and any number of simple plays could have sealed this game.It�s nice to be 3-1 without Ben, but pissing away a home game to the primary division rival wasn�t the 1 game I wanted to lose.�� The sour taste, I�m sure, will linger throughout the bye week --both for players as well as fans -- after which the Stillers host the BrownNosers in a key AFC North battle.��



(Still Mill and -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close�.)



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