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Stillers-Bills Postgame Analysis and Grades (Wild Card)

January 16, 2024 by Still Mill

Bills 31, Stillers 17 ...... Jan 15, 2024…………Wild Card


Stillers-Bills Postgame Analysis and Grades


The 10-7 Stillers went north to face the 11-6 Bills in the wild card.   Typical of a Mike Fraudlin-coached playoff team, the Stillers quickly found themselves in a 21-0 hole in the 2Q.  They scored a TD on a short drive before the half to make it a 14 point game.  In the 4Q, the Stillers cut the lead to 7, but Buff immediately marched 70 yards for a crushing TD to basically seal the deal. 




QB:   Mason got the start.   Poor pass to Frier on 3d & 8, 1st series….too high and wide. 

Hideous INT from the Buff 3 yard line, 2Q.  Too soft of a pass, and a split second late.  Did a nice job to lead the march from his own 8, but down 14-0, the team could hardly come up with zero points at the 3 yard line of Buff. 


8 of 17 for 102 yards and 1 INT, 1st half.    Mason had a very solid 2H, leading the Stillers to 10 points, including an impressive march to cut the lead to 7.   Huge completion on 3d & 11 under duress to Pickens, late 3Q, good for 19 yards.   A gutsy, acceptable performance by Mason.   B-



Harris  –  Had a decent but unspectacular game.   Had 12 carries for 37 yards and 2 short grabs. Getting into a deep hole voided much of the ground game.    B-


Warren –   good RAC on screen, first series, good for 14 yards.  Had 8 rushes for 38 and 2 grabs.  Wish he could have been used more, had the hole not been 21 points.   B


FB:   never used.  



Dionte –  Had 4 grabs for 48 and 1 TD.   A decent game for Dionte.    B


Pickens –  had an EASY completion, 3d series, but dropped the pigskin as he fell to the ground, and luckily it was ruled INC and not a fumble.  Buff challenged it, as it surely appeared to be a fumble, and replay ruled it a fumble.  Really, a bonehead fumble here on a routine play that was not a brutal tackle.   Failed to haul in a pass in the back of the EZ, early 4Q.  Had 5 grabs for 50.   Not good enough.   C


Austin – snared a short TD pass on a rare target.   Maybe next season he’ll see more than like 11 targets the entire season.  


Robinson – got hammered after a weirdo, short flare pass (WTF was that??) and got injured.



Pat FryBoy –  Had a 33 yard catch and run, late 1Q, but then coughed up the ball on the hit.  The fumble was ruled OOB, but Buff challenged it.  Somehow, replay ruled the fumble was OOB, so PIT retained the ball.  Good plow for 1st down yardage, early 2Q.   Got injured later in the game, but returned.  Had 5 grabs for 76.    B-


Darnell – Clumsily tried to catch a low pass, 2Q, but was entirely unable.  Stupid false start, early 3Q.  (I thought it was Frier, but the ref said “80”.  Committed another false start in the same drive.  C


Con Heyward – 1 grab for 5.  


OL:  Overall, the line (Moore, Seumalo, Cole, Daniels, Jones) had an okay game.  At times, the run blocking opened some nice creases. 


Jones got whipped for a sack, early 2Q.  The interior got bullied on a 3d & 8 pass, causing Mason to get hit as he threw.  Overall, the pass pro was decent, given the hole the team was in and having to pass so much in the 2H.  B-



Heyward –  Scam Heyward had a CLEAR and EASY chance to tackle Shakir around the 5 yard line, 4Q, but as USUAL, lamely flailed and WHIFFED, with his dik in the dirt, and Shak sauntered into the EZ for the game-sealing TD.  Scam had 4 solo tackles in an underwhelming performance that hopefully will be his LAST in a Stiller uniform.  Ya can’t urinate away $23M in cap money for such mediocre play.    C+


Ogunjobi –  blew up a ground play, late 3Q. 


Adams – did a little bit. 


Benton – okay game, with 1 solo and 4 As.  Wish he’d been able to harass the QB more.     


Watts – chipped in a little bit. 




Landon Rob – busted up a sure TD pass, late 3Q. 


Jack –  got abused on the long TD pass to Kinkaid, 1Q.  Got flagged for holding in coverage on Kincaid, 10:20 4Q.   Then got flagged for a hit to a sliding QB in the 4Q.   On the Shakir TD RAC, this numbskull made a tackle around the 2 yard line…..on a Bills player who didn’t have the BALL.   Hopefully the idiocy of this experiment is now officially over, as the Defense could have been using Nick Herbig rather than this retired pudd puller.    D


Watt – DNP, due to the knee. 


Highsmith – flailed and WHIFFED on a RB, 2Q, turning a 3 yard loss into a 4 yard gain.  Then, ended up with his dik in the dirt on the Allen scramble of 52 yards for a TD.   


Had ONE assist and ZERO solos, 1H. 


Stop the presses !   Big Alex finally DOES something, and gets a sack when Allen held the ball too long.

Cook gained 11 up his Left Tackle, mid 3Q, while Big Alex literally STOOD and WATCHED.  A few plays later, 5:47 - 3rd) J.Cook run, left guard to BUF 47 for 1 yard (A.Highsmith).   Gee, Big Alex got a rare solo on a running play…stun ing! 


After PIT scored to make it a 7 point game, Buff began to drive.   Sure as shoit, Allen PICKS on The Fraud, running a QB keeper to the left tackle area as Big Alex WASHED HIMSELF completely OUT of the play, aimlessly wandering down the LoS and allowing an ACRE of open room for a 13 yard gain & a 1st down.  Finished the game with TWO solos, 1 assist, and ZERO impact.   All this, for $17M.    F


Herbig – only played sparingly, which enraged me.  Played maybe 4 reps at OLB all game.  


Golden – got a sack, late 1H.  Had only 1 other solo and did little to harass the QB.  


Mark Robinson – good stick on a ground play, mid 3Q. 



Wallace – Was oddly not involved much. 


Peterson -   whiffed on an EASY sack, and allowed 8 yard run, 1Q. 


Joey Porter Jr. -   got injured late 3Q, when a Buff lineman blasted him from behind in a move to push the RAC runner forward. 


Kazee – feebly whiffed on Allen on the 52-yard TD run.  Very poor.  


Minkah -  nice play to flash up and stop a swing pass, 3d & 11, late 1Q.   Had an overall strong game, but then failed to bring down Shakir on the late reception, which turned into a nail-in-coffin TD.     B-


Spec teams:  

Harvin –   Shoddy, 31 yard punt, early 1Q, FC at the Buff 21.   Pure vomit.   Hit a 42 yard punt after 2nd series.  Booted another 31 yard punt, late 1Q.  The other team’s punter pulled a hamstring and was still out-punting this sorry PoS.      D-


Boswell – nailed a 40-yard FG, mid 3Q. 


Austin FC a punt at the 8, late 1Q, which I despised, as I would have just as soon watched the punt and allowed it to perhaps go into the EZ. 


Dan Less is Moore was flagged for a silly, needless personal foul after the PAT cut the Buff lead to 7, 4Q.   What a moh-ron.  


OC:  Faulkner and Sullivan oversaw a drab game plan to start the game, replete with loads of plunging and bland pass plays.  The gameplan for the 1st half was sheer manure. 


Wasted TO, 5:34 4Q, on 3d & 3.   I despised this waste, down by 14 and needing to preserve their TOs.    C-


DC:   Austin had the luxury of facing a Buff offense without WR Gabe Davis, who had torched Austin last season.


Easy as pie, Buff marches 80 yards for a cake-walk opening TD drive.  Easy as pie.   Buff scored twice more in the 1st half, again easy as pie, as Austin stood ossified and had no answer. Then, after PIT cut the lead to 7 in the 4Q, and with Buff on the verge of choking away the lead, Austin rolls out the Kleenex Curtain and allows Buff to again march, easy as pie, for a game-sealing 70-yard TD drive.   What a sorry pilo manure.    D- 


HC:  Mike Asslin was all talk coming into this game, claiming that the “baggage” from his miserable playoff record the past 10 season was all his, and not his players.   Asslin then went out and PROVED his point, with his team once again failing to answer the bell after the opening KO.  Before most fans could consume their 2nd beer, Buff was already up 14-0, and soon into the 2Q, it was 21-0. 


PIT has been outscored 66-0 in the first quarter of their last five playoff games counting this one. 

  Bills 14-0

  Chiefs 0-0

  Browns 28-0

  Jaguars 14-0

  Patriots 10-0


That’s 66-0 folks.  If my math is correct, the Steelers have been outscored 123-40 in the first half of their last five playoff games (counting this one). 


Asslin let the clock run down all the way to TWO seconds, late 2Q, and then called a TO.   Buff’s punter had been injured, and had Asslin wanted to force Buff to punt the ball, he SHOULD have called the TO with like 45 seconds left.  What a moh-ron. 


The Steelers start to their last five playoff games:

Today - Down 21-0 (Bills)

2021 - Down 35-7 (Chiefs)

2020 - Down 28-0 (Browns)

2017 - Down 28-7 (Jaguars)

2016 - Down 36-9 (Patriots)


But hey, NONE of this is the fault of the almighty head coach, Mike Fraudlin.   Why, it’s EVERYONE ELSE’s fault, but his.    Bah.    F-


Synopsis:  There are sure things in life…..death, taxes….and Mike Fraudlin getting azzwhipped and routed in the playoffs.    What a turd.   What a lewzer.  And thus ends a frustrating, underachieving season.  With any luck, Stoogelin will step down in Feb, and the team can start anew for the ’24 season.



Follow Mill on Twitter, at StillMill1


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