Stillers 38, Packers 31 ……. Dec 22, 2013 …………Game # 15
Stillers-Packers Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers won a see-saw affair in chilly Wisconsin, keeping alive their slim playoff hopes.
QB: Ben had a spotty game, going 16 of 28 for a measly 168 yards. He overthrew Brown on a deep bal, 2Q. After refusing to take off and run with ACRES of room on several occasions in the 1H, Ben took off on a pass play at the GB 13, and went into the EZ untouched for a big TD. Flat-footed and off his back foot, threw a lollipop that was INTd by Hawk on the final play of the 3Q. Overthrew Brown on a deep ball, 7:04 4Q. Threw another weak-assed, low pass to an open Bell on 3d & 6, 3:10 4QW, which was inc. Horribly overthrew a WIDE open Brown in the EZ late in the 4Q. A raggedy effort, easily one of his worst of the season. C-
Jones - carried once, on a draw play,, for 7 yards. Inc
Bell - good wide run, first play, 11 yards. Slashed up the gut for 23 yards, late 1Q. Rushed for 71 yards in the 1H. Coughed up the ball -- his first of the season -- at the PIT 3 in the 3Q, setting up the Packers for what ultimately became a 2-yard TD run by Lacy. He came back with a vengeance, hurdling a defender for 25-yards. Had 2 good power runs, the first for 5 yards, and the second for a 1-yard TD, to put the Stillers ahead late in the game. Finished with 26 rushed for 124 yards --his first 100-yard game in the NFL -- and added 1 grab for 5. The fumble hurt, but this was his best NFL game to date, and hopefully a portent of bigger things in 2014. A-
Dwyer - good 3D catch, late 3Q, and then got up and got the 1st down. Carried once for 7 yards. B+
FB: Will Johnson hurdled for a 1st down on a 4th & 1 at 4:42 4Q.
Brownie - nifty RAC, gaining 28 yards, mid 4Q. But, a coupe plays later, he dropped a 7-yard pass that would have moved the sticks. Had a quiet but productive day, grabbing 6 for 105 yards. A-
Sandy - made a routine grab of a ONE-yard TD pass, and then pranced and danced like a complete fool. Just one more game with this imbecile. Injured a knee in the 1H an d did not return, so perhaps I’ve seen the last of The Pompous Preener. Inc
Cotch - dropped a pass late in the 2Q amid tight coverage that may have pawed the ball loose. Had 1 grab for 9 yards. B-
Wheat - got a fair amount of PT, but caught no passes. Inc
Miller - moved as slow as pond water on a TE screen on 3d & 6, and gained only 5 on a play that looked like it easily would gain 7 or 8. Had 3 grabs for 17. Had some decent blocks and some shoddy ones. B
Spaeth - grabbed his first pass of the season, and 11-yard pass for an extremely rare TD for the stonefooted, stone-handed TE. I can’t hardly believe the ball didn’t clang off his chest or hands.
OL: Amazingly, the OL made it through an entire game without one of them being carted off with a serious injury.
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus was flagged for a false start, 1Q.
Foster - another quietly efficient game from Foster, who is becoming fairly reliable at the OG spot. B+
Ryan Wallace - acquitted himself well.
DeCastro - Missed a block on a pull to the left, but otherwise had a solid game.
Beacham - started at LT. Got thoroughly out-classed and abused on a 3rd down sack by Clay Matthews at 5:00 2Q. Simply didn’t have the quickness or frame length to get to the “corner” before Matthews did. Lucky for him, Matthews injured his thumb on the play and never returned, sparing Beacham from further abuse. B-
Keisel - did very little all game long, but then recovered a fumble late in the game. Had a sack and a hurry. B-
McLendon - very quiet day. Sure, a NT in this scheme doesn’t get 9 solos a game, but the guy was unheard of and unseen for nearly the entire game. C
Hood - did very little as well, with 0 solos and 1 assist. He may very well be down to his last game as a Stiller next week. C-
Heyward - deflected a pass, 3Q. Had 3 solos and 3 As in a solid effort. B
Timmons - slashed in and sacked Flynn on 3rd down, first drive of game. Had 8 solos and 2 assists. Wasn’t as strong at the POA in the running game as I would prefer. B
V. Williams - threw Lacy down for a 1-yard gain, 2Q. Flashed in and dropped the RB for a 2-yard loss on 1st & goal at the PIT 3. In 1 game, he made more solid plays than the previous 14 games combined. Maybe there is some hope for this stiff. B
Sylvester- saw a goodly amount of PT. Got a sack, 10:00 3Q., but Heyward’s hand to the face flag negated it. Had 3 solos and 1 A. B
Worilds - Draw a masking penalty, early 2Q, and then a short while later, got a Dong sack. Had 3 solos. Got injured in the 4Q and did not return. B
Jones - had an illness and did not dress.
Carter - got sucked in and then allowed Lacy to bounce wide for the TD late in the 1st half. Very poor. Got a ton of PT and did nothing. D-
Big LaMarr - sat out with his pussyfied injured calf. F-
Ike - he thought he had a rare INT, 2d series, but was out-jousted for the ball by the GB WR, Jones. Two plays later, got trucked by Lacy at the end of a 14-yard run, and hobbled off. Had 3 solos and 2 As. B
Pola - busted up a pass, mid 2Q. Hustled over and blistered Flynn at the end of a scramble, forcing a fumble late in the 4Q. A-
Clark - Led the team with 9 solos, mostly at the end of long runs or long pass plays, meaning he wasn’t doing much of anything. Just 1 more game that I have to endure with the slowest starting safety in the NFL. B-
Gay - good semi-open field tackle of Lacy, 7:10 3Q. on the next play, he had good coverage on Nelson on a 3rd down pass that fell inc. Tooled by nelson for a big gainer, 9:00 4Q. C+
Thomas - didn’t play on defense. No room for a guy with his speed and instincts. Inc
C. Allen - busted up a deep lob in the EZ, 1Q. Several plays later, however, he was tooled by Boykin on a 5-yard TD pass. Tried to tackle Lacy up high, and got run over late in the 2Q. Got a Dong INT and a Pick 6, late 3Q, as the TE (Quarless, a Penn Bater no less), lined up as a FB, ran into the QB as he released the pass, which was a wounded quail. B-
McBriar - good pooch punt in the 2Q, FC at the 6. Rolled out after a punt snap and threw a good strike to Paulsen for 30 yards. Good pooch punt late in the 4Q, which landed at the 5 and was downed at the 8. Had about as good a day as a punter that one can have. A+
Suisham - booted one FG, a chippie. B
Tonio Brown had a 41-yard punt return, early 2Q. Sanders had a big KO return, late 2Q, for 46 yards. McLendon blocked a chippie FG at 5:23 3Q, but DumbAss Ryan Clark pitched the ball to nobody, which started a bizarre chain of events that resulted in Hood being flagged for an “illegal bat” and gave GB the ball back at the PIT 2. The refs appeared to have botched this play in several aspects, as the Stillers had possession; it was 4th down an, even if the Packers recovered the blocked FG, they wouldn’t have advanced it enough for a 1st down; and Clark’s knee was down before his foolish lateral.
Shoddy KO coverage, late 3Q. Shoddy KO return by Jones to the 11 yard line, mid 4Q.
The KO coverage was total vomit late in the game, with #41 allowing a 71-yard return. Antwon Blake moved like a traffic cone on this play, and failed to corral the returner at around the GB 25. Only Sharko Thomas’ hustle and effort saved a TD on this play. KO coverage: F
First drive, 3d & 14, and Gayley calls a bubble screen. For chrissakes, you have Brown, Sanders, Cotch, Wheaton, and Miller. Stop dinking and dumping, and start taking some downfield stabs. This GB defense isn’t the ’86 Bears, for cyring out loud.
The ground game clicked the best it has all season, although this was the softee run defense of GB. It’s hard to fault Haley for the continual misfires by Ben to open receivers. B
Had the luxury of facing QB Matt Flynn, making his 7th career start, due to Aaron Rodgers’ injury recovery. Also, starting RB Eddie Lacy got injured late in the 3Q and did not return.
Allowed 14 points and 202 yards in the 1H, 75 on the ground and the rest via the air. Very poor.
3d & 6, 3Q, and Dick gets gashed on a draw play by the bootfooted Kuhn that gained 9 yards.
Dick had a comfy 31-21 lead at the end of the 3Q, but then got savagely picked apart on a 19-yard FG drive and then a 58-yard TD drive that tied the game.
Dick had the lead, with only about 1:18 remaining in the game, but as is his nature, quickly got shredded. As easy as pie,a nd with no timeouts, the Jackers crisply moved from the PIT 31 to the PIT 1. Only a foolish false start penalty at the PIT 1-yard line prevented the Packers from scoring.
The 4Q is when a good defense shuts the door. Not Dick, as he allowed 10 points and pisses away a 10-point lead. All in all, yet another very unimpressive game by Dick. D+
Late in the 1H, the offense fiddle-faddled deep in GB territory. No team in NFL history knows how to botchfuk the clock within the final two minutes of a half better than the Pittsburgh Stillers. Momlin actually carried a timeout with him to the locker room during halftime. Unreal. The stumbling continued at the end of the 2nd half. Unsure of what they wanted to do after getting the ball at the GB 17 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game, the Stillers actually called a TO at 1:40 4Q. Then, gifted with an offsides penalty on a FG attempt, Momlin plunged the ball on 2d & G at the 1, with the Packers out of TOs and the gameclock at 1:28. The Pack essentially allowed Bell to score, with 1:25 remaining. Undaunted, Momlin chose to do a regular KO, rather than a squibber, despite the ever-present leaky coverage teams that he has perennially overseen. Sure as shit, GB takes the KO back 70 yards, and only a near-miraculous chase-down by Sharko Thomas prevented GB from tying the game on that return.
Momlin kept his team focused amid a plethora of poor ref calls during this game, and the team seemed solidly prepared. If only just half of this had occurred in Sep, this team would be literally cruising to a #3 playoff seed. C+
Synopsis: A gritty win in a game where several things went against the Stillers in a tough road venue. Their thin playoff hopes are still alive, thanks to losses by Miami and Balt. This makes next week’s snoozer of a game against the lowly Browns a bit more interesting.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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