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Stillers-Browns Postgame Analysis and Grades

October 18, 2009 by Still Mill

Stillers 27, Clev. 14 ��� Oct. 18, 2009 game 6
Stillers 27, Clev 14��. Oct 18, 2009 ����Game #6


Stillers-Browns Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers stumbled nonchalantly through a chore-like game against the hated Browns.�� This one ended up as tedious, monotonous, and dull as cleaning out the gutters; and like the gutter chore, not something to wax fondly about afterwards, either.




QB:Benji had a wildy prolific day, torching the hapless Browns� secondary for 417 yards and 2 TDs.But if was far from flawless.�� He fumbled an under-center snap in the 1Q for a costly turnover in a tight game.He then, amidst pressure, threw a quail late in the 2Q, with 17 secs left, that was nearly INT�d.�� Given the fact the Stillers were in chippie FG range, with the score 14-7, this was an asinine gamble that nearly took 3 points off the board right before halftime.�� He then committed an equally stupid boner under duress in the 3Q that was nearly picked, and not content with the risk of playing with fire, on the next play he badly overthrew a deep seamer that was picked off.�� The yardage and completion percentage (23 of 35) was nice, but the imbecilic decision making and 2 horrible turnovers could have easily led to defeat against a legit pro football team. ��B


RB:A fairly awful game for this crew, one that I�m sure they are hoping to quickly forget.�����


Mendy had an ok day, gaining 62 yards on 17 carries and 1 TD plunge.He had a weak plunge attempt on 3d & 1 that was easily rebuffed, setting up the 4th down QB sneak that also appeared to be short late in the 2Q.Then, after Timmon�s 2nd FF of the game, Mendy gave the ball right back to Clev with a careless fumble in which he was holding the ball like a loaf of bread.He did make a good grab of a slightly behind pass on 3d & 1 in the 2H.


Parker had such an awful game that he should have been benched.Ok, sure -- he�s coming back from the turf toe injury.�� Hey Tomlin -- if the guy isn�t ready to play, guess what??�� Don�t play him!!!�� It�s not that hard, especiallywith Mendy and Moore on the depth chart.�� Parker had a careless, sloppy fumble late in the 2Q, and luckily he was ruled down about a millisecond before the fumble.In the 3Q, Parker had a 2-play sequence best described as comical and probably more accurately described as the type of football you�d expect at a senior citizens home.�� Parker caught a valve dumpoff, WIDE OPEN, with about an acre of open space.�� Like a complete klutz, he falls to the ground.�� Ok, no problem�as noted, there was literally an acre of open room.Simply get up and mosey forward.Not Parker.�� He tried 3 times to get off the turf and kept stumbling and bumbling like a drunkard rolling out of a tavern after a hard nite of guzzling $2 Maker�s Mark shots.�� He looked like a 90-year old grandma on the famous TV commercial -- �I�ve fallen, and I can�t get up�!���� Then, on the very next play, he (cough, cough) coughed the ball up before contact on a simple off-tackle dive play, giving the ball, and new life, back to the Browns in what was a very tight ball game on the scoreboard.��


Moore saw some work toting the ball, especially when the Stillers were pinned down inside their own 5 and the coaching staff realized it couldn�t rely on The Butterfinger Twins.In a rare anomaly amidst such a huge passing day, Moore caught no passes.He dropped a very, very difficult opportunity of a lob in the EZ in the 2Q.��

Mendy:C+����� Parker:D�� Moore:B+


FB: Very little, if any, use of the FB today.���� Inc


WR:Ward had an enormous day, hauling in 8 grabs for 159 and 1 TD.He should have an another TD, plus another 13 yards late in the 2Q on a spectacular over-the-shoulder TD grab, but the idiot review crew over-ruled the TD ruling and riled it incomplete, because Hines didn�t maintain control of the ball on his THIRD tumble out of bounds after clearly catching the ball and landing well within bounds.�� (Apparently, even if you bump into a tuba player behind the end zone after a catch, or vault over the Gatorade table on the sidelines after a catch, you must still maintain full possession of the ball�..which is patently absurd.)��� What�s neat about Ward�s big day is that it started slowly enough, when he dropped a deep seamer on the 1st series.He caught everything in sight after that, and his RAC running was stupendous.


Tonio really awoke today with a strong effort.He had 5 grabs for 104, including a 41-yarder where he cut and juked on a superb RAC.�� What really, really impressed me today was the way Tonio was constantly blocking -- very diligently, I might add -- to help others� RAC yards.�� He blocking on a Ward WR screen in the 3Q was textbook, and there were numerous other examples.��

Wally had a good day, snaring 2 for 50 and running an end around for 17.��� Limas Peed did not dress.��������� A


TE:Miller ate the Browns alive, grabbing 5 passes for 80 yards and 1 TD.His blocking was solid.Spaeth, as usual, did little.����� A


OL: The line had its ups and downs.�� There were times where Ben could have eaten a sandwich back in the pocket (such as on Miller�s TD pass) and there were other times where he was running for his life.��


Starks started out okay, astutely picking up an outside blitzer while already engaged with a DE, which enabled Ben to hit Wallace for a 29-yard gainer.��� He was injured at 4:35 1Q, and he seemed to regress from that point on, struggling on a wide variety of blocks in pass pro and the ground attack.He teamed with Kemo on a twin pull to the left that blocked nobody and caused a 3-yard loss late in the 2Q.


Foster replaced a hobbled Kemo and was soundly beaten by Rogers on the deep seamer play to Ward in the 1st series.Willie The Colon was flagged for two holding penalties, and Essex committed a false start.��


The line got a terrible push on both the 3d & 1 and 4th & 1/2 late in the 2Q.�� Not good.����� C+


DL:The line played okay, although this was a very weak Clev offense.�� All too often, the line got gashed by the Wildcat, which was disappointing.Keisel had a ton of assists (5) and also had a batted pass that he almost INT�d.Kirschke started in place of the injured Smith and did little.Eason, Hood, and Hoke saw work as reserves, although I saw more of Eason and less of Hood than I would have preferred.������ B


LB:Leading the way was Larry Timmons, who had a career day with a team high 5 solos (tied with Ike), and more importantly 2 FFs that created 2 critical turnovers.�� This is precisely where Timmons� electric speed make it mandatory that he --not Taunto Farrior -- be on the field for every snap.��


Speaking of Taunto, he had another lackluster game where he whiffed more often than Barry Bonds in an NLCS playoff game.He whiffed miserably on a cake-easy sack attempt of Anderson -- one of the most immobile QBs in the entire NFL, mind you -- on a key 3d & 6 in the 1Q, which allowed Andy to stumble ahead for 10 yards.In the 3Q, Taunto again whiffed on Anderson on the second of Timmons� FFs.�� This guy�s play is going downhill so fast and so badly that I cannot fathom how there are so few fans and media members aware of it.��


Harrison had a solid game, making 4 solos, including a solid stop on a screen pass in the 2Q.He also recovered the 1st of Timmy�s FFs.��


Jason Woodley slightly awoke from his slumber with an ok day.He stopped a Clev running play for a 3-yard loss on the 2nd play of the game.He provided a small modicum of pass pressure, although he was facing a career journeyman in John St. Clair.�� Woody had a poor read and react on a 3d & 7 Wildcat cutback run that netted 12 yards.A really, really sorry, substandard play.��


Timmons:A��� Harrison:A-���� Farrior:�� C-��� Woodley:C


DB:An okay day.�� Remember, the DBs were facing an offense that produced 2 completions out of 17 pass attempts last week, so it�s not like they were facing Peyton Manning & Co.����


Ike tied with Timmons for the team lead in solos, although much of that was on completions where Ike was soft.�� At times, Ike seemed disinterested and unchallenged by the subpar Clev WR corps, and he was beaten deep by Massaquoi on a deep post for 43 yards.


Pola returned to action and he an INT early in the game.�� But, he was tooled on the short TD pass to Vickers.��


Town was beaten on an early 3rd down pass, but Stuckey dropped the ball.��� Clev players dropped at least 6 passes in this contest.


Clark had another Dong interception when he out-fought Pola on a badly underthrown quail by Anderson late in the game.����


This crew will need to play 3 times better next week if the team has any chance of beating the Dykings.����� B


Spec teams:Another shoddy, rocky outing.It feels like 2007 all over again.


Sepulveda had a shitty punt in the 1Q, booming it into the EZ for a TB. Later in the 1Q, on another punt, horrific coverage gave Cribbs a huge hole, and only a tackle by Sepulveda saved the TD.


After Ward�s big TD made it 14-0, the Stillers gave 7 right back when they failed to even touch Cribbs on a 98-yard KO return jaunt for a TD.Logan got crumpled on this play; Ratliff played Titty Joust and failed to even slow up Cribbs despite perfect positioning; and Gay took a gay angle as the last man with a chance to nip Cribbs along the s-line.


Spaeth knelt down after catching a pooch KO in the 3Q.Sure, he�s slow and clumsy, but he could have easily lumbered forward for another 8-10 more yards of field position before lamely falling down.��� Very poor.


On the bright side, Hooker Reed booted 2 FGs and missed none; hopefully he�s out of the slump from the Chico/Cinci games.��




OC:Arians had his way with the woeful, weak-assed Clev defense.�� He showed his true idiocy late in the 4Q.�� The Stillers were ahead, 27-14, with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game. ��On 3d & 5, Ben his Holmes for a clutch 21-yard gainer.�� It�s 1st down, at the PIT 46, with 2 minutes & change remaining.�� It�s a 2-TD game.�� At this point, all�s the Stillers have to do is plunge the ball a few times, and if a 1st down isn�t made, a punt can pin the Browns back, say, around their own 20.The last thing you want to do here is give up a cheap TD on a QB-strip in the pocket, or a deflected pass that is picked or a �regular� INT return.What does Arians call?�� A passing play !!��� We�re up by 13, 1st down, with 2:10 left in the game, and Arians is still trying to PASS the goddamned ball like a complete jackass !!���� This is exactly what got Arians fired from Clev in the first place, and he still hasn�t learned his lesson.���� B-


DC: Dick had an easy day, facing a totally inept offense led by a total bumbler at QB.Still, Dick struggled like a banshee.He struggled against the Wildcat as though he�d never seen nor prepared for it.�� He allowed the long completions to Robiskie and Massaquoi.�� It should be very interesting next week when Dick is called upon to shut down the vaunted offense of Peterson, Favre, and company.���� B


HC:Not a strong day, tactics wise, for Tommy.�� He elected to KO to Cribbs in the 2Q��why??��� He squibbed it the rest of the game, but it took the 98-yard TD for him to realize his coverage team shortcomings.


He deciced to go for it on 4th & 1, LATE in the 2Q while on chippie FG range.Why??�� Somehow, they were given the 1st down yardage on the 4th down sneak, even though the spot did not appear to make it.�� At this point, with 35 seconds left and the score 14-7, I�d take the sure 3 points rather than pissing it away.��


Then there was the challenge of an 11-yard out pass by Clev early in the 3Q, which was caught at the Clev 48.�� Why waste a TO challenging such a meaningless play??��� The initial replay looked like it was a legit call, and to piss away a TO in a tight 10-point ballgame on a harmless 11-yard play on 2d & 7 was foolish.


Lastly, for a guy who benched Mendenhall because �he wasn�t on his details�, we have no idea what compelled him to give Parker so much PT when the man wasn�t physically or mentally ready to play football.�� Parker looked like vomit out there, and why Tomlin even allowed him to play, and then kept re-inserting him back into the game, is mind-boggling.����� B-


Synopsis:A drab, uninspiring win over a really bad football team.Not much to crow about with this win, other than beating a hated, despised division rival.The team now has 6 days to get mentally and physically ready for a huge challenge, with the undefeated Minn. Dykings coming to town next Sunday.��� Please note that I'll be pulling off a somewhat rare "Pittsburgh sports trifecta" the weekend of Oct 24-25.I�ll attend the Pitt-South Fla. game at noon on Sat. at The Ketchup Bottle.Then will attend the Penguins game at Mellon Arena that evening.Then will attend the Stillers-Dykings game on Sunday.Should be a terrific sports weekend, but I likely will not have a post-game report after this upcoming game.��



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




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