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Stillers-Skins Postgame Analysis and Grades

November 04, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers 23, Skins 6���Game #8
Stillers 23, Skins 6���. Nov. 3, 2008 ����Game #8��


Stillers-Skins Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers ventured to DC to take on the supposedly vaunted Redskins, who were 6-2 and fighting for NFC supremacy.After literally handing 6 points to the Skins in the first 4 minutes of the game, the Stillers stormed back and manhandled the Foreskins, en route to a 23-6 asswhipping on the eve of the big presidential election.�� (Due to the late hour of this game, this post-game will be shorter than usual.)




QB:Benji played the 1st half only before succumbing to an apparent shoulder injury.He had a rather shabby half, going 5 for 17 for 50 yards and a passer rating of 15.1.His lone INT was off a deflection by a D-lineman, so I won�t fault him for that.Ben threw a horrendous out pass in the 2Q that should have been picked by Rogers and returned for 6, but Ben lucked out when Rogers dropped the pigskin.�� He also held the ball nearly forever, and then underthrew Ward, on the deep ball that resulted in a PI as well as Ben nicking his thumb on a helmet.Ben has no one to blame but himself for the asinine stupidity of dawdling and tentatively waiting on this designed deep ball.�� On the 1st play after the blocked punt, Ben held the ball forever, rather than flinging it through the goal posts, and took a foolish 2-yard loss.Ben did rifle a key pass to Ward on 3d & 12 to near the GL, which set up Ben�s TD sneak.��


Lefty played the entire 2H and filled in superbly in his hometown.Under pressure, he calmly hit Nate deep for a 50-yard bomb.3 plays later, under pressure, he calmly hit Moore for 7 yards on 3d & 7 to set up a Parker TD score.In the 4Q, Lefty was clutch again on 3D, hitting Holmes for 16 on 3d & 15, and twice hitting Moore for clutch 3D conversions.


Ben:�� D+������� Lefty:A+


RB:Parker returned to the lineup after missing 4 games, and had 21 rushes for 70 yards.He had some good slashing runs and showed his speed on a couple wide dashes.Naturally, Parker was not allowed to participate in the passing game.��


Moore had a splendid 2Has the 3D back, grabbing three clutch 3rd down passes for 45 yards.Of course, while the offense sputtered and struggled in the 1st half, Moore was not allowed to touch the ball as a ballcarrier or as a receiver.


Davenport drew my rage on his only carry, a 3rd & a half-yard carry in which he ran more upright than a giraffe.Luckily, he was able to spin from the initial hit for the 1st down.


Park, Moore:A����������� Daven:�� C-


FB: Davis saw limited action and contributed some.He led Parker�s longest run of 13 yards, with a strong cut block.He also had a good lead block on Parker�s TD plunge.�� B+


WR:Ward was silent early on, but had 3 big grabs for 39 yards.�� He had a nice RAC to gain 12 on 3d & 10 in the 2Q.Ward made a tremendous catch on a low pass on 3d & 8 to keep a drive alive in the 3Q.The downer was his missed block as a tight slot receiver late in the 3Q on 3d & 2, which allowed Horton to stop Parker for a 2-yard loss.


SanToke-io Holmes, after being deactivated last week, was gimpy and weak-kneed early on, looking lost and befuddled.He weakly dropped an out pass late in the 1Q.He literally made a �basket catch� of a deepish pass near the GL in the 2Q, as the ball literally went through his arms without making any contact with his hands for a grand incompletion.Tokio finally awoke from his doldrums in the 2H, making the clutch grab on 3rd & 15.He was a blunt force in the 4Q, grabbing a quick 0-step hitch and diving to the pylon for the TD that put the game away.


Nate had what is becoming a rather humdrum, weekly long bomb, this one good for 50 yards to set up a 3Q TD.He also had a good grab of a low curl in the 1Q, gaining 9 yards and a 1D.


Baker had 1 grab for 7 yards.Sweed was non-existent in the passing game.��


Ward and Nate:A����� Holmes:C


TE:Miller was held without a grab; Spaeth had 1 grab for 6 yards.Miller left the game in the 2Q with a sprained ankle and did not return.The overall TE blocking was decent.���� B


OL: A half decent nite against a solid defensive front 7.The sacks Ben took were mostly the case of holding the ball incessantly long.Stapleton allowed the pressure by the lineman that deflected the pass that was INT�d early in the game.Starks was feeble again, getting abused badly on a speed rush by Marcus Washington on the play after the long PI flag, creating a TA by Ben.He also was flagged for a hold on a running play.�� Kemo was literally stood up and shoved back on a simple plunge from the Stiller 1-yard line; Parker bounced off Kemo and luckily avoided the safety by a matter of a foot or so.��


Hartwig quietly had yet another solid game.His signing has been nothing short of superb.���


Playing in a fairly loud road venue, the line committed no false starts.���� B


DL:The line had the task of bottling Portis, and they did just that in superb fashion.�� Portis had little room on direct slashes, and his cutback lanes were minimal.�� Hampton, Smitty, and Diesel all controlled the POA and had strong games.In the 2Q, they clamped down on Portis.Smith stopped Portis for 1.Keisel pounded Portis on a run up RT for 1.Fat Casey stopped Portis for 0.�� Keisel had a good hustle play to get on a hand on Campbell on a scramble, which stopped the QB just short of the GL in the 4Q.


Eason had a good hustle play to stop Campbell on a scramble for 0 yards in the 1Q.Hoke chipped in quite adequately in relief of Hampton.��


The major lowlight was watching Fat Casey, dropped back in coverage in a zone blitz, futilely waddle after Portis after a dumpoff, in which Portis got 29 yards.����




LB:The LB corps was probably sick and tired of hearing about how great Campbell and Portis were, and had a strong effort.���


Taunto Farrior had a solid game with a plethora of tackles (11 solo) along with a heaping of boners and mistakes.�� He had a good tipped pass while rushing in the 1Q, and shared a sack with Woodie in the 2Q.He put a big hit on Portis in the 4Q, jarring a pass loose.Covering a backup defensive tackle (Lorenzo Alexander), Farrior had a key bustup of a 4th 7 goal pass in the 4Q.Quick � perhaps Colbert can extend Potsie another 3 or 4 years�!��


����������� There were some shoddy plays, to be sure.He rabidly over-ran a 2d & 4 run in the 2Q, allowing Portis to cut it up G/T for 7 yards.On a 4th & 9 in the 4Q, Townsend forced Campbell into a throwaway.Farrior, the great taunter, couldn�t pass up the chance to hit Campbell with a helmet-to-helmet hit well after the pass had been released, which resulted in a flag and took possession of the ball from the Stiller O.Instead of essentially ending the game right there, the Stillers had to fight off the Skins for quite a while longer, thanks to the incredibly stupid, selfish play of the team captain and supposed �team leader�, Taunto Farrior.�� 3 plays later, on 3d & 12, Farrior had his jock strap juked off by Cooley, who shed Farrior -- the Winged God of LB Coverage -- amidst his basic out-in pass pattern and caught a pass for a 14-yard gain.��� Taunto also whiffed on an easy sack late in the 4Q.


Woodley and Harrison tormented Campbell all game long, plus they jammed the ground game.Harrison had a stuff of Portis on the first play for 0 yards.Woodley totally blew up the 3d & 2 ground play on the opening drive, forcing a FG.Woodley shoved Jansen aside like a toddler on the final play of the 1H, and then dropped Campbell.In the 3Q, Woodley legally pile-drived Campbell into the turf with a brutal sack.Harrison did an awkward, foolish jump into the air on a screen pass to Portis, which allowed Portis to scoot by for 16 yards.


Foote whiffed on Portis� longest run of the day (22 yards), in which he meekly pawed at Portis� shoulders like a complete fool.Timmons barely played in the 1H, but finally saw some PT in the 2H --presumably only because Dick thought the game was over -- and had some good plays.He saved a TD on Portis� long screen of 16 yards.He had multiple pressures late in the game, and showed good speed to drop Campbell on 4th & 10.




DB:With Santana Moss hobbled and Campbell under lots of harassment, the DBs had some easier work.They covered well and limited RAC with lots of crisp tackles.Pola was all over the field.He busted up a 3d & 5 pass on the 2nd series.He flashed into the backfield, from 6 yards off the LOS, and chopped down Portis in the 2Q in spectacular fashion for a 2-yard loss.He had a bustup near the GL late in the game.He was beaten by Cooley and then missed the tackle on 3d & 1 in the 3Q.


Townsend helped redeem himself after last week�s abuse with a better effort.He busted up a slant late in the 2Q.He snared an easy INT in the 3Q, although he foolishly bobbled and dropped it, and nearly caused the play to be ruled inc.


Ike had a solid outing.He had softee coverage on Moss, playing waaay off on a curl in the 1Q, but tightened it up.He had an excellent bustup on a key 3d & 3 in the 1Q.He did have a sorry, weak whiff on Portis� 29-yard RAC play; this should have been stopped for about a 6-yard gain.


Carter started at FS and played ok.The Skins fortunately didn�t have a semblance of a downfield passing game to exploit Carter.He did have a good stop in space on a 3d & 10 flat pass to Portis, stopping the dangerous RB for no gain late in the 4Q.Later, he had an INT to close the game out.�� Tony Smithrotated with Carter every couple series, and had 3 solos with no noticeable blown coverages.Tomlin praised the work of both Carter and Tony Smith in his post-game interview, which was a rarity for Tomlin to utter any words of praise towards Smith.


Gay had a very solid game.He had good coverage on a 3D curl early in the 3Q.He flashed up and snuffed a WR screen in the 4Q for a 2-yard loss.


This crew will face a far better WR corps next week, but they played well today.��� A


Spec teams:The Stillers led off the game with an odd onsides KO, which was easily recovered by Wash.Reed need not apply to the Hollywood Screen Actor�s Guild, because his acting skills on that KO were pitiful, at best.Reeder booted a 35-yard FG, although he missed a PAT.�� The snap looked a smidgen off, and perhaps it affected the timing.


The new longsnapper, Retkofsky, snapped well.His 8 punt snaps were dead on.He took a beating after nearly all of his punt snaps, with the Skins going out of their way to beat on a defenseless snapper.�� Gee, such toughness from the vaunted Foreskins.If only their defense had this much ferocity and energy, this might have been a close game.


Frazier had a big ST play, blocking a punt in the 2Q. Ike had a chance to return the block for a TD, but was gay and flubbed it.�� Backup CB Will Gay, oddly enough, had the presence of mind to pick up the ball and gain 4 yards.This set up the first TD.


Mitch Berger, nursing 2 bad hamstrings, punted like shit.Total vomit.�� Never landing a punt inside the 20 (which, of course, reduced a punter�s average), he booted 8 punts for a 34 yard average, which is pure dogshit at this level of football.Nice that he wanted to gut it out and play; stupid that he hurt his team when he was entirely incapable of performing his job.


Pat Bailey had a good stop in KO coverage.Holmes did the PR chores, while Moore the KOR chores.Holmes had a solid 17-yard punt return early in the 2Q.Tony Smith was flagged for a hold on a PR in the 2Q.��������� B


OC:Arians struggled like a bitch in the 1H, with the Skins jumping on every short route and the offense not doing anything to counter the rush.�� Finally, in the 2H, Arians called for a deep ball to Nate that netted 50, along with using Moore in the passing game.Gee, this guy�s a genius.


Arians continues to show that he had no clue as to what he wants to do on 3d & short.On 3d & 2 in the 2Q, Arians has the O line up (as usual) in a SG, 1B formation.Because we don�t run a read option, there�s no threat of a play-fake out of this formation to hold LBs and safeties.He then has Ben do this homo-laden designed pump fake and then stand there and scan the field.Pressure forced a hasty pass to Moore in the flats, well short of the sticks, and it was inc.�� Later in the 2Q, Arians faced another 3d & 2, at the Wash 16.Again, SG 1B, and Arians sends Spaeth into a pattern down to the 4-yard line, which was a TWELVE yard pattern.�� It�s 3rd & 2, and you have a 6-6� TE who merely needs to go 4 yards and turn around like a center posting in the lane, and it�s a simple pass with Spaeth using his huge body as a shield.�� Nope, Arians has him running around like a food vendor, and with the play taking an eternity to develop, Benji was harassed and sacked.��


Arians reached deep into his grab bag when the Stillers got the ball from a punt at their own 49 in the 3Q.Armed with golden FP, this was a chance to chew clock, move the ball, and put at least a FG on the board and put Wash into panic mode.Instead, after Parker lost 1 on 1st down, Arians calls for an end around on 2D, which was easily snuffed and stopped for a 6-yard loss.�� 2d & 11 at midfield is a shitty time to call for a gadget play like that, with the Skins sitting back.On the next play, a 3d & 17, Arians calls for a lame-assed draw play, which lost another 4 yards.Arians once again has no clue for the feel of the game.


We�ll never know exactly why Mewelde Moore was abolished from the offense in the 1H, a half in which it sputtered and struggled.Only the brilliant mind of Bruce Arians could possibly explain this.���� C-


DC:Dick�s defense had a showcase nite on MNF, bottling the ground game and stopping the passing game, as much of the passing yards were gained in garbage time late in the game.Keeping things in perspective, of course, Dick had the luxury of facing a team with its best WR hobbled; no other threats at WR; the star RB hobbled prior to the game and further hobbled on Troy�s 2Q submarine hit; and a QB over-rated more than any QB I can remember in the past 5 seasons.Dick�s D did a good job of clogging the line and limiting Portis� cutback lanes.Their tackling after catches were made were reliable.A very solid, stout effort on defense against a rather ordinary passing offense.Dick will receive a far sterner test next week vs. Indy.����� A-


HC:After a tough, agonizing home loss to the Giants, Tomlin didn�t allow the team to wallow in sorrow.The decision to start the game with an onsides KO was highly questionable, but Tommie obviously had confidence that his defense would easily stop the Skins.I wasn�t fond of the call, but his confidence in the defense was quite correct.


The decision to allow Berger to punt was foolish and could have severely impacted this game, had the defense not been so stout.Berger was nursing TWO bad hammies and couldn�t punt worth a rat�s ass.I blame Colbert for not signing a punter last week and Tomlin for presumably okaying that idea mid-week and letting Berger continue on.��


I wasn�t fond of the poor time management at the end of the 1H.Ward was tackled on his curl near the GL at 1:00 2Q.The Stillers didn�t call their TO (their 2nd TO) until 0:35.This left them with 1 TO on a 1st & G at the 1 with 35 ticks remaining.Had the 1st down plunge been stopped, they likely would have -- because this offense is incapable of calling 2 plays during a TO -- had to burn the last TO.The idiot will claim that the Stillers wasted all that time so that �the Skins offense wouldn�t march down and get a score before halftime.�Given the way the Skins� offense was sputtering and the Stiller D was smothering, this was a total non-concern.The key here was for a struggling offense to score a TD against a stout Skins defense that had played well, with the score 6-3 Skins.Pissing away that much time could have possibly forced the Stillers to waste a down with a spike and then settle for a FG.�� Ben scored on the 1D sneak to erase any potential fiascos, but this was ass-clumsy time management.��


Kudos to Tomlin for getting continued quality contributions from more and more backups, to include Leftwich, Gay, Moore, Hoke, and others.����� A


Synopsis:�Hail to the Foreskins�, the Stillers� !!�� Ha ha !!�� So much for the vaunted Deadskins.The talk about that team, as though they were the reincarnation of the �67 Packers, was reaching utterly absurd levels.The way the Stillers so handily disposed of the Skins was hilarious.�� After giving the Skins 6 freebie points without the Skin offense gaining even a single 1st down, the Stillers stormed back and scored the final 23 points of the game in dominating fashion.Kudos to the tens of thousands of Stillers fan who invaded FedEx Field and made this road venue just about as comfy as a home game.I�ve been to FedEx for a meaningless preseason game, and it is rivaled only by Philly and Oakland in terms of the number of in-your-face, vulgar, boorish, hoodlum-like fans.Kudos to the Stiller Nation for representing the Stillers so well.


Due to the trends established over the years related to Redskin home games and the presidential election, Barrack Obama will be voted in as the next Pres of the USA.


Next up, a tough test against the Indy Dolts, who gamely fought off the Pats last week to remain in the playoff hunt.



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



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