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Stillers-Iggles Postgame Analysis and Grades

September 21, 2008 by Still Mill

Iggles, 15, Stillers 6 ���Game #3
Eagles 15, Stillers 6 ���. Sep 21, 2008 ����Game # 3


Stillers-Iggles Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers ventured eastward to face their state rival, a team they hadn�t beaten in a road game since 1966.That streak continues, as the Eggles issued a thorough assbeating that wasn�t nearly as close as the final score.




QB:Ben was a quiet 13 of 25, with 1 INT and 2 fumbles.�� He took a literal and proverbial beating back in the pocket, as the Eagles brought 1 jailhouse blitz after another and Ben was a sitting duck back in the pocket.A couple 1H sacks were the usual results of Benji holding the ball too long and refusing the either throw it away or flinging it to a receiver to make a play.His fumble at 5:54 was entirely foolish and careless, but the other fumble was a tremendous vault and chop by Dawkins.The lone INT was on an accurate deep ball to Nate, who failed to out-leap Samuel for the ball.


Ben fell apart in the 3Q.He had a foolish DOG penalty that should have been avoided.�� With the Philly secondary up in press coverage, he failed to audible out of a WR screen, which was so blanketed that Ben had no choice but to eat the ball.�� Soon later, in the 4Q, he simply dropped the ball as he went to cock for a pass, and then, to add insult to injury, he picked it up and flung a totally absurd pass that had no chance of completion but a 97% chance of being picked.�� The safety was the correct call in the 4Q, as Ben�s knee was down before his feeble fling.The key aspect of this play is that it serves as a prime example of BenRoth not having a clue in the world on how to throw the ball away when it is entirely prudent to do so.Ben was well outside the tackles before the defender grabbed him.At this point, he could have flung the ball toward a fat female in the 10th row of the bleachers, because once outside the tackles, it is impossible, according to the rule-book, to be called for intentional grounding.�� Instead, as is his wont, he held the ball and then was corralled.�� Benji has yet to show me that he understands this rule and this concept.��


With Ben�s hand hurt from being stepped on, Leftwich relived late in the 4Q and led the O�s deepest march into Philly territory, but the O came up empty.C+


RB:Parker was swarmed right from the get-go, and never got untracked.He finished with 13 rushes for 20 yards, and, of course, zero pass receptions.�� Mendenhall wasn�t permitted onto the field for an offensive play until 4:44 of the 4Q, when he dropped a rifled flare pass, but came back on the next play and grabbed a dump, then deftly juked a tackler and gained 11 yards and a 1st down.Moore contributed nothing, and showed that his blocking is very, very suspect.�� In a 1-back set, Davis took a pitchout and gained 1 yard.�� C


FB:On 1 of the few productive ground plays, Davis helped pave the way for Parker for a 6-yard gain.��� Inc.


WR:Not a glowing showing by any means.�� Nate broke the drought for #3/#4 WRs with 5 grabs, which led the team.�� He had a good RAC on a 1Q grab, and got 17.But on a deep ball in the 2Q, Nate failed to explode after the ball, and allowed LilAsante to out jump him for the ball and get a key INT.To be fair, Samuel is a superb gamer, but Nate showed poor determination and leaping on this ball.Nate continued that trend in the 4Q, when Lefty sent a decent pass to the EZ, but Nate gimpily failed to adjust and lazily just stuck up a single paw in a weak attempt to corral the ball.On the very next play, Nate caught an out-curl and juked the 1st tackler, and had an eternity to step OOB with 1:21 remaining in the game.Instead, he tried to juke for a few more yards, and was stopped in bounds like a complete idiot, forcing the burning of the final TO.


Ward had 4 grabs for a paltry 8.5 YPC.He had a drop on a touch chance in the 3Q.Holmes had 3 grabs for 32 yards.He was lazy after his 1st catch of the game, however, when he meekly stepped OOB rather than tightrope along the chalk for what would have been an easy additional 4 yards or more.Holmes also dropped a tough slant in the 3Q.


Baker again contributed nothing.Sweed did not dress.�� ���C


TE:Miller led off the game with a 9-yard catch, and then wasn�t heard from until 6:23 3Q.His blocking was poor.On the first drive, on a simple 2nd & 1, Miller failed to sale the backside, and Parker was mauled for a 1-yard loss.He was slow off the snap and beaten to the inside on Parker�s 2-yard loss on the 1st down run from their own 6 in the 4Q.He was tasked to chip block a lot in pass pro, and was marginally effective.He did finish with 4 grabs for 63 yards.Speath did very little.�����B-


OL:Everyone saw the 9 sacks, plus a plethora of near-sacks and punishment on the QB.�� The line wasn�t great by any means, but much of the problem was the algebraic issue of too many rushers with too few blockers.�� With a Neanderthal offense that did nothing to slow down the Philly rush, the O-line was left to fend for themselves, much as Custer did at Little Big Horn.


Of course, there were a host of gaffes and weak-assed plays by this crew.Colon had a wretched game, perhaps the very worst I�ve ever seen from him.He was flagged twice, once for a false start and once for a hold on a 4Q 3d & 7 in which he glacially moved at the snap and was beaten badly to the corner.He was also slow and feeble on the safety play in the 4Q.


Hartwig struggled with giving help, all too often giving it where it wasn�t needed and then leaving a huge gap for a rusher to flash thru unfettered.Kemo committed a false start, and on the next play a hold.He had another false start in the 4Q.


Simmons was abused late in the 2Q, causing an inc. pass.�� In the 4Q, Ben was chopped and a loose ball ensued.�� Simmons was initially in on that pile-up.But then, apparently seeing that an Eagle had a good bit of the recovery, Simmons immediately detached himself from the on-going pile-up-- with no call yet made by the officials -- and literally got up and walked away.What a gutless quitter and loser.�� On those type of pile-ups, the ball often changes hands 3 times before the final ruling is made, and in a tight game like this one, only a complete, gutless quitter gets up and walks away instead of continuing to scrap and grapple.��


The run blocking was poor, although a lot of that was caused by a devil-may-care Philly defense than run-blitzed continually and got a lot of backside pursuit.


The most disheartening aspect, to me, was that there was far too many instances of linemen �operating on their own island�; too much chasing, too many commo problems, and too much allowing free shots. For a unit with this much veteran experience and collective experience, it is inexcusable for this group to not provide a more cohesive webbing of pass protection.C-


DL:Keisel sat this one out, and Hampton missed much of the game after getting nicked up.�� Fat Casey was mauled on an early 3d &1 plunge, getting shoved back and giving up 2 yards and the easy 1st down.�� Hoke filled in decently for Hampton, stuffing Buck for 0 yards in the 2Q and then blowing up a Buck ground play in the 3Q that was stopped for no gain.


Roye saw a lot of PT in a platoon role in place of Keisel.�� He -- not Farrior -- had the forced fumble of Hunt in the 1Q, showing good hustle and determination to run to the sideline and deliver the lick on Hunt.�� Kirschke had a surprisingly active game, and had a majority of the hit & sack that drilled McNab into the ground on the blown-up flea flicker.�� This unit got a major reprieve when Westbrook went down in the 1Q, but overall they played ok.��� B


LB:A rocky day for this group.�� Despite the enormous reprieve due to Westbrook�s injury, this crew had its struggles.


On Philly�s 2nd play from scrimmage, Hunt caught a dump and Foote, as upright as a telephone pole, whiffed badly, allowing an extra 4 yards.�� On the 2nd drive, Buckhalter caught a dump, and Foote rabidly over-pursued and then was knocked onto his ass.On a simple dive play in the 3Q, Foote -- totally unblocked -- filled the hole, but then was badly juked by Buck, allowing which should have been a no-gain to become a 7-yard gainer.A short while later, Buck had his longest run of the game --12 yards -- while Foote was mauled and shoved a good 14 yards from the LOS.Foote was credited with 1.5 sacks, but don�t be fooled.�� He came in untouched on a run blitz for 1 sack, and he merely helped Kirschke after McNab had juked Foote back in the pocket after the blown flicker.��


Taunto Farrior, the Great Taunter, had his struggles, though not as many.Known as �The Winged God of LB coverage�, he was slow and oafish on the 3rd & 17 in the 1Q, with Avant flashing right by him and then catching the crosser for a 19-yard gain.On his blitzing, he did nothing more than titty-joust with the opposing blocker.


Woodley whiffed on Booker after a 2Q flare pass, due to a simple failure to break down. He did have a legit sack on a 3d & 6 in the 3Q, bolting past Runyan and getting to the corner before dropping McNab.


Timmons rotted the bench an awful lot, but did get some PT and made considerable impact in such a small amount of PT.His pressure from around left end forced a hasty inc. pass in the 2Q, and on the next play he swam around a RB and created the pressure that caused McFadden�s INT.He wasn�t abused, but he was slightly beaten by Smith on a skinny slant in the EZ, which was low and inc.�� To his credit, he didn�t pull a �Gildon� and quit on this play.Timmons also drilled Buck near the chalk after a dumpoff late in the 3Q.Timmons had a good read and was in position on a 4Q screen, but was held and the refs appropriately threw the flag.���


Harrison wasn�t weak, but this wasn�t one of his better days.He was flagged for offsides in the 2Q, which negated his hustle-sack on a scrambling McNab.He took a poor angle on Buck on the 2Q dumpoff, and Buck beat him to the sidelines and went in for the TD.�� A simple, better angle knocks Buck OOB.Earlier, in the 1Q, Jamie had a good wrap and slam of Buck after a dumpoff, but that was about it in terms of his contributions.�� �����


It�s as obvious as the cockroach on a billiard table -- Timmons needs to be starting, period.


Foote:C-��������� Farrior:�� B-�������� Woodley:B������ Harrison:C-����� Timmons:��� B+�����


DB:The secondary was rather pedestrian in the 1H, helping in getting carved up by McNab, who was 15 of 16.They tightened it up a bit in the 2H.��


Leading the way was Troy Pola, who had a superb game.In the 1Q, Pola pulled off something I�ve never, ever seen in an NFL game -- the �backhanded tackle�.�� With his back to the receiver (Jackson) a short reception, Troy reached backwards and somehow managed to corral the Eagle and bring him down after a 4-yard gain.�� Unbelievable.Troy then made a highlight reel INT in the 3Q, vaulting and diving for the deflected pass and snaring it with 1-hand just before it hit the turf.�� If Nate had these kind of skills, he�d be something.


Starting in place of Townsend, who did not dress, McFadden had a solid game; so solid, that it is an utter mystery why this younger, more athletic DB isn�t starting and allowing the veteran Townsend to play in the nickel role.He made the bust-up for Troy�s INT, and he had good coverage on a deep ball to Brown in the 4Q.He could use a few lessons in humility, however.After he caught a Dong Interception off a horrible pass created by Timmons� pressure, McFadd went near the bleachers and preened and crowed like a complete jackass.Never mind that the intended WR was WIDE open, and his team was down 10-3, at the time.�� After Troy�s INT, McFadd did a foolish, fagot-like celebration, again with his team down in the 3Q.

Gay had a good bustup on a 3d & 8 crosser in the 4Q.�� Ike quietly had a couple solid plays.�� ���B


Spec teams:The KO and punt cover teams had some small issues, but at least there were no long returns.�� The return teams did little.Berger had a weak 33-yard punt that was FC at the 15 in the 3Q, but came back with a better punt later on.�� Reed booted a 37-yarder and then hit a career long 53-yarder late in the 2Q, which would have easily been good from 60.�����B


OC:Most of the chatter this week will revolve around the O-line and all the sacks.�� The root of the problem is Arians, who ran a dullardly, stale offense the ENTIRE day against a defense that was JAILHOUSE BLITZING on almost every down.Besides blandly packing in more blockers, there are generally 7 methods to counter a jailhouse blitz --


1.draw plays

����������� 2.RB Screen

����������� 3.Quick flares to the RB

����������� 4.Quick hitters to the TE

����������� 5.Moving pocket and/or bootlegs/rollouts

����������� 6.Reverses/end arounds

����������� 7.No-huddle offense to limit substitutions and speed up the offensive tempo


What did Airhead Arians do in this regard??��


1.draw plays.�� NONE the entire game.

����������� 2.RB Screen.�� ONE attempted the entire game; not until 4Q.

����������� 3.Quick flares or dumps to the RB.NONE, until late 4Q.��

����������� 4.Quick hitters to the TE.�� One occurred on the offense�s very 1st play of the game.��� The next didn�t occur until 6:23 3Q.�� Miller also snared a quick pop pass in the 4Q, which netted the O�s longest gain of the day of 21 yards.

����������� 5.Moving pocket and/or bootlegs/rollouts.NONE

����������� 6.Reverses/end arounds.���� NONE��� ��

����������� 7.No-huddle offense to limit substitutions and speed up the offensive tempo.��� NONE


What Arians did today -- besides getting his star QB pummeled and punished -- was run a new offense, called The Sitting Duck Offense.�� This offense is predicated upon the QB being ordered to stand directly in the center of the pocket and bravely endure an onslaught of 7 and even 8 rushers while the rest of the offense stands around and observes. Philly teed off with the jailhouse blitz, and Arians -- as dumb as a box of rocks -- stood there, every bit as ossified as the French generals as WW2 began.��


By midway thru the 2Q, it became quite obvious that Philly was going to send the jailhouse blitz on a constant basis, yet Arians, as stupid as he is clumsy, never once countered this with anything except having Ben sit back in the pocket to absorb the brutal punishment.�� At 1 point of the 2Q, the previous 6 pass plays by the Stillers had netted 5 sacks.None of this phased Arians, who stupidly made no adjustments, other than his feeble, Neanderthal idea of simply having his biggest receiver (Miller) remain in the pocket to pass protect.Arians bland, lone solution of packing in more blockers in pass pro reminds me of a king having his castle hit with catapults.Instead of sending men or return fire to quash the catapults, the king assigns more men to �catch� the incoming rocks and other men to perform more clean-up detail when the rocks make impact.�� Arians� did nothing but attempt to address the symptom, rather than the root problem.


The Arians offense reached the height of absurdity on the final play of the 3Q, in which they lined up in a 1940�s style 3 TE set.�� The Eagles literally had 9 (NINE) men in the box, and Parker was dropped for a 1-yard loss.��


There were other malaises.�� Near the end of the 1H, the offense, coming off a TV timeout, hit Ward for 8 yards.It took 23 seconds for the Bruce Arians SlowPoke Offense to snap the ball on the ensuring play, which is grossly unacceptable.�� TWO plays should have very easily been called during that TV timeout.

To show the casual fan just how lost Arians is, the Stillers were backed up on their own 4 in the 4Q, on a 2d & 12. What does Arians call ? He lines up Carey Davis -- THE SLOWEST RB on the team -- as the solo back, and then orders a toss sweep to Davis that nets 1 yard. On the next play, Ben was safetied. The idiot will blame the O-line for the safety. The analyst will see how the OC and things like his �Carey Davis toss sweep� allowed Philly to tee off on each and every play with no fear whatsoever of being burned.


Phil Simms asked at one point, �How did Dallas score 40 on this defense?��� How?Easy.Dallas has a clever, varied offense that exploits weaknesses with a vast array of quick weapons from all over the field.��


The good news is that fixes CAN be made.�� The bad news is that the person that would have to implement these fixes is one of the very worst, least imaginative OCs in all of pro football.��� If anyone is still defending this pile of crap, please step forward and make yourself known.��� F


DC:LeBeau has made a living out of padding his stats while facing backups due to small injuries and the like.�� Today, he lucked out all over, with Westy injured in the 1Q when he stepped on his own man and McNabb missing a couple series when he took some punishment on a blown flea-flicker.


The 1st half was pitiful.�� With Westbrook shelved most of the half, Dick�s mamby pamby defense allowed McNabb to look like a cross between Montana and Unitas, completing 15 of 16 passes.On a 3d & 17 in the 1Q, Dick rushed a whopping 3 men, and McNabb easily completed the pass for 19 yards.�� Soon later, on a 3rd & 16, a feeble 5-man rush produced zero pressure, and McNabb passed for an easy 20 yards.


To show you the contrast --Philly�s blitzes produces open opportunities where rushers flash through untouched and unfettered, for instant pressure.�� Dick�s idea of a blitz has blitzers locking horns with opposing blockers and producing minimal or zero pressure on the QB.�� ������C


HC:Tomlin doesn�t have much to feel good about after this asswhipping.�� His challenge of Hunt�s 1Q fumble was pretty astute; at first blush it didn�t look like an obvious fumble.After that, his day spiraled downhill, and fast. He is Arians� boss, and if Arians is too much of a stupidass to make adjustments to the jailhouse blitz, then Tomlin should have grabbed the situation by the throat (along with Arians) and gotten the adjustments made.


His failure to get the FG team on late in the 4Q, in lieu of going for a hopeless 4th & long, was utterly bizarre.You almost wonder if Tomlin fell asleep at the wheel.

Perhaps this loss will snap Tomlin out of the bench-rotting of Timmons and Mendenhall.�� Playing Parker almost exclusively, and starting Foote, is becoming more of a folly with each game.�� We all thought Tomlin learned LAST year about how long a season it is and how a coach needs experienced depth all over the field come Dec. and January.�� Apparently, he did not.��


I�m also disappointed in the aforementioned actions by Holmes, Simmons and McFadden.�� Holmes was lazy; Simmons simply quit like a loser; McFadden pranced like a clown.�� None is acceptable and it needs to be curtailed ASAP by the head coach, lest if festers and spreads.����C-


Synopsis:A grisly, almost embarrassing whipping.On the bright side, it�s better to get this kind of beating in early, so that the team can learn some lessons and make adjustments.�� And, with Balt. coming to town next Mon nite, we can only hope this type of whipping sinks in before that key divisional game.You can better believe Balt. will mimic the Philly defensive tactics, so if no adjustments are made, it could be ugly again on Monday nite.



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



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