The home of die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans. It's not just a team, it's a way of life!

Stillers-Browns Postgame Analysis and Grades

December 29, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers 31, Clev 0 ���Game #16
Stillers 31, Clev 0��. Dec 28, 2008 ����Game #16


Stillers-Browns Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers closed out their regular season by thrashing the hapless Brownies at Heinz Field, 31-0.Given the nature of the rather meaningless game and the plethora of backups who played, this will be a shorter report than usual.




QB:Ben had a spotty half of play before sustaining a concussion late in the 2Q and being carted off the field.His erratic play included:


����������� - Poor screen pass on the 1st series.No one throws a poorer screen pass, after doing a worse selling job, than does Gentle Ben.

����������� - The long out n� up pass to Ward actually pushed Ward OOB after the catch; a better pass, just a few inches to the inside of the field, allows Ward to catch the ball and continue running.

����������� - Utterly hideous INT on a 1st down play at the Clev 20 in the 1Q.He was tentative, as usual, while Miller broke out of his cut and was WIDE open, and then he tried this gimpy, moronic, off-balance toss that was well behind Miller and easily picked off.An all-around boneheaded play by the QB.

����������� - Poor pass to Nate that was hauled in via a great catch for a TD (a flag negated this play)

����������� - On the play prior to the injury, Clev rushed a DB directly in front of Ben�s face.Ben saw the rusher, then tentatively did NOTHING, and then stood still and hung onto the ball.Finally, with the DB grasping him, Ben managed to throw the ball away.��


Ben was injured when Steeler-killer Willie McGinest (how soon until this sunuvagun retires?) landed on Ben�s upper body with another Brownie hitting him down low, and the back of Ben�s head hit the turf.


Byron came on in relief and played solidly.His first play, on a 3d & 8, netted 9 yards on a pass to Miller.Byron capped the drive with a clumsy but effective scramble for the TD.


The biggest worry now isn�t Ben�s health, as he�ll recover just fine.The biggest worry is Ben�s play in the next game (divisional playoffs), as Ben has a long history of playing like utter vomit in the first game back after injury.���� Ben:C���� Byron:A-


RB:Parker came out of his doldrums with a superb effort, gashing the Browns for 116 Yards on 23 carries.He ripped off his longest run of the year, a 34-yard TD run in which he slashed off-tackle, then sprinted up the sideline and outran the defense.Willie also gave a nice stiff-arm to McGinest on a wide run in the 3Q, sending the big DE sprawling onto his ass.Perhaps these 2 plays are a sign that Parker is indeed back.�� Parker, of course, was not permitted to participate in the passing game.Moore chipped in with 4 rushes for 23, plus 1 grab for 10.The downer was the totally pussyfied pass block Moore tried on McGinest in the 2Q, which enabled McGinest to harass the QB into a throw-away.Russell had some good short-yardage plunges, including a 3-yard TD run.A


FB: For reasons unknown to anybody on the planet, McHugh got the vast majority of work at FB when the offense used that set.He did have a rare, solid lead on Parker�s 8-yard run on 3d & 1 on the 1st series.Davis was finally allowed to play FB and had a nice lead block on Russ�s TD run.���B+


WR:Ward eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark with a 6-grab, 70 yard effort.He had a great RAC in the 4Q to set up Russell�s TD plunge.Tonio had a nice pluck on a 3D slant to convert the 1st down in the 3Q.He made a poor adjustment on a deep slant in the 2Q.Nate had a superb catch for a 1Q TD, but a flag on Colon negated the play.Nate had a good grab of a curl on 3d & 13, gaining 13 and the 1st down.Sweed played a good bit and did nothing, aside from getting flagged for a silly block to the back near the end of a line plunge, and also a hold on Parker�s long run in the 4Q.�� Sweed: C-�� All others:A-


TE:Miller grabbed 5 balls for 50 yards, but overall he had a poor game that really makes me wonder about the long-term viability of this cowardly homo.His blocking was absolutely wretched throughout the entire game.He had a pitifully weak-assed block at the edge on Parker�s no-gain run in the 1Q, plus Miller was called for holding as well.Later in the 1Q, Miller�s poor block allowed his man to create backfield pressure, and Parker was nailed for -3.In the 2Q, Miller got eaten alive by McGinest on a ground play, which caused a 3-yard loss and another holding call on Miller. Heath dropped a shovel pass midway thru the 2Q.On the 3d & 13 completion to Nate, Miller was weak again in pass pro, which caused Byron to get hit as he threw.Just prior to that, either Miller or Speath (TV angle made it difficult to determine the number) whiffed and allowed his man to crush Moore for a 3-yard loss.�� In all, it was some of the sorriest TE blocking since Speath�s horrid day a few weeks ago.Unacceptable.���� D


OL: Overall, the line played adequately.Kemo, who has been a vast disappointment this season, had a couple good blocks on pulls.He pulled and sealed on Park�s long TD run.He spotted Byron scrambling and ambled over and took out the DB on Byron�s TD run late in the 2Q.He had a good pull and scoop on Russell�s TD plunge.As I�ve stated several times this year -- placed on the move, Kemo often gets a solid block.Asked to scrap in simple, shot-area blocking, Kemo is just as likely to miss.Very puzzling.Kemo also had a false start.Stapleton had some struggles.He had a weak block on Parker�s 1-yd. run in the 1Q.He was beaten badly and allowed pressure on the 3d & 13 midway thru the 3Q.Colon�s hold negated Nate�s TD.The line will face much better front 7s come playoff time and they�ll have to step it up a bit.��� B


DL:A fairly mediocre effort.In a game where everyone knew Clev would run the ball to keep the pressure off a QB who�d just been signed 3 weeks ago, the line repeatedly got gashed by Lewis, who finished with 94 yards on 23 carries.Hampton was once again a big zero, doing nothing while being SOLO blocked by Hank Fraley a majority of the time.Keisel, who pulled his pudd all day last week, at least awoke and had a decent game.He stopped Cribbs on a run, and also had a bat.Aaron Smith had a solid game.Roye saw a lot of PT after being deactivated for much of the season.�� B-


LB:Harrison rightfully sat this game out.The overall LB play was mediocre as well.Farrior had a couple good stuffs, including a good stick on Lewis on the 1st play for 3 yards, and a good stop of a screen pass late in the 2Q.��� The blunders were plenty, of course --


����������� - Along with Foote, walled offon Lewi�s gut run for 9 in the 1Q

����������� - walled off on Lew�s gut run of 13 from the Clev 5 in the 2Q

����������� - totally tooled on the deep in to Rucker that Pola stripped (but was ruled inc.), which would have been an 18-yard gain on 2d & 19.


The play that portends trouble in the playoffs, was the 3d & 7 draw play on the 1st play of the 2Q.Woodley was sealed; Farrior was walled off; and Timmons flailed as Lewis gained 11 yards.��� Not good.


Woodley had a good spin move and pressure in the 3Q, but then whiffed on the sack.�� Timmons allowed Lewis clean access to the corner for 11 yards in the 4Q.Fox saw a lot of PT in the 2H.Woodley put a crushing block on Carter�s INT return for a TD.�����B


DB:Hard to evaluate this crew in facing a QB just signed off the scrap heap 3 weeks ago, and a receiving corps decimated by injury.McFadden had a good read and string on a 3d & 2 scramble and stopped the QB short of the sticks.He also had a good blitz pressure in the 3Q that created Carter�s 1st INT.Pola whiffed on Lewi�s 13-yard run from the Clev 5 in the 2Q, but had a good strip of Rucker that was ruled inc.Tony Smith was finally allowed to play safety, and had some good, hard hits at the end of scrums.He also showed superb athleticism on his TD return that was called back for an inc. pass.Ty Carter had a couple Dong INTs and returned the 2nd one for a TD.�� ���Inc


Spec teams:So-so.Cribbs was held in check on returns, with good stops by Russell (2 ea.), Madison, and Fox (2 ea.).


Berger mostly punted poorly, booming 1 punt after another into the EZ.His lone good punt came off a lucky bounce and roll, in the 2Q.Holmes muffed a punt but recovered in the 4Q.������ B-


OC:Arians kept alive his streak of not scoring a 1Q TD since the Indy game on Nov. 9th.I�m quite positive that he�ll be able to keep this streak alive in the divisional playoff game in 2 weeks.��


We have no idea why Arians is in love with McHugh playing FB over Davis.At 6-5�, McHugh is too tall to play FB and get LOW, with leverage, as a lead blocker.This is just another Arians playtoy fetish that, while cute and clever, serves no purpose.


We now see that the incessant spikes by Ben were caused by the idiocy of Bruce Arians.Late in the 2Q, after a 2nd & 15 pass to Davis set up a 3d & 1, Byron called TO #2 at 1:04, which was acceptable.This was a fairly long play and the 1st down conversion was critical in order to get a TD in a 7-0 game.So, after the TO, Russell runs a plunge for 7 yards and the 1st down, setting up shop at the Clev 8.What does Leftwich do?He fuking spikes the ball, wasting a precious down.There is absolutely no reason that TWO plays could not have been called during that timeout, with the 1st play the plunge and the 2nd play being ANY pass play.Remember, there was still one TO remaining, plus, at the time of the spike, there were 42 seconds remaining, which is an eternity.�� Time was not an issue, nor was distance; the only challenge was cracking the goal line with THREE attempts, rather than 2, before settling for a FG.�� We�ve seen enough of this needless, assaholic, junior-varsity spiking.

The only good thing we saw all day was the speed-draw to Parker early in the 3Q, which gained 10 yards.�� Hooray !!Where the hell has this play been all season, as opposed to the Whaleshit draw that takes 5 seconds to develop??���


We�ll state again here -- the biggest hurdle to the Sup Bowl is not an AFC opponent, bur rather the chief saboteur, Bruce Arians.���� C+


DC:Dick finished the regular season by feasting on a bumbling, inept offense that started a QB just signed 3 weeks ago off the scrap heap, along with an injury decimated WR corps (no Edwards, no Soldier, no Jurevicius).�� The Clev offense, in fact, set an NFL record for consecutive quarters without a TD (now at 24).I�m quite sure Dick will feel awfully proud about all of this.


McFadden�s blitz in the 3Q, in which he came in cleanly on the QB and forced an INT, was precisely what was missing from last week�s vanilla defense.�� Let�s hope, and pray, that Dick realizes this come playoff time.�� ���Inc


HC:Tomlin finished his 2nd season as HC with a 12-4 record against the toughest schedule in the past 30 years, yet isn�t even being mentioned for the Coach of the Year award.Unreal.Tommy has done a good job of keeping the team fresh, focused, and cohesive down the stretch.�� ���A


Synopsis:It�s always nice to beat on the hapless Stains of Cleveland.Now, we get to enjoy a bye week and then we�ll host an AFC Div. playoff on Jan. 11th.Enjoy the bye week rest, Stiller fans, and then get fired up for playoff football!!



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



Like this? Share it with friends: Follow me on Twitter: