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Stillers-Cowpokes Postgame Analysis and Grades

December 08, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers 20, Cowpokes 13���Game #13
Stillers 20, Cowpokes 13���. Dec. 7, 2008 ����Game #13��


Stillers-Cowpokes Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers hosted the 8-4 Crackboys on a chilly, breezy late afternoon at Heinz Field.The Stillers squandered golden opportunity after golden opportunity throughout the 1H, and went to the locker room tied at 3.The Cowgirls scored on their opening march to make it 10-3, and the Stillers were stuffed on 3rd & 44th & Goal in the 4Q, down by 10, and with the way the offense was sputtering and stinking, things looked gloomy.But Ben directed a 67-yard TD march to tie the game, and Townsend picked off a putrid Romo pass and returned it for the winning score, as the Stiller prevailed, 20-13.




QB:Ben Roth had a rough, spotty day.�� He was a meager 17 of 33 for 204 yards.On the bright side, he threw no picks; however, he took more sacks than a garbage collector on trash day.


His mistakes were numerous --


����������� - poor misfire to wide open Spaeth on 1st series

����������� - assaholic fumble on a QB sneak in 2Q on Dallas 35, which Dallas recovered

����������� - poor misfire to wide open Ward late in 2Q

����������� - 3 batted passes alone in 1st half, mostly due to asinine, faggot-like SIDEARM throwing

����������� - held ball like a pacifier and was blistered by CB from the NON-blind side for a sack early in 3Q

����������� - Held ball for eternity and took sack on 1st down at 8:09 3Q

����������� - poor flag pass to wide open Holmes in EZ on 3d & 6 in 4Q.Luckily Dallas was offsides

����������� - 3d & 2, held ball for eternity and was sacked

����������� - sidearm screen pass late 4Q, into helmet of blocker or defender.


He threw 2 good balls all game -- the deep pass to Holmes for 47 yards, and the deep in to Nate that set up the Miller TD.Benji will have to play much, much, much better than this if the Stillers have any prayer of a deep foray in the playoffs.���� C


RB:Both Parker and Moore found little in the ground game, and when they did, they were immediately ignored.Park had 12 for 25 and Moore 5 for 22.�� Moore had 4 grabs for 36.�� Russell had a good power run to convert a 3d & 1 early in the 4Q.Russell had no chance on the 4th & goal plunge, as half the Dallas defense was in the backfield before he could even get to the LOS.������ B-


FB: Davis played little.He did catch a flare pass from the 2 yard line that was stopped well short of the GL.�� Not entirely his fault, as Hamlin made a solid play, but Davis needs to take his route to the GOAL LINE, not the 1-yard line, on that part of the field.����� Inc.


WR:Holmes and Nate led the way.Tonio had a weak drop of a low slant in the 1Q, but responded with the deep ball and a superb catch along the sidelines late in the 3Q.��� Nate had key 21 and 16-yard grabs on the TD drive.


Ward had perhaps the absolute quietest day of his career since his rookie season.He finished with 1 grab -- a bubble screen -- for 2 yards.In the 4Q, he was WIDE open and dropped a very catchable pass that was a teensy bit behind him.Very poor.��� Sweed was invisible.��


Tonio and Nate:A-����� Ward: C-���� Sweed:Inc


TE:Miller had the RAC TD late in the game.Don�t let the TD erase your memory, of course, as Miller had a nite he�d soon like to forget.His blocking sucked ass most of the game.He had a poor block when Moore was dropped for -2 late in the 1Q.He had a miserable block on Parker�s 1-yard loss on 1st & G at the 10 in the 2Q.To add salt to the wound, he fumbled like a complete imbecile after a short catch late in the 1Q, which Dallas recovered.�� Spaeth had 1 grab for 6.He whiffed miserably on the 4th & G plunge, but Colon�s miss kind of made Spaeth�s weak-assed block a non-factor.��� C


OL: Not a game to be proud of, but the struggles weren�t all their fault.�� You�ll hear all about the 5 sacks of Ben, but at least 3 of them were the direct result of Ben clutching onto the ball like a baby�s toy, and 1 was off a CB blitz that wasn�t able to be picked up.The run blocking was sporadic, but then again, the offense rarely ran the ball.��


Kemo had some struggles.He was wheeled back by Ratlif, who then batted a pass in the 2Q.He was slow off the snap on the sack late in the 3Q.��


Willie The Colon made one of the biggest boners of the year, when he clumsily fell onto his face, like a complete assclown, after the snap, which allowed the weakside LB, James, to shoot in unmolested for the stop of Russell for a 2-yard loss on 4th & goal at the 1.When you see assaholic, junior-varsity, ass-clumsy plays like this, you truly start to wonder if a tool like The Colon is getting paid to throw the game.�����


Colon:�� F��� All others:��� C


DL:A spotty game.The DL walled off Dallas on a 4th & 1 plunge in the 1Q, which was impressive.After that, they played as though they squat when they urinate, as they did everything they could to throw this game to the Cryboys.Kirschke was manhandled and completely blown out on Choice�s 12-yard run in the 3Q.Aaron Smith missed a fairly easy sack around Romo�s legs, and then was assclumsy and pooped out in his pursuit, which allowed Romo about 8 seconds back in the pocket to fire the TD pass to Owens.

Eason mimicked that whiff with a whiff of his own on a 3d & G play, which was luckily stopped by a coverage sack.Kirschke had a decent bullrush in the 4Q on a play that Romo just gave up on for a sack.


Fat Casey did next to nothing the entire game.He was getting slapped around quite a bit, and did very, very little.


Probably most disappointing is the overt lack of conditioning I saw from this group, as they were panting and stumbling about.Getting gashed by a rookie RB making his 1st career start wasn�t too impressive, either.���� C+


LB:Harrison had another strong effort.�� He had his hands full, getting swallowed at times by the LT, Adams. He fought through it, though.He blew up the 4th & inches plunge and nailed the RB well short of the sticks.He made a remarkable hilarious play after a reception by Choice, belting the WR, Williams, directly into Choice, who then toppled over.Neat way of making a stop!!�� Harrison had his weekly sack n� strip, for a big turnover in the 2Q.Harry put a big lick on Witten late in the 2Q, which jarred the ball loose, but Witten was ruled down.Still, a nice lick.��


Woodley had a solid game, especially in run support.He stuffed Choice for 1-yard early in the 4Q.He missed a sack late in the 4Q.�� He did apply some heat on Tony Homo�s late INT that was INT�d by Town.


Timmons saw some PT.He whiffed on a 1Q 3d & 6 screen to Witten, which got 7 yards when it should have only gotten 2.


Farrior had another ugly evening.While Witten was on the field -- and he missed a good chunk of the 2H -- he simply ate Farrior alive.The turdish play o� the game occurred in the 3Q, when Homo dumped a 3-yard pass to the greenhorned rookie backup RB, Taster�s Choice, in the middle of the field, which ended up gaining 50 yards, the longest play of the game for Dallas.�� This play should serve as the nail-in-coffin evidence as to why Farrior should not have been given his outrageous 5-year extension in August.Farrior was in short-middle coverage, looking SPECIFICALLY for either a dumpoff or a QB run.On this play, Farrior was:


����������� - slow to read

����������� - slow to react

����������� - slow in pursuit


When he finally did catch up to the horizontal-running Choice, Farrior, like a complete stupidfuk, literally shoved Troy Pola into the turf, in turn taking BOTH defenders out of the play, which enabled Choice to rumble another 35 yards for the 50-yard gain.As weak and putrid a play as you�ll ever see from a starting ILB in the NFL.��


Foote had decent pressure on Homo on 3d & 2 in the 2Q.��� Otherwise, he did very little.��


Harrison:A���� Woodley:B����� Foote:�� C�� Timmons:�� C+����� Farrior:��� D


DB:Pola had a brilliant effort, leading all defenders with 7 solos.He continually bedeviled the Crackboys by slashing in on run blitzes and nailing the RB for a loss or no gain.


����������� - slash n� drop, 2nd play of game, 2 yards.�� (next play, Pola INT!)

����������� - backside chasedown of Choice, 1 yard, 3Q.

����������� - slash and stop of Choice, 0, 4Q

����������� - slash in and chop of Choice, -1, which forced the punt that Tonio returned for 35 yards.


Ike had a nice pluck for the INT in the 2Q.�� He was flatfooted in the EZ, and given a pinkie hand-check by Owens, on the TD grab.(This play was nearly identical to the one in SB 30 that Darrell Jackson was flagged for OPI.)�� Overall, though, Ike shut down T.O. quite nicely.���


Clark had a big hit on Choice on a 1-yard plunge in the 3Q.�� McFadden had a good stop of choice in RAC in the 4Q.�� Town whiffed on Witten in the 4Q, but atoned for it with the INT that was returned for the winning TD.�� Jersey-number wise, there are few bigger shoes to fill in Pittsburgh than that of future Hall of Famer Rod Woodson�s #26, but Townsend has been such a consummate professional during his 10-year career that he would deserve some sort of partially-shared billing if this number were ever retired.


Pola:�� A+��� Ike:A������� Town:�� A���� Others:�� B


Spec teams:So-so.�� Reed had his ugliest game of the year.Nearly every kick was going right, so much so that you�d wonder if he were running in some Republican ballot.�� He sliced a 45-yard FG in the 1Q to the right.His 41-yard FG in the 4Q clanged off the right upright before going thru.He nearly missed a PAT to the right in the 4Q.He foolishly kicked off OOB, by about 23 feet to the right, after the 41-yard bank-in FG in the 4Q, which gave Dallas golden FP at their 40.


Berger wasn�t far behind, as he punted like pure vomit the entire game.This turd punted 6 times for a 32-yard average.Yeah, it was windy.So what?�� Berger sucks.


Holmes had a weak FC at his own 46 in the 1Q, when he had plenty of room to get at least 5 yards.�� He then failed to FC a deep punt in the 2Q, which was okay -- so long as he got the hell AWAY FROM the ball.�� Instead, like a moron, he lingered about, and nearly had the ball glance off him at the 5-yard line.He atoned for this in the 2H by fielding a semi-risking bouncing punt and then racing up the chalk behind a good block by Tony Smith for a 35-yard return.


Fox and Bailey had a good stop in KO cover in the 2Q.Ike led off the game with a good speed stop of Jac Man.Fox and Frazier had a good stop in KO cover late in the game.And Gay astutely chopped down the returner at the 18 after Townsend�s TD.


Russell had good 2nd and 3rd effort on his KO return to start the 2H.Timmons recovered a punt fumble in the 1H.


Jac Man bobbled a punt at around his 6 and a scrum ensued.Some idiot ref jogged over and immediately signaled Dallas ball, despite having no ability whatsoever to see who exactly had the ball.It appeared PIT had recovered, and it was 1 of many poor calls and spots that were made all evening long.��������� B-


OC:Arians showed his true colors today for all to see.He didn�t have a plan AT ALL, and was totally clueless as to how to attack Dallas and how to counter their tactics.Arians completed a rare NFL accomplishment, when his slow, indecisive nature actually enabled a DOG penalty on the offense on the FIRST play from scrimmage.You have to be a complete dumbass to get a DOG on the game�s 1st play from scrimmage, and Arians fully qualifies in all regards.�� What a tool.


Here it was, a bitter-cold day with temps of 19 degrees and 7 degrees wind chill, with 15 mpg winds, and Arians, the stupidass that he is, is ordering pass after pass after pass.This guy has to be the biggest retard in the entire league.�� Arians never allowed the running game to get into synch.


Sure, the ground game had some struggles, but in this kind of weather, you have got to give the ground game a chance and show some persistence.In the 2H, Arians refused to even allow the running attack to get untracked.�� Parker ripped off a nice 5-yard run on 1st down in the 3Q.Next play?Pass, incomplete.Later, Moore gained 4 yards on 2d down to get a rare 1st down.Next play?Why, a pass, which Ben was sacked for -7.�� Soon later, Moore ripped off an 8 yard run.Next play, on 1st down, Ben gets sacked for an 8-yard loss.�� It goes back to Arians having no identity and no clue as to what power football can do in this kind of weather.The guy is as clueless as a toddler sitting in a collegiate physics class.��


There was other idiocy.�� On 3d & goal at the 6 late in the 1Q, Arians calls for this faggoty, cutesy lil� slant pass to Moore at the FIVE yard line.The pass was tipped by a lineman, but even if Moore catches it, he somehow has to juke or plow through FOUR defenders to score.�� The 4 & G plunge in the 2H was a joke.The entire stadium knew it would be going up LG -- Arian�s favorite fetish.The Stillers have the worst 4D offense in the entire NFL, primarily because Arians refused to mix in motion, different formations, and PLAY-ACTION passing.���


Miller finally caught a quick out in a goal-to-go situation, for the late TD.Hooray !!�� Arians finally figured out that Miller would be WIDE open when the opposing defense throws 10 defenders into the middle of the line!!


We�ll never know why it took Arians until 5:10 of the 4Q to finally go no-huddle.The offense had stunk and sputtered the entire game, but Arians felt no need to jump-start the sagging offense until the game�s final minutes.Voila -- 67 plays later, the offense scored its lone TD.What a tool.��


We�ll also never know why Arians called for running plays, with HANDOFFS, when the Stillers offense took over with 51 secs remaining in the game.Yardage meant nothing here.No 1st down was required, as Dallas had only 2 TOs.Yet Arians, the complete buffoon, insisted on handing the ball off � risking a fumble or a strip -- rather than having the QB simply kneel on the ball each play.Unbelievable.What a tool.


The biggest obstacle for the Stillers to advance deep into the playoffs isn�t any team in the AFC.Rather, it�s the team�s own saboteur, Bruce Arians.��� D-


DC:The defense held Dallas to just under 300 yards, and had some turnovers.Dick�s legions of bandwagon jumpers will exult over this latest game, crowing about holding an offense missing its star RB, on the road in bitter cold weather, to under 300 yards.Hooray !!�� Dick held a bumbling offense, missing its star RB, to 289 yards.�� Hip hip hooray!!��


Dick, who has missed out facing a key star in every game this season, lucked out again when RB Marion Barber did not dress.Starting in place of Barber was rookie RB Tashard Choice, who ended up riddling and shredding Dick�s defense for 88 yards on the ground and another 78 in the air.It�s quite a good thing that Barber, one of the premier all-around backs in the entire league, sat this one out.�� Otherwise, given what the greenhorn Choice did in his very first NFL start, Barber would have likely padded his stats like a star RB facing a weak-sister 1-AA team in college ball.���


The Dallas drive late in the 1H was started and ignited by a SG draw that gained 10 yards.This play shredded the defense last week, but no one learned or adjusted.Early in the 3Q, on a 3d & 3, Dallas ran the SAME play again, and Choice shredded the defense for a 23-yard jaunt.


The most sickening play of the game was the Dallas TD at 9:49 3Q.On a 2d & 9 from the PIT 12, Dick decides to get clever, and rushes only THREE (3) men, none of them named Harrison or Woodley.The result?�� Romo danced and scooted around the pocket with eons of time like Fran Tarkenton, and Terrell Owens, after having run about in the end zone for 7 seconds, finally got open for a TD.�� 3-man rushes are for cowards and pussies.�� Absolutely as sickening a play as I�ve seen all year.


There was also a wasted TO at 7:18 1Q.With a veteran defense like this, this was quite poor.


Yes, Dick�s defense did some quality work.Keeping things in perspective, however�.they were far from dominant and showed some chinks in the armor.And while Townsend�s INT and TD return was nice, this wasn�t a turnover created by the defense.Rather, in a bizarre sense of irony nearly 13 years later, it was a Neil O�Donnell-like, hideous pass by Romo to NO ONE, which floated into Town�s hands like a beach ball for the Larry Brown-like INT and return.The elephant in the room is that this defense needs to play better, for a full 60 minutes, to overcome the ineptitude of the Stiller offense.��B


HC:Tomlin deserves credit for keeping the team together when it appeared Dallas might blow the game away in the 3Q.His refusal to inject some sort of sense into Arians is just ghastly, and as a 2nd -year coach, I have no idea what it taking Tomlin so long to either get Arians straightened out or fired.�� Allowing Arians to actually call HANDOFFS in the final minute of the game was reprehensible.After the 1st handoff and subsequent Dallas timeout, Tomlin should have taken over from there and ordered a kneel by Ben.���� B-


Synopsis:Any win over the Cryboys is sweet indeed.It�s hilarious to consider that, in these last 2 meetings with the �Pokes (2004 and today), the Crackboys have pulled defeat from victory with hideous turnovers late in the game!!Ha ha !!�� It couldn�t come against a more arrogant fan base than the Crackboys�!Hopefully some lessons will be learned and taken from this game.There is no time to gloat or sit back, with visits to the Ravens and Titans coming up.The goal should be to win both, secure the #1 or #2 seed, and then rest numerous players in the finale versus Clev.



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


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