Stillers 23, Bungals 20 (OT)..... Sep 11, 2022 …………Game # 1
Stillers-Bungals Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers opened the season on the road in the Queen City. The Stillers jumped out to an early, comfy lead. True to their nature, the Stillers allowed the Bungals to claw back into the game. The Stiller D made a key goal-line stop with less than 2 minutes left in the game, which should have been the END of the game. Instead, Mike Asslin completely mismanaged the clock, assaholically allowing a PASS play to be called, which stopped the clock and saved 40-plus seconds of clock for Cinci. Sure as shoit, this extra time allowed Cinci to march 60 yards for the tying TD as the clock expired. Only a slow snap by the backup longsnapper enabled Minkah to deflect the PAT. In OT, the Stillers were badly outplayed, but again, a poor FG snap caused a chipshot FG to be missed by Cinci. Finally, late in OT, Bos nailed a 53-yard FG for the win.
QB: Trib got the start. Nice, deft touch on the screen to Gentry, and the swing pass for a TD to Harris in the 2Q.
Wise, savvy throw-away to save the 2 point safety, 3Q. But then later in the quarter, he has to consecutive awful passes……a shoddy out-pass on a routine 6 yard out that was 7 feet off the mark, and a poor pass to a WIDE open Pickens, deepishly down the sideline. Very poor.
Late in the 3Q, on 1st down after the Cinci TD, Trib faded back, had EONS of time, and then drifted toward the right sideline. Instead of simply FLINGING the ball OOB, he KEPT the ball, and lost 2 yards in the process. This is patently INEXCUSABLE for a veteran QB.
His passing became spottier as the game wore on, which is dreadful. Trib finished 21 of 38 for a piddly 191 yards, good for 5.1 yards per attempt, and an awful QB rating of 78. Not good. The erratic accuracy, the poor decision making, the refusal (for the vast majority of the game) to attempt passes farther than 7 yards down the field……very ugly, and 2021-Ben like. His seat will be very, very warm if he provides another couple of efforts like one. D+
Harris – good TD grab, 2Q. Got injured late 4Q, and never returned. Highly worried, given the ugliness of the injury. Had 10 rushes for 23 carries behind an Oline that rarely opened a hole any wider than a Kleenex box. B
Warren – nice plunge, 2Q, and good block on the long Gentry screen pass. God block on the OT run by Carpool. He’ll be the main back if Najee is out for any amount of time. B
Snell – Didn’t play on O.
FB: Watt played here and there, mostly in the 2H as a pass protector.
Dionte – Pussyfooted around, and went OOB to quickly, on the first 3rd down of the game, which cost the team a TO when they futile challenged the spot. Incredibly athletic catch, in OT, getting his 2nd foot barely inside the sideline for a spectacular 25 yard gain. But a few plays later, on 3rd down Dionte makes the grab and goes BACKWARDS, giving away about 2 yards. Boswell's 55 yard FG then hits the upright; had Dionte not been playing grabass, that FG is good. Also, midway thru the game, Dionte caught a pass near the sideline, then FUMBLED the ball like a jackass as he was falling OOB. Luckily, he was able to recover, but he lost a yard or so in the process. Had 7 grabs for 55, which is nowhere near adequate enough given his new fatty contract. C+
Claypool – ran an end around, 1Q, a bit too tentatively for my tastes. Good run, 2Q. Had 4 grabs for 18, which is laughable production for a player of his caliber. C+
Boykin – stupidly slowed down on a 1Q deep ball on 3d & 10, and the pass was 10 inches too long. Had he not slowed down, the ball is right on target. Had no grabs. C
Pickens – The fellow who was so vaunted and dominant at Latrobe, had 1 grab for 3 yards. Very unimpressive. B-
Pat FryBoy – good grab down the sideline, late 1Q. Had 2 clutch grabs late in OT. 5 grabs for 75. B
Gentry – big RAC on screen, 2Q, good for 32 yards. B
OL: Overall, the line (Moore, Dotson, Cole, Daniels, Okorafor ) provided half decent pass protection, but the run blocking sucked hippopotamus gonad. The Run blocking was every bit as atrocious as last year’s ghastly efforts.
Moore was flagged for a hold late in the 3Q, although I didn’t see it as a hold in MODERN-DAY NFL football. Cole got injured, mid 4Q. JC Ass-an-hour briefly replaced Cole. Overall line: C
Heyward – The $65M Man got to feast on a greenhorned rookie lineman (the left guard). Got a rare earned-sack, 1Q. Got a Dong recovery, later 1Q. Tipped a pass, 4Q, after bullrushing the greenhorn guard. Yeah, Big Scam will look all tough and vaunted, feasting on the inept greenhorn. And bear in mind…..for all the fawning by CBS Sports, Scam had all of TWO solos the entire game. Let’s see what The Scammer does against real, proven veteran guards in the upcoming weeks. A-
Ogunjobi – good run stop, 1Q. Had 3 solos in a solid effort. A
Alu Alu – solid day at the office. A
Wormley – Chipped in here and there. Nice to have in a reserve role this season. B
Bush – was sadly quiet as a church mouse the entire game. Sure, he wasn’t on the field every snap, but he saw a lot of PT and did very, very little. Finished with 2 solos and 3As in 75 minutes of game time, which ain’t nearly enough for a supposedly stud ILB. C-
Jack – Good stuff to force a 2-yard loss, early 3Q. Stellar pass bust-up, late 4Q. Dude looks like a keeper. A-
Watt – batted a pass, 1Q. Early 2Q, back to back big plays by Sitter Watt ! First, he blasted the snot out of the RB on a handoff, and then followed that up with an INT. Solid plays by The Sitter. Sack, 3Q. Helped blow up the 1st and goal plunge, late 4Q. Flagged for illegal use of hands, AND missed the sack that was literally in his grasp, late 4Q. Then, to boot, injured his pec muscle on the play. To me, if it’s a torn pec, he’s out for the season. A
Highsmith – flushed the QB with a solid spin move, and then got the sack. The next series, High got a strip sack that Scam recovered. Had a strong shed n’ stuff for a 2-yard gain, last play 3Q. Foolishly went offsides, 4Q. Got injured on the 1st & goal plunge, late 4Q. Solid game, with 6 solos, 3 As, and 3 sacks. Dude’s a baller, unlike phonies like Crud Dupree and Jason GilDong. A
Spillane – got dragged by Hurst for 1st down yardage, 1Q. Very poor. Had 3 solos and 2 As. C+
Jamir Jones – batted a swing pass, 4Q. Will obviously see more PT if Sitter Watt is out with the pec.
Malik Reed – nice string and stop of a widish run, 2Q, for a piddly 1 yard gain.
Wallace – Was physical enough on the key 3d & Goal pass, late 1H, which forced the Cinci WR to have his 2nd foot land OOB. Got hurt late in the 3Q and did not return.
Cam Sutton - Big INT, 2Q, on a deepish skinny post. Very nice play. Flagged for a costly hold, late 4Q, which negated a sack. Superb read to go off his WR and bat the 4th down & goal pass late in the 4Q. Was highly involved in the 4Q and OT. Solid game. A-
Norwood– chipped in a bit. Would prefer to see him getting more PT, as he has a nose for the football.
Edmunds – had rare, solid coverage on Hurst on a 2d & goal pass, late 2Q. Rare, crisp tackle on a scrambling Burrow, early 3Q, forcing the punt. Had 5 solos. Edmunds also put the wood (via his sternum, I believe) on a lick to WR Tee Higgins in the 1H, which forced the receiver to miss the rest of the game. As much as a pilo dung as he’s been the past 5 seasons, this was a fairly solid game for this usually bootfooted, clumsy safety. B
Minkah - pick 6 ! 1st series ! Had several other big plays, along with a TEAM LEADING 10 solos. I felt the flag thrown on him late in regulation was complete bullshoit, as he barely GRAZED Boyd while running full speed, and within a millisecond after the pass had sailed by. This wasn’t the case of a LATE hit, or anything of that nature. This was an asinine call by a trigger-happy ref crew in front of a home crowd that was crying for a flag. Dude earned his big contract today. He was a legit stud. A+
‘Spoon – Big INT, 4Q, on 4th and 6, although it would have been better had he simply batted the ball down. Played soft as a baby’s ass on the last-second, 4th & goal TD by Chase. Flagged for PI, OT, for 12 yards. Lost Hurst in coverage in OT, allowing a completion down to the 13 yard line. Had solos, but many after allowing the catch. Is apparently going to be the weak link of this secondary, along with Edmunds. C+
Maulet – solid open field tackle on 3rd down, early 4Q. Got a strip-sack, late in OT. B
Harvin– punted 8 times for a 48 yard average. Not shabby. Poor, 40-yard punt., with ZERO hangtime, early in the 3Q, giving Cinci golden FP at the PIT 46. Good, booming punt that landed OOB at the 9, late 3Q. Boomed a 60-yard punt in the 4Q; only problem was that it was boomed into the EZ for a touchback. Good 48-yard boot in OT. Seems to be booting much better than last year’s woes.
Boswell – 2 for 2 on FGs in regulation. In OT, his 55 yarder clanged squarely off the left upright; no good. He atoned with the GW 53-yard FG.
Olzewski – foolishly FC a punt, early 3Q, at his 8. Obviously, he should have simply allowed it to land and hope for the touchback. Stellar punt return, early 4Q, for 20 yards. A-
Big PAT block by Minkah to preserve the tie and force OT. Damn. That was one helluva play by Minkah.
OC: Matt Canada oversaw a moribund offense that couldn’t run the ball at all, and rarely could connect on passes longer than 5 yards down the field.
Despised the 1st & goal series, after the long pass to Fryboy in the 1Q. Plunge and plunge on 1st/2nd downs gained nothing. On 3D, a pass to a blanketed Fryboy was inc. This is how you WASTE a golden opportunity
Assaholic PASS play called on 2d and 12, late 4Q (with only 1:44 left), when ALL they needed to do was RUN the fuking ball. This saved 40-plus seconds of clock for Cinci. You have this passing offense barely gaining 4 yards a pass play……exactly WHAT did Canda think he was going to get on that 2nd and 12 ? 4 yards? Great; that would set up 3rd and 8. Then what? What a dumfuk. Then ya look at what this offense refused to do. Passes in the middle of the field? Rare. Swing passes to the adroit Harris? Never. Screen passes? Just one, all game long. It was a putrid display of offense. D-
Austin replaced the long-feeble Keith Assler. His first 1H was memorable indeed, with 4 turnovers and allowing only 6 points. Things got a bit ragged in the 2H, but overall, the D hung in there and played solidly. The two Cinci RBs carried 28 times for only 86 yards, which was a vast, enormous improvement over how the run D got gashed vs Cinci in both tilts last season. A-
HC: Mike Asslin oversaw his team jump out to an early lead, only to then squander opportunity after opportunity, and leave points OFF the scoreboard.
Had Mike Asslin MANAGED the clock with GROUND plays on that final possession in regulation, Watt never injures his pec muscle, as the game would have ended long before. Thank you, Mike Stoogelin, you numbskull. Lose the game, and lose Watt as well. Fuking brilliant! Of course, Stoogelin avoided the loss, ONLY because the foe was using a backup longsnapper due to a mid-game injury, which caused both the missed PAT at the end of regulation as well as a chipshot FG in OT. Big Mike will be all proud and haughty over this flimsy win, but it was his assahoic approval or PASSING the football (when the situation demanded simply KNEELING 3 times and punting) that allowed Cinci to even tie this game. F
Synopsis: Any win over a hated divisional foe is one to be liked and savoured. That said, this was a bit of a pyrrhic victory, both for the cheeziness of winning only because of an injured longsnapper, and the presumed loss of Watt for the season and the possible loss of Harris for perhaps a few weeks. Neither can be adequately replaced and you’d sooner take a loss in week 1 and have these 2 men remain healthy, than a win and have these 2 men lost for extensive time.
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