Stillers 19, Bitans 13....... Dec 19, 2021 …………Game # 14
Stillers-Bitans Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 6-5-1 Stillers hosted the 9-3 Titans in a fairly must-win game. The Titans, of course, came into the game decimated by injury, which should have spelled an easy win, at home, by the Stillers. Of course, as is their wont, the Stillers stumbled and struggled to the extreme in the 1H, and were lucky to be down 13-3 at the half. Thanks to a rabid array of Tenn give-aways, the Stillers were able to tack on just enough points to eke out the win.
QB: Benji had a tough afternoon.
Poor, lollipop lob to Wash, down the field, on the 2d series that was woefully short.
Threw too quickly – as is his penchant – on the 3rd & 7 at the Tenn 10, early 4Q. His lob to Wash was woefully inc, and Dionte was coming underneath, WIDE OPEN, for what would have easily been a 1st down, and likely a TD. Thus, the O had to settle for a FG. 16 of 25 for 148 doesn’t impress me. Ben took some shots in the pocket, including 3 sacks, and is probably looking forward to retirement. C+
Harris – perhaps his grimmest game of the season. 12 rushes for a measly 18 yards. On one play in particular, he was looking at no gain, so he went east west and then lost 5. Not a good play. Had only 2 grabs, for a puny 8 yards. Of course, the running holes were indeed few, and small. C+
McFarl – again was inactive.
Snell – never played.
FB: Watt got a handful of snaps on O.
Wash - had a hideous fumble around the Tenn 20, early 4Q, which Tenn recovered, but a flag negated the fumble. Had 3 grabs for 36. B
Dionte - 3d & 10, 2d series…..Dionte grabs a 6 yard crosser, and then runs BACKWARDS, when there was room to get at least 3, if not 4 more yards. Flagged for a dumbassified false start, early 4Q. Had 5 grabs for 38. B-
Claypool – Unable to corral tough, back shoulder combat catch, 1st series. Dropped a WR screen pass, 3Q. Not providing nearly enough as the #2. C
GayRay McCloud – thrown a pass or two, which is too many.
Pat FryBoy – Got his 2nd concussion in about 5 weeks. Had 4 grabs for 37 prior to the injury. B
Gentry –Had 1 grab shortly after Fry left the game, and rumbled over a tackler en route to a 17 yard gainer.
OL: Overall, the line had a shoddy afternoon. Too few holes in the ground game, too many hits on the QB, and too many flags as well.
Turner was flagged for a false start on a key 3d & 1, first play of 2Q. Okorfor was flagged for a false start, 2Q. Fat Turner was flagged for a hold, 3Q. Overall grade: D
Heyward – The $65M Man had a few paper stats, but as usual, did very, very little.
Got a slop assist, first series, on a lame screen pass on 3rd and 15. Delivered a knee to the HEAD on a ballcarrier just inches from the ground, 1Q, which injured the back. Leave it to Scam, who rarely hits ANYONE, to deliver a cheap shot of this nature. Scam finally got a solo, but it was on a 3d & 1 in the 2Q, in which the RB EASILY got the needed yardage to move the chains. Got a coverage sack, on a 3d & goal at the PIT 4, late in the 1H. The QB held the ball FOREVER and a day, thus enabling the sack, which was no more meaningful than an incomplete pass, as the Tenn kicker booted a chippie FG to bulge the lead.
Scam had a paltry 2 solos and 4 As, all while the run defense got gashed to the tune of 201 yards. C-
Tuitt – another vaunted DE who once again sat out, presumably due to Fat Wallet disease.
Wormley – sack, first play of defense, and saved a TD when Julio Jones was WIDE open on a deep ball. (The sack saved the TD.) Chipped in with 4 solos, although, like Scam, he has to be held responsible for the gashing. C
Davis – finally returned after being out for months. Had a nice shed and stuff on a ground play, 5:30 1Q.
Mondeaux – started. As usual, did little. Very little. D-
Chowdermilk – made a good stop on a toss sweep, 1Q. Had a good shed n’ stop of a ground play, early 2Q. I spent some time isolating on this fellow, and I like what I saw. Seems to me he easily warrants far more PT, and soon. B
Buggs – sat out with a bad ankle.
Bush - Stop the presses ! Bush finally defended a pass ! Most likely his first of the season. Of course, the ball was right in his hands, and should have been picked. And, sure enough, Tenn scored 2 plays later, so the dropped INT was worth 7 points. Bush had 3 solos and 2 As; of course, 1 solo was after a catch, and another when he knocked into the QB near the sideline chalk at the end of an 11 yard designed QB run. This may have been Bush-League’s best game of the season, but let me be clear –- he is still woefully short of ANY NFL standards. His reading of ground plays is atrocious, and his complete inability to FLOW to the pigskin and attack the ballcarrier makes him a complete liability in the run defense. D+
Schobert – big INT in the 4Q, off a semi batted pass by Burrito. Had 4 solos and 3 As, and didn’t no nearly enough to slow down the Tenn run game. C-
Watt – Stop the presses....! 28 minutes into the game, Big Sitter Watt finally gets his first tackle of ANY sort in the ballgame. Nice of him to join the effort. He finished the 1H with ON solo, zero assists, and zero impact on anything.
Sitter Watt gets a sack on 3rd and 13 in the 3Q .....beating a SOLO block by a TIGHT END. Quick -- give this man a $96M extension, and fast ! Just look how vaunted and dominant he is !
Got rumbled over by Foreman, late 4Q, allowing an extra 3 yards in the process. Finished with 4 solos and 1 As in a meek, mild, sub-par (for his fatty salary) performance. C+
Highsmith – had 4 solos in a very mild, quiet effort. Didn’t do enough to harass the QB nor seal the edge on his side. C+
Burrito Charlton – Deflected a 3D pass, which Schobert INT’d in the 4Q. Hooray….The Burrito finally did somethin’ !
Spillane – Came back after missing some time due to injury. didn’t see as much PT on D as I would have preferred.
Marc Allen – Made a rare tackle on a 3d & 9 valve dump-off, 1Q.
Tuszka – got a strip of the QB, late in the 4Q, although Tenn recovered.
Haden – finally returned to the lineup after missing an eternity of time. Had an adroit fumble recovery, 3Q. His crisp tackle on 4th down, with less than 30 seconds left, sealed the win. B+
Cam Sutton - made a slick chop tackle of the TE, 3Q, which forced the fumble that Haden recovered. Half decent game. B
Norwood– didn’t get much PT.
Edmunds – had an active, and for him, half decent game, with 7 solos and 3 As. Was effective at covering and tackling the short stuff. Of course, it’s the downfield routes where Eddie is never to be found in good, sound coverage. His agent will probably show off the tape of this game when Eddie becomes a FA. B
Minkah - got a Dong fumble recovery, early 2Q. Was really the only defender making reliable tackles, and had a game high, team high 12 solos. (It’s never good when you’re FS is making THIS many solo tackles.) A
Pierre – Thankfully rarely played on D.
Witherspoon – PT diminished with Haden back.
Maulet – forced a fumble, early 2Q, which is an extreme rarity for this Softee Defense.
Harvin– punted like ass, once again. His first punt, from his own 43, traveled all of 27 yards. Two punts later, he boomed one for 32 yards. His 40 yard punt, early 2Q, was FC at the 15, which isn’t overly great. A 46 yard punt would be caught at the 9, or perhaps the ball is allowed to bounce and roll down to the 2. Had 5 punts for a 39 yard average, which ain’t good enough. D
Boswell – 4 for 5 on FGs on achily Dec day. Was just short on a 56 yard FG as the 1H expired. A
The punt coverage team allowed a 55 yard punt return, 1 Q, and was flagged for a bizarre “block in the back” to boot on the same play.
RayRay – solid 17 yard punt return, 1Q.
OC: Matt Canada oversaw a bumbling offense that has scored ZERO TDs in the 1H the past 3 games, facing a depleted Bitan defense missing:
CB JJ Jenkins (Starter), LB David Long (Starter), DL Larrell Murchison, DL Teair Tart (Starter).
Undaunted, Canada saw fit to struggle anyway. The first quarter was a laughable disaster. Multiple botched short passes to Harris. A dogshit pump-fake play where the WR (McLoud) seemed to be on the completely wrong page. 37 total yards in the 1Q, which Dionte gaining 36 of them.
3d & 4, 2Q, from the Tenn 18 ....and they fire a lob to GayRay McCLoud .....fuking brilliant !! When ya throw the ball to a NON NFL receiver, on a key 3d & 4, yer pissing away a valuable down.
The offense was GIFTED golden FP throughout the last 3 quarters, yet did nothing with it and continually had to settle for FGs.
The 3rd down offense was putrid. They went 2 of 11 on 3rd down, and those 2 conversions were converted only via penalty. In all, this O was lousy in the 1H and marginally better in the 2H. D
Keith Assler had the luxury of facing a RAVAGED Titan offense, missing the following:
WR AJ Brown (Starter), RB Derek Henry (Starter), G Rodger Saffold (Starter), and FB Tory Carter.
Westbrook, who was WIDE open, was thrown a PERFECT pass, good for 42 yards in the 2Q, but the imbecile allowed the ball to slip out as he hit the turf.
In the 2Q, after a PIT FG, Tenn took over on its own 22. Sure as shit, the Titans marched….and marched….and marched…..a and fuking marched……for 19 plays, chewing up over 10 minutes of clock as they tacked on a FG to make the score 13-3.
Assler was the happy recipient of the plethora of silly, mostly-unforced GIVE-AWAYS by Tenn in the 2H. But don’t let that mask how awful this defense was. The run defense against allowed over 200 yards on the ground, and the overall defense left much to be desired. D-
HC: Mike Asslin was all smug after the 4th down spot was short of a Tenn 1st down. But his silly-assed bravado doesn’t negate how his team, at HOME, played grab-ass against an injury ravaged team. The team sleptwalked, AGAIN, during the 1st half, and could have been down by 20 were it not for self-imposed boners by Tenn. The failure for a team to be ready to hunt bear from the very start of a game, falls squarely on the shoulders of one man – Mike Asslin.
As usual, Stoogelin refused to call ANY timneouts, late in the 1H, to SAVE some time for a late 2Q drive. You take a TO after the 2nd down play to leave yourself with about a minute. Then after the sack, Asslin lets the clock run and wastes another 10 seconds before calling at TO with 20 seconds left. What was the point? Sure enough, Tenn kicked the FG and kicked off, and PIT took over with a paltry TWELVE seconds left at their own 22 yard line.
After the game, Asslin tried to rationalize his asininity, stating, “I wanted them to make decisions on time unless they burned one of their timeouts.” This might make sense, IF the ball was at midfield, or even the PIT 35. But in this instance, the ball was inside the PIT 5 yard line. There wasn’t much brain power needed by Tenn, and they had a FG comfortably in their hip pocket whenever they wanted to settle for it. The CORRECT decision is to stop the clock, which not only saves you some time after the TD or FG, but also allows your defense to re-focus and call its best alignment for the ensuing play. D
Oh, and Crud Dupree - NUMEROUS fans were crying and wailing when he departed as a FA. At the half, had ZERO solos, ONE assist. Did absolutely NOTHING the entire half. And that was Crud, completely UNTOUCHED and UNblocked, for a sack. The ONLY kind of sacks Crudly got during his tenure in Pgh. That was his only solo of the game, to go long with some piss-ant assist. Good riddance indeed. D-
Synopsis: A thin, flimsy win over a ravaged foe. I wouldn’t be all that proud of eking by, at home, an injury riddled squad. I, for one, am not going to crow about flimsily eking by this ravaged Bitan team today. Next up, the KC Chefs, who might easily put up 50 on this Softee Defense.
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