Stillers 30, Bungals 20 ……. Dec 15, 2013 …………Game # 14
Stillers-Bengals Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers capitalized early on a rash of Cinci blunders, and built up a comfy 30-7 lead. Things got interesting in the 4Q, but the Stillers held on for a 30-30 win.
QB: Ben started the game 9 for 9, including a good pass on the move to Brown for a TD. His perfect streak was broken when he foolishly decided to lob a pass to the stone-footed Spaeth in the EZ, which of course fell incomplete. Weakly underthrew Sanders on a deep ball, 3Q, which was INTd by JacMan Jones. All in all, though, Ben had a quietly solid nite, going 20 of 25 for 191 and 1 TD, while rarely foolishly clutching the ball. He’s bee much more efficient the past 5 weeks, and the beatings have really subsided. A-
Jones - ripped off a good run of 12 yards, 4:15 2Q. Chipped in with 5 rushes for 22 yards. B
Bell - too tentative on a 1st & G plunge at the 1, early 1Q, and was stopped short. Upright as a giraffe, he barely eked into the EZ on the next play. Nice spin and RAC on short dumpoff, mid 1Q. On a 6-yard run in the 3Q, Bell stiff-armed a D-lineman and then trucked LB Jayson DiManche. Had a solid evening, gaining 57 yards on 24 carries behind a patchwork OL. He also grabbed 5 passes for 50, and really impressed me with the fluidity of his catching. B+
Dwyer - good 8-yard run late in the game. Had 6 carries for 26 yards. Have no idea why this simpleton was wearing a studded earring during the game. B
FB: Will Johnson chipped in a lil’ bit on some short yardage plays. Inc.
Brownie - decent nite, with 5 grabs for 66 and a TD. B+
Sandy - Nice RAC after a short bubble pass, gaining 27. On the next play, Sanders returned to his norm, bobbling a 0-step hitch and, by the time he gained control of the ball, losing 1 yard. He did snare the ball on the next play, and juked and dove for a 1st down. Busted TWO tackles and got a very clutch 1st down on 3d & 7, 5:38 4Q. B
Cotch - had only 1 grab for 2 yards, on a shovel pass in which he got plastered. B-
Wheat - never targeted. Haley and Dumblin seem intent on getting this guy no meaningful work this season. Inc
Miller - Had 4 grabs for 35. Looked crisper and better than he has all season. Good thing he was rabidly rushed back instead of being allowed to get completely healthy. A-
Spaeth - For no apparent reason, he was thrown a pass in the EZ in the 2Q, and of course it fell incomplete. Spaeth, the “dominant blocker” that he isn’t, was flagged for a hold on an 8-yard run by Bell, 3Q.
Adams - Puffer Adams came in for a few plays at LT when Beach got nicked up in the 3Q. Played ok in that short stint. Inc
Gilbert - Flagged for a hold on a running play. Got nicked up, 4:20 1Q.
Whimper - came in for Gilbert at RT.
Foster - Had another quiet was solid game. B
Cody Wallace - failed to pick up Harrison on a shovel pass, late 1Q, getting Cotch mauled. Acquitted himself ok, but clearly has no business starting in the NFL. B-
DeCastro - another solid game. Is establishing himself as the rock of this pathwork OL. B+
Beacham - started at LT. Got nicked up at 10:21 3Q and missed a few plays. Didn’t get tooled too badly. B
Keisel - did not dress.
McLendon - did not dress.
Woods - started at NT in place of McLendon. Good job to fight off double team, early 3d & 1 plunge, to help force the punt. Nabbed Green-Ellis late in the 1Q for a piddly 1-yard gain. Had a good bulrush late in the 3Q, and then batted the pass. Was fairly active. B.
Hood - started at DE in place of Keisel. Blew up a 3d & 1, first series, with good penetration and a lick on the RB. In the 2d series, Hood got a coverage sack, rare indeed for him. Had 3 solos, which is probably a career high. B
Heyward - good athleticism to nab Bernard on a wide run, 7:45 2Q. Good hustle to nab Bernard on a screen pass, last play of the 1H. Had 1 solo and 2 assists, but had a very strong game. A-
Fangupo - finally saw some PT in short yardage spots. Inc
Timmons - blew up a ground play, last play of 1Q. Two plays later, he busted up a pass, but was flagged for a hold. Good stop of Bernard at 7:00 4Q for a 1-yard loss. Finished with 4 solos and 1 A. B
V. Williams - totally useless on the Bernard TD plunge, 5:14 2Q. Had a rare but adequate stop of Gresham after a short dumpoff, 5:50 3Q. Finished with 6 solos, surely a career high. B
Worilds - started at Left OLB. Flashed in and blasted Dalton right as he threw on 3D, late 1Q. Clever dip-under move on a screen pass, late 4Q, harassing the QB. Had only 1 solo and 2 As, but played a solid game. B
Terrance Garvin - came in and chipped in some. Helped out on a wide run, early 1Q. inc
Jones - came in and played at ROLB once Big LaMarr pussed out with his sore calf. Swam in and blew up a pass lay, early 2Q. Batted a 2-point pass at 5:51 4Q. Had just 1 solo. B
Big LaMarr - started at ROLB, but true to his nature, The Big He-Man re-aggravated his vagina, er, calf, during the first 6 minutes of the game, and never returned. For a cap-killing contract of $61M, I’ll issue the F.
Ike - had a decent game in coverage, and chipped in with 5 solos and 2 As. A-
Pola - bust-up, 2nd play of game, but coulda been a pick 6. Forced a fumble by Gresham, early 3Q. Had 4 solos and 1 A. B+
Clark - got trucked by Gresham on a RAC run, early 3Q. Then was completely out-classed and tooled by Eifert on a 1-yard TD pass, early 4Q. On the very next series, Clark feebly whiffed on Eifert after a short curl, allowing an extra 10 RAC yards. Had 2 solos all night long. Just thihnk -- only 2 more games of watching this stumblebum. What a relief that’ll be. D
Gay - played ok in coverage. B
Thomas - rarely, if ever, saw the field. Like Wheaton, the apparent intent is to get this guy as little PT as possible this season. Inc.
C. Allen - lots of soft coverage and was picked up quite a bit. Busted up an out pass, late 4Q, but could gave INT’d the ball had he had an ounce of ball skills. C+
Will Allen - abused quite a bit. C+
McBriar - Good pooch punt, 1st series, pinning the Bengals down on their own 7. Good 48-yard boot, OOB, in the 4Q, which was desperately needed, particularly given how slovenly the coverage teams were all night long. A
Suisham - amid swirling winds, he nailed a 45-yard FG late in the 2Q.
Will Allen dropped the punter inside the 1 early in the 1Q after a bobbled snap. Shoddy KO coverage after the Bell TD, early 1Q, but luckily he was ruled down with an unintentional FC signal.
Brownie took a punt to the house, late 1Q. He was aided by Terrance Garvin, who pancaked the punter with a vicious, yet legal, block. “A” for both efforts.
Shoddy KO coverage at 9:40 2Q, allowing the return to the PIT 47. Kick coverage: D-
Haley’s offense was fairly efficient, making a host of short, accurate passes that moved the chains and kept Ben from getting beat upon. B+
Dick again had the luxury of facing a QB, Dalton, who’d rarely, if ever (according to his own admission to Al Michaels) played in cold weather. The weather at gametime was a 12 degree wind chill, with swirling winds. Dalton was scattershot the entire evening.
Brilliant scheme, 2nd series - Cinci went unbalanced right, and Dick’s defense had NOBODY outside the DE, and Dalton simply kept on a read-option keeper for 9 yards. Brilliant ! Dick is just so clever and diabolical.
On a 4th & 5 at the PIT 13, at 5:51 4Q, Dick’s overcomplicated defense allowed a WIDE open receiver in EZ for a cake-easy TD.
Dick had the luxury of the huge early lead, which took the Cinci ground game out of the game. B
HC: Unlike the game in London, and about 6 other games this season, the team came strong out of the gate, and built the large early lead. Where was this rabid intensity some 14 weeks ago ?? B
Synopsis: Too little, too late. This is the kind of effort they needed way back in early Sept, not mid Dec. At this point, it’s little more than whipped cream on shit.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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