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Stillers-Bengals Postgame Analysis and Grades

November 15, 2009 by Still Mill

Cinci 18, Stillers 12 ��� Nov. 15, 2009
Bengals 18, Stillers 12��. Nov. 15, 2009 ����Game # 9


Stillers-Bengals Postgame Analysis and Grades


Coming off the Monday nite thrashing of the Doncos, the Stillers hosted the Bengals, who�d surprised them a bit in week 3 with a come-from-behind win.One would have thought the Stillers would have been ready to hunt bear, and Bengal, in a huge game that likely would determine the winner of the AFC North. ��Instead, the Stillers came out with a weak-assed, mellow, un-spirited effort by the entire ballclub, and the result was an ugly, lethargic loss that leaves the Stillers looking at the very real prospect of going the wild card route in the playoffs.



QB:Benji picked a fine time to have a total stinker of a game.He finished with a rather pathetic 20 of 40 for 174 yards and 1 INT, but the subpar play goes well beyond the numbers.�� Right from the get-go, Ben was timid and scattershot, but unlike most games in his career, he never warmed up.��


During the 1st series, Ben ran a good PAP, and had eons of time in the pocket.The blocking was good, and he had an enormous amount of room, and time, to survey the field.Finding no one open, Ben just stood there like a statue, refusing the throw the ball away, and instead took a sack.What could have been a manageable 3d & 8 turned into a 3d & 13.�� He astutely scrambled on the next play for 15 yards, but the tone was set and he repeated this boner throughout the game.


In the 2d series, Ben again had eons of time on 2d & 7, and again took a totally needless sack.�� I honestly don�t think this guy has a CLUE as to how to throw the ball away, aside from when it�s 4th & 10 on the LAST play of the game, in which he very expertly -- and very stupidly -- threw the ball away to avoid a sack.On 3d & goal at the 7 in the 2Q, he again had plenty of time and took the sack.


His deep balls sucked well-water the entire game.He threw deep to Wally in the 2Q, with zero loft whatsoever.�� Another deep ball to Tonio in the 4Q was horribly thrown.Yet another deep ball, this time to Wally, late in the game was woefully underthrown.


It wasn�t only deep balls that Benji struggled with.He missed a WO Holmes on 3rd down late in the 2Q on a flag that should have been a TD.He threw a pitiful, Jay Cutler type of pass, to Ward on 3rd & 3 early in the 3Q, that was about 6 feet behind Ward and was deflected by a Bengal before Rucker INT�d it for a huge turnover.He also had a rotten pass to a wide open Wally in the EZ on 3d & 15 in the 4Q.


In all, it was an utterly wretched performance by BenRoth in today�s game.�� D-��


RB:Mendy was held to 36 yards on only 13 carries.He toted the ball just 6 times in the 1H for 19 yards.�� Really puzzling, of course, when you consider the largest Stiller deficit of the game was only 6 points (which came very late in the game), and for much of the game the Stillers were either in the lead or, at worst, tied.Brilliant offensive playcalling to abandon the ground game when you�re in the lead or tied for much of the game.Mendy had a good power run on 2d & 1 in the 3Q, for 4 yards.��


Moore had a good grab under tight coverage on a dump off late in the 2Q.From the FB spot, Moore ran a quick hitter on 3d & 1 for 12 yards.������� B-


FB: Rarely used.�� Inc.


WR:Not a memorable game by this crew by any measure.There were a host of balls that, while not outright drops, were at least catchable for the likes of Pitt�s Jonathan Baldwin (who made 3 or 4 highlight reel catches the nite before at Heinz Field), but the Stiller receivers never once made a big, difficult catch.�� Wally dropped a curl late in the 2Q.�� Holmes appeared to alligator-arm the flag in the EZ that fell harmlessly incomplete.Would it have hurt to at least dive for that pass??��� Ward had an almost laughable stat line of 4 grabs for 24 yards, or roughly the equivalent of what a bootfooted FB might have in pass-catching. Wally had only 1 grab all game, although he did draw a 50-yard PI flag late in the 2Q.�� The fact that these guys were often covered was extremely disappointing.��� C-


TE:Miller had 4 grabs for 26, including a nice RAC for 11 yards in the 2Q.He had a rather weak, half-hearted attempt on a 3d & 3 pass in the 4Q that was a bit high, but at least somewhat catchable.Miller was also whistled for a hold in pass protection in the 2Q.Spaeth had 1 grab for (hold your laughter) 1 yard.�� The blocking at the POA was average, at best.���� C-���


OL: The line played better than the stat sheet (ie, sacks) showed, as most of those sacks were �Benji being Benji� and holding the ball like a pacifier.The other problem was the rush overloads that Cinci employed -- much the same as Philly employed in last year�s drubbing by the Iggles -- and the Stiller coordinator was never able to adjust.�� Of course, these fellows aren�t to be absolved, either.There was a host of shoddy one-on-one blocks where 1 defender was able to beat a block and wreak havoc.�� Max Starks, who was looking like an All Pro tackle while bullying Jared Allen and Elvis Dumervill the past 2 games, looked more like former Stiller OT Chris Conrad in today�s game.A prime example was the 3d & 5 play at 9:40 of the 3Q, where Max just got tooled and abused like a greenhorned rookie, which caused harassment and an incomplete pass.�� Piss Kemoeatu drew my rage when he was flagged for a totally needless hold on a ground play in the 3Q on 1st down at the Cinci 10.�� Willie Colon was injured on the INT play early in the 3Q.��� C��


DL:An okay effort by this crew; they were perhaps the one and only group on the team that showed up ready to play at a fierce level of intensity.Hood teamed up with Pola for a big stuff of a Cinci run in the 1Q.Eason had a stout stop late in the 1Q, and another big stop on 3d & 3 at the 2MW of the 2H.Keisel had a key bat on 3d & 6 in the 3Q that forced a FG.Fat Casey chipped in with a few run clogs.Benson, Scott and Leonard combined for 24 rushes for 63 yards, which is a good day�s work by the DL.��� B+��


LB:A really shoddy, shitty, subpar performance by this crew.Every one of these clowns was running UPRIGHT the entire game, without breaking down, which caused more flails and whiffs than what you�d see in a pee-wee football game at a local sandlot.��


Timmons got it all going on the 1st series, dashing over on a dumpoff, as upright as a hungry giraffe reaching for fruit at the top of a tall tree.He whiffed miserably, and what should have been no gain turned into an 8-yard gainer.Timmons was also the dumfuk who went offsides on 3d & 8 at 2:06 4Q, which gave the Bungals a much better chance at both the 1st down and the ensuing FG.


Taunto Farrior struggled once again against the Bungals.He missed a routine tackle of Benson in the 1Q, which allowed an 8 yard gain and a 1D.He was slow and flatfooted on 3d & 3 early in the 2Q, and Coles sped by on a short crosser for a 25-yard gain.In the 4Q, on a key 3d & 5, the Bengals once again used Leonard out of the backfield to exploit the slowfooted Farrior.�� Running the EXACT SAME route that got 11 yards on the fateful 4th & 10 in week 3, Leonard ran a basic out, and Farrior was once again far too slow and clodhopping.This time, Farrior couldn�t even cut Leonard off at the pass, and the Bengal 3rd-string RB sauntered down the sideline for 17 yards before being pushed OOB by Clark.For all the fawning Ron Cook does over Farrior over at the Post Gazette, ya won�t hear a peep out of that dimbulb this week over such a slow, shoddy performance by Farrior.��


Harrison had a very meager, disappointing game.He finished with a Woodley-like 1 solo and 2 assists, and was never a factor.�� Wait, he was a factor late in the game, with the Stillers behind by only 3 points and trying to get the ball back for a tying FG.On 1st & 10 at the Cinci 32, Leonard rushed for 2 yards.Harrison, the dumfuk, takes a dead-ball personal foul penalty after the whistle, giving the Bengals 15 yards and a 1st down, rather than a 2nd & 8 that vastly favors the defense.You have to be a selfish moron to take a penalty at such a key juncture of the game.Really very, very disappointing.��


Jason Woodley had some okay plays mixed in with several shitty ones.He made a rare stop of a wide run in the 1Q.He had a solid bull rush (his one and only pass rush move) in the 3Q that dropped the QB.But on a dumpoff to Scott in the 3Q, Woodley was totally flatfooted, and gimpily just waved at Scott as the rookie RB sped by for a huge gainer of 21 yards.Late in the game, Woodley was fooled and tooled badly on a lil� PAP boot to the right, which netted 8 yards on a pass to Coles on a key 2d & 7.A few plays later, Big LaMarr was buried on a 2d & 5 running play, which allowed Scott to gain 5 yards and move the sticks.


Overall, an entirely weak-assed, unacceptable performance by the LB corps.���� D��


DB:Overall, the secondary played adequately, limiting Ocho to 2 grabs for 29 and Palmer to 18-30 for 178.�� Problem was, this crew had their mitts on at least 3 catchable INTs, but like their brethren on offense, failed to corral any of them.Tight games are usually determined by turnovers, but the Stillers created none.Ryan Clark had perhaps the best chance, this being in the 2H, but the ball clanged off his hands.The biggest news is Troy�s knee, which got tweaked in the 1st series and he never returned.Since Troy appears to be the only DB capable of creating a turnover, we can only hope his knee heals quickly.���� C+


Spec teams:Another day of bile and vomit for the spec teams.�� The KO coverage was leaky and piss poor the entire afternoon, not the least of which was the 96-yard TD return by Scott in the 1Q.On that play, Logan and Frazier did a poor job of breaking down.Gay was simply gay on this play, shadowing Scott the final 35 yards and then diving at Scott�s legs --without the use of either arm -- which Scott skipped thru, totally unfettered.Reed had a chance to at least slow down Scott near midfield, but instead feebly waved at Scott.�� Funny how tough and menacing Reed is when he�s liquored up, �squaring up� against police officers or battering a paper towel dispenser.Perhaps he needs to guzzle some bourbon on the sideline in order to get tough, because when he steps onto the field he�s the biggest pussy since Jason GilDong once roamed the gridiron.�����


There were other gaffes.�� Moore bobbled a FC at his own 10 and nearly fumbled.�� Logan bobbled a KO in his own EZ, then tentatively returned it all the way to his own 15.Arnie Harrison was flagged for a hold on a 2Q punt return.


The KO coverage was just reprehensible the entire game.At this point, I have no clue when Tomlin isn�t ordering SQUIB kicks on each & EVERY kickoff.When the opponent is returning every KO to at least the 30, and 1 to the house every game, what exactly does Tomlin have to lose??���� F


OC:Arians had yet another day of abject incompetence and stupidity.�� He opened the game with 2 bubble screens.What purpose this served is beyond anyone�s comprehension.Just another day of rampant grab-bagism by Bruce Arians, who wouldn�t know a game plan if it slapped him in his thick skull.���


The 1H playcalling defied belief.�� While passing the ball 21 times, the offense rushed only 9 times, which include an ad hoc scramble by Ben.Mendy, as noted, rushed only 6 times in the 1H.�� 6 times!!���� Unacceptable.��


As noted above, when you consider the largest Stiller deficit of the game was only 6 points (which came very late in the game), and for much of the game the Stillers were either in the lead or, at worst, tied, the refusal to pound the ball on the ground -- especially when the QB is struggling like a bitch -- is just inexcusable.This is no surprise, of course, as Arians has a lonnnng history of totally despising the running of the football.


I just loved the clever use of Spaeth --the slowest TE in the entire NFL -- in the 3Q on an elaborate, cleverly designed 1-yard pass.�� Spaeth caught the ball, was easily stopped, and gained a grand total of 1 yard.�� Gee, let�s run that play more often !!��� It�s a surefire recipe for success!!�� So was the ultra clever shovel pass to Miller, which gained 3 yards deep in the red zone, essentially doing nothing.��


The 2H saw an overall total offense of 87 yards.�� Not 187, but 87.�� What a joke.What a farce.�� Cinci employed rush overload, and Arians, the idiot, failed to adjust at ANY point the entire game.Duh-uh, screen passes are effective against the jailhouse blitz.�� How many did we run today?Zero.Draw plays?��� Zero.On the final possession, the offense faced your typical PREVENT defense, which was perfectly happy & content to allow the 8 and 10 yard completion.�� Total yards gained on that �drive� --ZERO.��� Bruce Arians -- what a piece of shit.�� This guy could fuk up a 1-car funeral procession.������ D-��


DC:Dick will receive all sorts of adulation and song of praise for �holding the Bengal offense without a TD.��� How �bout Dick STOPPING the Bengal offense, for once, in the 4Q??Aside from the late kneel-down, the Bungals had the ball for 2 drives in the 4Q.Here�s what they did --


����������� 9 plays, 50 yards,FG


����������� 11 plays, 54 yards, FG


Note that the game was TIED going into the 4Q.�� The 4Q is where games are won and lost in the NFL.�� Dick, The Dullard, once again failed to do enough to secure victory from defeat.�� Wouldn�t it be nice, just once, to stop a Cinci drive in the 4Q??


Let�s also not forget Cinci�s opening march of 12 plays, which ended when a FG hit the upright.This was far from stout defense.���� C


HC:Going into this weekend, who would have thought that, of the 4 head coaches roaming the Heinz Field sidelines on Sat. nite and Sunday, Tomlin would end up being the most befuddled and bumbling??�� Pretty sad when ya get out-coached by the likes of Dave Dummstedt, Fat Charlie Weis, and Marv Lewis.����


Tomlin has been talking all season about the importance of spec teams play.Yet the Stillers have allowed 3 KOs returns for a TD in their past 4 games.Action talks; bullshit walks.�� I�m growing weary of idle talk and chatter.It�s high time Tomlin makes some meaningful improvements to the utter pile of vomit known as his KO coverage team.��


Where was the Muddle Huddle ???��� The offense was sagging and sputtering the ENTIRE game!!What was Tomlin waiting for�.the 5th quarter to go to the no-huddle offense??���


In fact, Tomlin and the team fully appeared to approach this game as �just another game�.No intensity.No spirit.No tenacity.No do-or-die approach.�� Everything lackadaisical and nonchalant.�� No attention to detail.


Case in point -- on the 1st series, the Bungals threw an out pass that was ruled complete on 3d & 9.Even at full speed and without benefit of replay, this play looked outrageously incomplete, as the WR never appeared to have both feet down in bounds.Yet Tomlin never challenged the ruling, and Cinci was able to sustain a march that ended with a FG that hit an upright.


After trouncing the Doncos -- a far less meaningful game than this tilt against a division rival -- Tomlin took his foot off the gas and failed to have his team fired up for this critical battle for AFC North supremacy.�� The overt slop and lethargy from nearly the entire roster, in such a critical game against a division rival that had beaten us 6 weeks ago, was simply unacceptable.��� Very poor.��� D-���


Synopsis:A dismal loss that sets the table for the Stillers to partake in the Wild Card route in the playoffs.Sure, Cinci could falter, but their schedule isn�t menacing, with just Minn and SD as stout opponents (both on the road) the rest of the way.�� Obviously, if the Stillers tie Cinci with win-loss at the end of the season, Cinci gets the nod with their 2-0 lead in head-to-head.�� The bigger issue is simply righting the ship. ��It�s one thing to play a road �trap game� and get ambushed by an unfamiliar opponent whom you�ve not played in 3 or 4 years.�� It�s quite another to play your division leader -- the team that had beaten you 6 weeks ago -- in a HOME game that likely determines the division, and the entire team comes out with a weak-assed, gutless, moribund effort more befitting the Pittsburgh Pirates.��� If this is the best effort and intensity this team can muster, I suggest Pittsburgh fans devote more time and support to the 9-1 Pitt Panthers, who have shown at least 4 times the effort, moxie, and courage.���



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


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