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Stillers-Titans Postgame Analysis and Grades

September 11, 2009 by Still Mill

Stillers 13, Titans 10 (OT) ���
Stillers 13, Tenn. 10(OT)���. Sep 10, 2009 ����Game #1


Stillers-Titans Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers opened the NFL�s 2009 season with a Thur. nite thriller, staving off the Titans in a 13-10 OT win.The Stillers were able to overcome Bruce Arian�s typically anemic, 4th grade offense, as well as Ward�s fumble at the Titan 4 with under 1:00 remaining that would have sealed the deal.




QB:Benji had his usual sluggish start.His lollipop pass to a wide open Wallace was UT in the 1Q.Then on a 3d & 2 at the Titan 22, Ben eluded the rush, then stood and looked and waited and waited, and then, like a complete moron, took a 19-yard sack to take the team out of FG range.An assaholic, greenhorn mistake that simply cannot be made.Simply heaving the ball OOB allows Reed a shot at a chippie FG. ��He then threw a gawdawful INT on a timid overthrow of Tonio late in the 1Q.He did have the nice TD strike to Tonio late in the 2Q.Ben was on fire most of the 2H, and finished 33 of 43 for 363 yards.His other INT was off a Hail Mary at the end of the 1H.��� A-

RB:Parker started and did very, very little.�� Sure, the O-line had its problems early on, but Parker was timid, feeble, and soft.I don�t think he ever once broke a tackle, and he was slipping around on a dry, pristine field.His reading was poor, such as on the widish run left in the 2Q where he gained 4 but could have gained 8 if he read it better.In the 3Q, Parker meekly tiptoed on a whaleshit counter and then failed to cut by a DB, and was dropped for a 3-yard loss.At that, Tomlin had seen enough.Parker finished with a pitiful 19 yards on 13 carries.Mendy got some sporadic work the 1st 3 quarters, gaining a meager 6 yards on 4 carries.The ever-reliable Moore once again provided the 4Q spark with some nice RAC work.���Parker:D���� Mendy:C����� Moore:B+


FB: Tank Summers got little work, but when he did, he stunk out the field enough that the Titans will probably file a complaint with Goodell and the league office.�� On a key 3d & 1 deep in Tenn territory late in the 4Q, Tank was the lead blocker and stumbled into the hole, head DOWN, and meekly whiffed like a complete pile of shit.�� The play was stuffed cold and the Stillers had to boot a FG.Utterly pitiful.��� D-


WR:Holmes led the way with 9 grabs for 131 yards, and seems well poised to be an All Pro this season.He had a 34-yard TD catch, although he caught it against his pads, which annoyed me.He had several clutch grabs in the 4Q after being hobbled a wee bit in the 3Q.Ward had a fairly big game, grabbing 8 for 103 yards.But late in the 4Q, he grabbed a pass at the Titan 20 and ran toward the goal line, where a phalanx of players awaitied.Instead of simply going down so that the team could boot the game-winning FB, Ward tried to eek his way to the goal line and was summarily stripped like a $20 whore, giving the ball back to the Titans and essentially forcing OT.�� Very, very dumb play for such a heady veteran.Ward did have a nice pancake block on #22 in OT, which was funny to watch.Rookie Mike Wallace had a nice debut, grabbing 3 for 32 yards, including the huge 22-yardeer in OT that set up Reed�s FG.Not the intended receiver on that play, Wallace showed good presence to scoot out of his short route and into an open zone, and then held on after an immediate hit.�� Limas Peed, who peed the bed as a child, picked right up where he left off last season, doing nothing the entire game.Not only did he do nothing, he weakly waived at Finnegan on the INT on the final play of the 1H, which allowed Finnegan to run from his own goal line to the Steeler 20.What a lazy pile o� dung.��� Holmes, Wally: A�� Ward:B-��� Sweed:�� D-


TE:Miller had a big nite, grabbing 8 balls for 64.�� He also had a GREAT hustle play -- unlike Limas Peed -- on the long INT return at the end of the 1H.�� Miller chased Finnegan all the way down the field -- 80 yards -- and then made the stop on what could have been a game-turning TD.��� Spaeth played and, as usual, did nothing.�� Complete waste of oxygen and space on the field.��� Miller: A+��Spaeth:C-


OL: The O-line got whipped with regularity early on,Essex was totally tooled on the 3d & 2 in the 1Q, which caused the initial pressure.Starks stood still and did nothing on a 3d & 7 late in the 1Q, causing a sack.Hartwig whiffed on his man on 3d & 1 in the 4Q, no gain.Essex was again tooled to the inside on 3d & 10 in the 4Q, and Ben was hit as he threw to cause an inc. pass.But the line warmed up in the 2H, especially in pass pro.Ben had good time and room.Starks was fairly dominant in the 2H, which allowed Moore to slip out rather than having to help with a chip-block.Starks was flagged for a hold in the 2Q, which was a horseshit call.Starks used his forearm on the back of the neck of the rusher -- totally LEGAL -- and drove him into the ground.Classic case of a ref 10 yards away �seeing� something that he THOUGHT he saw.Kemo was mediocre all nite long.The Colon didn�t give up as much pressure as you�d fear he would.Overall, the pass pro was good, but the run blocking has a long, long way to go after rushing for 27 yards on 18 carries.�� B


DL:An ok nite.�� Johnson gashed them for a few longish runs, but the Titan run game was mostly held in check.Fat Casey was thrown to the ground by Mawae on a 17-yard run by Johnson in the 3Q.On the next play, Casey stood up like a giraffe and was easily walled off by Mawae.Hoke immediately replaced Hampton and on the next play, Hoke blew by Mawae and stuffed White for no gain.Uh, so much for that big, fat contract that you were pissing and moaning about, Fat Casey.�� Smith had a nice string out on Johnson early in the 4Q.Keisel was very active and had 5 solos & 2 A�s.Rookie 1st rounder Ziggy Hood played very, very sparingly.After all, he hasn�t yet mastered the entire playbook in 3 foreign languages, which is what Dick demands from rookies.��B


LB:Leading the way was Jamie Harrison, who was a beast as always.He fought off blocks, chased down ballcarriers across the field, and applied pressure.No �splash plays� but lots of ferocious football, including a FF in the 3Q.Key Fox started in place of the injured Timmons and played solidly.He finished with 5 solos and 5 A�s.He showed good instincts and speed, particularly when he followed a wide Johnson run and hit the RB OOB in the 3Q.Taunto Farrior had a spotty game.He was bootfooted on Scaife late in the 1Q, allowing 10 yards and a 1D.He missed a tackle on 3rd & 3.He then whiffed on Lendale on a swing pass late in the 1Q.Taunto got a Dong sack on a unblocked rush up the gut in the 2Q.Supposedly the �Winged God of LB Coverage� he got sucked badly and was in no-man�s land on a short curl to Gage that netted 16 in the 3Q.


Woodley started off the game in a stupor.On Johnson�s 32-yard scamper, Woodley lazily got sucked in, which allowed Johnson to reverse field and get wide.Worse, Woodley JOGGED and LOAFED after Johnson, so much so that you can clearly see Harrison -- the OLB on the OTHER side of the field -- running past Woodley in pursuit of Johnson.Very, very appalling and lazy.�� Sickening, actually.��� Woodley did pick up the pace as the game wore on, but jaking it on that long run was unforgivable.�� ��Harrison and Fox:A�� Farrior:B-Woodley: C


DB:Troy was having a big game before he stooped over -- like an idiot -- to scoop up a blocked FG amidst a scrum rather than simply falling on the ball.He got crumpled by Crumpler and never returned, and we can only pray he will return this season.Pola had a great flash and slash on a 3d & 6 out pass.He then had a spectacular 1-handed INT of a deep ball, fighting off a push from the WR and still hauling in the ball.Pola had some negative plays as well.He took a foolish 15-yard flag on a late hit OOB at the end of the long Johnson run.He pulled a double boner on a short out to Scaife on a 3d & 7 in the 2Q.First, he was slow and timid to flash up and chop down Scaife, instead standing and waiting for Scaife, which allowed the TE to forge ahead for the 1D.Pola then grabbed his mask for a 15-yard flag.�� Pola was also flagged for PI, which was a horrendous call in which Pola had PERFECT inside position and then was SHOVED by the WR and somehow was flagged.�� Unfukingbelieveable.


Gay was picked on quite a bit.�� Ryan Clark picked up right where he left off last season, whiffing on Britt in pitiful fashion and allowing a HUGE RAC on the 57-yard gain late in the 2Q.Prior to the whiff, Clark was fooled badly by the pump-fake.Ike was quiet, with just 1 solo all nite.He had a bustup late in the 1Q.Carter relieved Pola, and Mundy saw a lot of work in the nickel package.��Pola: B+���� Clark, Ike and Gay:B-���� Mundy: B+


Spec teams:Logan flashed his speed wide on the opening KO.He had a couple nice returns, although he misplayed a punt and allowed it to land and then roll an extra 15 yards in the 3Q.Bailey and Mundy had good stops in coverage.Sepul punted pretty darn well.Reed tied the game by scuffing the dirt about 5 inches behind the ball on his game-tying FG late in the 4Q; luckily his low liner made it.�� Smith blocked a FG late in the 2Q, although that 3 points may have unintentionally cost us Troy Pola for an extended period.��� B+


OC:Arians picked up right where he left off last year, with a dull, unimaginative, Crayola offense that has no purpose, no identity, and no brains.�� He began the game with a bizarre series of 3 zero-step hitches, as though that suddenly is the bread n� butter of this offense.�� The short- yardage game was again an utter, ugly, abysmal failure.The scoring drives were engineered by Ben�s �improvision� (to use a Cowher term) rather than ANYTHING that Arians, the idiot, did.�� Logan was, of course, not integrated into the offense at all, because, hey, with such a prolific, efficient offense, who needs a burst from that guy?Arians remains the classic case of a fairly smart guy being too clever for his own good.3 OCs were recently fired (in the preseason, no less); why can�t Arians be the fourth?��D


DC:Dick also picked up precisely where he left off, allowing a late TD at lightning speed just before a half ended (Fitz�s TD in the Super Bowl) and then allowing Tenn to go 71 yards on only 3 plays in 34 seconds at the end of the 1H.�� This 3-play �drive� was highlighted by 2 pass plays in which receivers were allowed to WANDER ABOUT with no defender within 12 yards.�� There were only 75 seconds on the clock when this TD drive began, so ya knew the Titans wouldn�t be plunging the ball, yet Dick has his defenders running so amok that receivers were open enough to detonate a hand grenade without injuring any opposing player.�� But remember, that Dick -- he�s a clever, know it all genius.�� There was also a host of 3-man rushes, which generated ZERO pressure and allowed Collins all the time in the world to stand unfettered and pick apart the secondary.�� B-


HC:Tomlin seemed to have his team focused and prepared, although the stupid penalties, loafing, and occasional sloppy play indicates not everyone was on board nor focused.The bumbling offense, when not operating under Ben�s improvision and ad-hoc magic, remains an ugly, hideous wart that Tomlin has refused to address, going into his 3rd season.At some point in time, he himself has to man-up and address this glaring problem.�� B+


Synopsis:A big, gritty win over a tough conference rival on prime time TV.The team showed a lot of grit to come back and tie the game, and then overcome Ward�s foolish fumble and then won the game in OT.�� There remains an awful lot of work to be done.The running game sucks ass and has miles to go before it can even be deemed acceptable.Pola may be out a while.Timmons is still fighting the high ankle sprain. No resting on its laurels; the road ahead remains tough, starting with a road game at Chico.



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


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