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Stillers-Bengals Postgame Analysis and Grades

November 21, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers 27, Bungals 10 ���Game #11
Stillers 27, Cinci 10��. Nov 20, 2008 ����Game #11


Stillers-Bengals Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers sputtered early on, giving up an early TD to the Bengals and then clawing back for a flimsy 13-6 lead at the half.It remained that way longer than anyone would have liked, but the Stillers pulled away in the 4Q for the win.Due to the late-nite start time of this game, this report will be more of a short bullet format.




QB:Solid overall play.Ben got away with 3 INTs that the Bungals dropped.Also badly under threw a deep ball to Tonio.Next play, quadruple pump, then poor mass to Miller that shoulda been picked.The wind and snow obviously made some passes a challenge.


Much better willingness to run with ball than we�ve seen in weeks.Good 2nd effort scramble, 3rd & 4, early 3Q.Good elusion of sacker, then scrambled and hit Sweed for 17 yards on 3rd down that salted the game away.Good TD scramble late in game.���� B


RB:Parker -- bottled early on.Came on some in 3Q before bowing out to an apparent injury after 15-yd. run.�� Russell converted a huge 4th and a full 1 on superb 2nd effort.He also scored on a wide run in the 3Q.


Good running in mop up relief by Moore.He had a good 15-yard run; then a 22-yard screen.He also bowled over DB Marv White for an 11-yard gain late in the 4Q.����� B+


FB: Davis played some, as did McHugh and Spaeth.�� Davis had a key plunge from the FB spot and netted 6.Also had a good block on Parker�s 15-yard run, taking out 2 defenders.McHugh had a good lead block on Russ�s TD run.����� A


WR:Holmes had a decent nite, before getting blasted on a slant and suffering an apparent concussion.He did drop an underthrown bomb in which he had 2 mitts on the ball.His RAC work was superb.


Ward was unusually quiet.He had one lone grab, which had big RAC for 37 yards.He had a chance to light up a Bengal on Nate�s end around in the 1Q, but instead let up and literally allowed the defender to saunter by.He also dropped an easy pass on 3d & 2 in the 3Q.��


Nate dropped an easy 3D pass in the 1Q.Had 1 grab for 12.�� Sweed made a very good catch on 3D in the 4Q, good for 17.������ The drops by this crew are starting to get annoying.��� B-


TE:Miller returned to lineup; had 4 grabs for 44 yards and a short TD.Due to Miller�s return, Spaeth, who had been on fire the past 2 weeks, was not permitted � exactly as we�d predicted in writing here -- to participate in the passing game.Miller allowed his man to slip inside on a Parker run for 1-yard in the 2Q.��� B


OL: Decent overall play.Ben had eons of time in the pocket; probably the best pass pro he�s had all season.Hartwig got whipped on Park�s 1-yard loss in the 2Q.The backside run blocking was the sorest spot; too many defenders made too many slop stops off of weak backside blocking.�� The overall run blocking didn�t find any traction until mop up time, which was disappointing, given that the Bungals DL was missing 1 starter and then lost to more men during the game.��� Crybaby Marvel once again did not dress due to his achy back.�� B


DL:Strong outing.Aaron Smith was a beast, with 3 batted passes and some run stuffs.On a 2-play sequence in 2Q, Smith batted a pass, then blew up a screen pass.Keisel was stout.�� The Cinci ground game had few holes all nite long.���� A


LB:Seemingly embarrassed over his poor play in recent weeks, Farrior led the way with a rare, strong effort.He forced a punt with a stuff on 3d & 1 in the 2Q, then had a good lick on 3d & 1 early in the 4Q to force another punt.He dropped an easy INT in the 4Q and then had a weak whiff on a dump to Utecht.


Harrison was mostly held in check on his pass rush, as was Woodley.Their run stoppage was solid.


Foote took himself out of the play for no reason, which allowed Benson to saunter up LG for his longest gain of the nite (7 yds.)��


Timmons had some good blitz pressures.�� Vicious hit by Timmons on Utecht late in game.�� Good thing this guy rots the bench�.there rarely ever is a need for big hits on defense. ������B+


DB:lke smothered his side of the field with aplomb.Pola flashed in for a couple run stuffs and had an INT in garbage time late in the 4Q.�� Bryant gave up some receptions, though he was in decent position and coverage.Clark had a few hilarious whiffs, including an ass-awkward late in game on the big RAC by Kelly. ��Gay was tooled badly by TJ on a 3D conversion, but otherwise played acceptably.���� B+


Spec teams:Reed led the way with 2 huge, clutch FGs.They look easy on paper (37, 38 yards), but amidst a snow squall and the shitty field conditions, these were much, much tougher than they would appear on paper.��


The flip side of the coin was the utterly dogshit punting by Paul Ernster.�� Why was this sorry bastard still on the roster??He punted 5 times for 33, 28, 23, 34, and 24 yards, with every punt weakly landing or immediately rolling OOB.�� Average = 28.4 yards.Piss fucking poor.I�d written here last week: �Hell, at this point, any soccer player within 300 miles should be invited to an open tryout.��� Like a complete moron, Colbert refused to address the horrendous punting situation.Maybe with the long, 10-day layoff, Colbert will get off his ass and bring in some punters for a look.


Good coverage stops by Gay, Fox, Fox, and Russell.��


Russ had good 2nd effort for a 43-yd. KO return.


Sweed had a bonehead mistake on the punt team. While Holmes lazily failed to move forward and FC a short punt, and meekly signaled others to get away from it, Sweed allowed a punt to hit his hand for a key turnover near the end of the 1H.


Reed & Russell:�� A������������ Ernster:F-�������������� Sweed: D-


OC:Arians showed us a few surprises tonite.Short yardage near the GL, and Arians calls for a short pass to Miller for a TD.�� Hooray !!��� Stop the presses!�� Stunned that Arians didn�t call for 3 plunges by Moore.�� He also called for a quickie screen to Moore as the Bungals jailhouse blitzed, and Moore had an ACRE of room.�� Wow!�� I still wasn�t enthralled with an empty backfield set on 3rd & 2 in a tight game.Again, this is a blatant indication of an offense with no identity.�� The sputtering run game against a weak defense was vastly disappointing.��B-


DC:Dick had another lucky series of events.�� Half the Bungal O-line was injured or hobbled.Starting QB C. Palmer sat this game out.All-world WR Chad Johnson was deactivated on game day for discipline reasons.If I had Dick�s luck, I could make MILLIONS in Vegas.�� ��Dick was carved up on the 2nd drive of the game, allowing Fitzhue to look like Joe Montana. ��B


HC:The lethargic start was a bit disappointing.The continued string of foolish penalties continued; not as much as last week, but still prevalent.Foolish boners, such as dropped balls on CAKE-EASY passes and allowing punts to hit a blocker, continue to bog the team down.This is the time of year where the chrome should be polished to a high shine, rather than slopping around amidst mistake-filled chaso that resembles the August and September timeframe.���B-


Playing Surface:�� Chunks of sod were flying everywhere.�� Good news, too��FOUR high school football games will be played there this Sat, and then Pitt will host WVU on Nov. 28.��� Eight days later, the Stillers host the Cryboys.Maybe Jerry Jones, who seems to have commish Roger Goodell wrapped around his finger, will actually do something useful by complaining to the league about the bush-league condition of the field.��� ���F


GM:Is there a lazier GM in the NFL than Colbert?Is it really that difficult to arrange for 5 or 6 punters to come in for a tryout?Why was Spermster � who looked like shit at camp � the ONLY man considered when Berger went down??��� Colbert has 10 days to find a new punter.�� Let�s see what this lazy sunuvabitch does.���� D-


Synopsis:A sloppy, somewhat uninspiring win, but at this point of an injury-riddled season we�ll take it and then recuperate with the 9 days off.Struggling against a weak, downtrodden team like the Bungals is never good.On the other hand, the team showed solid moxie and grit to hang tough and ward off the Bungals, which they failed to do last season in the horrific loss to the Jets.The layoff will hopefully return many players to near-peak health, in particular Miller, Parker, McFadden, Keisel, and Townsend.At the same time, hopefully Arians will use the time off to shuck the grab bag and learn from tonite�s useful plays, such as the quick-hitting FB plunge; the pop pass to the TE, and the quickie screen.��



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



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