Stillers 17, PoeBirds 10 ...... Oct 8, 2023 …………Game # 5
Stillers - PoeBirds Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 2-2 Stillers hosted the 3-1 Ravens in an AFC North tussle. It was 10-3 Balt at the half, and also 10-3 at the end of the 3Q. A blocked punt by PIT made it 10-5, and a Bos FG made it 10-8. Joey Porter Jr had a huge INT in the EZ, and a 41-yard TD pass to Pickens provided the go-ahead score.
QB: KP got the start. Was 7 of 15 in the 1H, with several spotty throws. Had some struggles in the 3Q, but came up rather large in the 4Q to lead a FG drive and then the superb 41-yard deep ball to Pickens for the go-ahead TD. C+
Harris – 5 rushes, 12 yards in 1H. Had a couple decent runs in the 3Q, but never really caught traction. Warren clearly looked like the better back today. C
Warren – 2 rushes, 7 yards in 1H. Good 3rd down RAC for a 1st down, 3Q. Then gained 6 yards on the next play. Superb RAC on 3d & 8, 4Q, for big yardage. On the next play, he hurdled a tackler for a nice gain. Then had another huge run of 16 yards on the very next play. Had a strong game both running the ball and grabbing passes, as well as blitz pickup. A-
FB: never used.
Dionte – Sitter Dionte again sat out with the hamstring.
Pickens – good combat catch along sideline for 21 yards, 2Q. Good run on an end around for 17 yards, 2Q. Superb sideline grab late in the 3Q. Had 2 good blocks to help spring Warren in the 4Q. Good grab of 21 yards, just before the 2MW, 4Q. Snared the GW TD for a 41-yard score. A
Austin – got injured in the 2Q, but came back. Rarely targeted, if at all, and had no grabs.
Robinson – good grab of high pass, 2Q. Clutch grab on 3d & 9, late 4Q. Had 5 grabs in a very solid, workmanlike effort. B+
GunnerO – For some reason, got a helmet today. Thankfully was never involved on offense aside from some lame motion work on a few plays. (As if some defense is going to be scared of Blunder going in motion….ha !)
Boykin – unable to grab a short pass in tight coverage, 2Q. For no apparent reason, was on the field for the late 2-point try, and then worse, was actually targeted, which enraged me.
Pat FryBoy – Sat out with the ham injury.
Darnell – got the start at TE. Thrown a short pass, 2Q….shoulda been PI on Smith. Thrown 1 other pass which was inc. His blocking was ok. B-
Con Heyward – good grab and short run for a 1st down, 1st series. Immensely important to move the chains there. Good 3rd down grab for 12 yards, 2Q. Dropped a short curl, late 4Q. After his coaching staff had literally written him out of the playbook, it was nice to see him involved today with 3 grabs. B
OL: Overall, the line (Jones, Seumalo, Cole, Herbig, Okorafor ) had a moderately mediocre game. The 1st half was mostly dreadful, as these oafs had problem opening holes or keeping a clean pocket.
3d & 1, early 3Q, and this fat-azzed Oline gets ZERO push, and Harris gets stuffed on a plunge.
Cole got abused for a sack, 3Q. But in the 4Q, this crew surprisingly got their act together. It ain’t nowhere near good enough, but perhaps they can build a bit on this. Rookie Brod Jones got his first NFL start, and played well. Overall: C+
Heyward – still on IR.
Ogunjobi – forced a fumble with a superb hustle play downfield on a screen pass, 2Q. THIS is as good an IQ and hustle play as you’ll see in the NFL, which Ogun rushing, then seeing the screen, and then hustling down the field some 11 yards to strip the ball from the RAC RB. Oddly enough, that was his only solo of the game. B-
Adams – chipped in here and there.
Lowdermilk- had 2 tackles in a quiet effort.
Leal – did not play, due to the concussion last week.
Benton – had 1 solo and 2 As in a quiet effort.
Kwon Alex – dropped Jackson on a flush, late 3Q, for a 3 yard loss, which forced a punt. Sniffed out a screen pass, early 4Q, and dropped the RB for a big loss. Saved a TD with an ankle grab stop of Andrew on a 2d & goal shovel pass. Had 6 solos, and is providing 12 times better ILB play that Devin “Avoid Contact” Bush. B
Watt – got totally sucked INSIDE, 1st play of game, and the QB rolled right and had a cake-easy completion for 8 yards. Batted a pass, 2nd series. Got a sack, late 2Q. Got a sack late in the game to finally snuff out Balt. Also recovered a fumble. I won’t give him credit for a broken up pass in the 4Q, as Flowers, the intended WR, had the pass CLANG off his hands, and then Watt arrived with a shove. A-
Highsmith – First series, 3d & 2, and Big Alex Highsmith gets completely BAMBOOZLED on the fake plunge, and Lamar has an ACRE of open room for 26 yards. This is Gildon-esque OLB'ing at its WORST.
Big Alex got sucked inside AGAIN, and Edwards runs around end, easy as PIE, for an ELEVEN yard gain. 2 plays later, Balt scored to make it 7-0.
On 2d & 7, late 1Q, Big Alex spun to the INSIDE on his rush, allowing an ACRE of room for Lamar to run wide and gain 6.
3d & 18, late 2Q, and Big Alex timidly meandered around, and failed to actually apply REAL PRESSURE, allowing a scrambling Jackson to calmly scramble and complete a pass to Flowers for 24 yards.
Stop the presses !! Big Alex got an ASSIST on a line plunge, early 3Q. Quik -- sign this fellow to a massive, $80M contract !!
At 5:00 3Q, Big Alex goes in UNTOUCHED for a DONG sack, and then woofs it up like he's all great. As it was, a Minkah flag wiped out this cheezy Dong sack.
Stop the presses ! Late in the game, Big Alex got a strip of Lamar, which Watt recovered. And with that, Big Alex avoids the embarrassing shame of THREE STRAIGHT games of donut rolling with ZERO solos, as this counted as a solo. Overall, the $17M big-man finished with ONE solo and ONE assist, in a hideous, far-too-soft effort. D+
Herbig – didn’t do anything.
Golden – didn’t do much at all.
Cole Holcomb – Got sucked too wide on the Hill TD run, 1Q. Got stop of Jackson on QB keeper, late 2Q. Good stick and wrap of Lamar on 3rd down scramble, 4Q. Led the D in solo stops, and fought hard. B-
Elandon Roberts – Good run stop on 3d & 3, 6:00 4Q. Chipped in with some other run stops. Had some problems in pass coverage, but his kind of stout run stopping was essential to stop the Ravens from playing maul-ball. B-
Wallace – Juked out his jock by Hill, 1st play 2Q. turning 1 yard loss into a 3 yard gain. Beaten for a TD in the 2Q, but Bateman dropped the ball. Got beaten deep by Flowers, early 3Q, but Flowers misjudged the ball and failed to haul it in. Just awful in every task a CB is supposed to perform. D-
Peterson - Just WAVED at Hill after a short dumpoff, and a 1 yard gain turned into 6. Got torched by Andrews for 16 yards a few plays later. Actually broke up a pass in the 4Q, which is probably his FIRST of the season. D+
Joey Porter Jr. - Mostly rotted the bench, but got PT in the 2H, and had a huge INT in the EZ in the 4Q to keep Balt off the scoreboard. Sure enough, of course, Mike Asslin will have him rotting the bench 2 weeks from now out in LA. B+
Kazee – didn’t do much.
Keanu Neal – got nicked up, 2d drive.
Minkah - good run stuff, 2nd play of game. Flagged for a silly, costly DPI, which negated a sack. Played ok. B-
Sullivan – abused for a deep ball to Agholar, 3Q, but the WR dropped a PERFECT pass. This is a guy who seems to do exactly nothing well, yet is getting lathered with huge gobs of playing time. C-
Harvin – again sat out with a hamstring. Wing did the chores. Ok punt in 2Q, FC at the 7. Shoitty punt, early 4Q, which was boomed into the EZ for a net of 22 yards. C
Boswell – Booted 3 of 3 FGs. Solid KO’s. A
Austin did the PR chores early but then got hurt. Blundar Olsewski took over the chores. Solid return on the free kick (after the safety), 4Q. But then, true to his nature, he coughed up the ball after a short punt return in the 4Q, which Balt returned to the PIT 5 or so, nearly losing the ballgame. If he’s not cut by Tues, I’ll be enraged. D-
Des King did the KO return chores.
Killebrew was flagged for a hold on a KO return, 2Q.
Big punt block by Killebrew, 4Q, for a safety. Kudos to 3rd string TE Rod Williams, who had the presence of mind, and the hustle, to chase down the football after the Olsewski fumble, which saved a TD. Porter’s INT a few plays later never happens if Williams take the Al Highsmith approach and dogs it.
OC: Matt Canada again had his 1H struggles, with the offense doing literally nothing. (I think they had 88 yards total in the 1H.) The scheme is so juvenilish for today’s NFL….it’s pretty much a scheme you would have seen, literally, in the early 70’s. Don’t let the win fool you…..the offense was again abysmal. D-
PIT won the coin toss and deferred. This D actually forced a punt, 1st series. The vaunted, HIGHEST paid defense in the league.....gashed on the 2nd series for a 7-play, 59 yard TD drive. 7-0 Poebirds.
Andrews dropped a TD pass, early 2Q. Next play, Bateman dropped a cake-easy TD pass. Balt had to settle for a FG. Austin completely lucked out here, although Balt was now up 10-0.
Balt had a comfy march late in the 2Q….. 3rd and 11 and 3rd and 18 conversions on this drive. Putrid defense at its worst. Luckily, Coach Barfbaugh eschewed the easy FG and tried for it on 4th & 2, which went INC. This was an immensely foolish decision.
Allowed 244 yards of offense in the 1H.
Before there's too much fawning over this vaunted Def, keep in mind Balt DROPPED TWO TDs on consec passes in the 2Q, and then Agholor just dropped a 3Q deep ball that woulda either been 6 or put Balt at the 3 yard line. Furthermore, Flowers was WIDE open on a deep ball in the 4Q, but somehow stumbled and fell, with no defender within 12 feet, and the ball harmlessly fell to the ground.
6 drops by Balt, as of 13:30 4Q. 7 in total. As noted above, Flowers was WIDE open for a long TD pass at 7:00 4Q......and stumbles and falls, allowing the ball to land INC. Another lucky play for this vaunted Defense. D+
HC: Mike Asslin will be all gleeful and happy over this thin win. Sure, any time ya beat a hated rival, it feels good. But let’s not get all giddy. The 1st half, while playing at home, was shoddy on both sides of the ball. Had Balt not had the case of the dropsies, they have a comfy 14-3 lead at the half.
I also despised the rotten clock management late in the game after the Lamar fumble. There was 1:02 left in the game, with Balt having 2 TOs. After 2 kneeldowns, on 3rd down, Asslin thought he’d get cute, and this bizarre formation got flagged for illegal formation, stopping the clock and giving Balt 45 seconds or so to tie the game. Stoogelin’s insistence on using Blunder Olsewski burned him again today, and Dumblin looks all the more the fool when Joey Porter, who has rotted behind THE 2 worst CBs in football, makes the huge INT to save the day for this team. D+
Synopsis: A big win over the hated PoeBirds. Nevermore, nevermore !! A bye week occurs, followed by a trip to LA to face the Rams.
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