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Stillers-Patsies Postgame Analysis and Grades

December 01, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers 33, Pats 10 ���Game #12
Stillers 33, Pats 10���. Nov. 30, 2008 ����Game #12��


Stillers-Patsies Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers shook off a sluggish, lethargic start and stormed back to score 30 unanswered points, en route to a 33-10 beating of the Pats that, in some respects, was more lopsided than the final score.��




QB:Ben finished with a modest 17-33 for 179 yards; 2 TDs; 1 INT.To be fair, the entire game was played in chilly drizzle that made gripping and passing a bit of a challenge.He began the game poorly, throwing an assaholic INT on a pass designed to go OVER the fairly tall Vrabel, but instead was a low, weak pass that Vrabel plucked out of the air.He also had a poor misfire on 3D on the next series.Then, soon later, he held the ball too long after a play-fake, and badly underthrew a wide-open Nate, who had 2 steps on O�Neal.


Ben rebounded, with a good pump and strike to Holmes for a 2Q TD.He also had a perfect TD lob to Nate in the 4Q, which was dropped.


Ben finally -- 12 games into the season -- had the sense to fling a pass into the bleachers on a throwaway near the GL.�� On the down side, on the next play, he astutely avoided pressure, but then meekly failed to follow a blocker (Kemo) and run the 7 yards to the GL on 2D, instead flinging a piss-ant pass into double coverage that had little chance of completion.Even if Ben didn�t score on this play, he�d have EASILY gotten to the 1-yard line.�� Then, on 3D, he was indecisive and basically threw the ball away after decent time in the pocket.�� Overall, a decent game, but not superb.���� B

RB:Parker started; carried the ball a couple times, then seemed to be removed entirely from the game, either for health reasons or for his lazy drop on a screen in the 2Q.He returned in the 3Q, though, and had a solid overall effort, gaining 87 yards on only 16 carries.Parker had a big 31-yard run in the 4Q that helped seal the deal.


Moore was once again splendid in relief.He had 12 rushes for 67 yards, with several clutch runs coming off 2nd and 3rd effort.He had 2 strong 10-yard runs in the 2Q.He had a superb read and hole-hit up RG for 20 yards in the 3Q.He had a superb effort on a power run later in that series, good for 13 yards.Moore had 2 grabs for 9 yards.


Russell had a good 2nd effort on a 3rd & 1 plunge in the 1Q, and was royally screwed by the ref�s spot.Russell appeared to have gotten the 1st down, and for damn sure, he wasn�t a full yard short of the sticks, which is where the spot was.I haven�t seen a spot this shitty in years.He had a good TD plunge in the 4Q.��� A


FB: Davis played sparingly.He served as a wingback on Russell�s late TD plunge.�� Inc.


WR:Ward led the way with 5 grabs for 37 yards and 1 TD.His TD grab was a good one, in traffic near the GL.He also had a very good grab on a low throw for 11 yards on 3dd & 9 in the 4Q.He was the only WR to not make a careless drop or lazy mistake.


Nate had 3 grabs, including a superb grab on a high pass in tight coverage, good for 10 yards in the 2Q.But he foolishly dropped a deep lob that was a sure 6 points in the 4Q, with the game still in doubt.


Holmes dropped a WIDE open deep out in the 1Q at the NE 6-yard line, which would have netted 19.He lazily stopped his pattern on 3d & 10 in the 2Q.He did correct himself a bit by getting 2 feet in bounds on his TD catch in the 2Q.


Sweed was not involved in the passing game at all.������� Ward:A����� Holmes and Nate:C


TE:Miller started out weakly enough, with a pisslicking blocking attempt on the 3rd play of the game that saw Parker get dropped for a 2-yard loss. He then dropped a very catchable pass on 3rd & 3 early in the 2Q.�� He came alive after that, and had 4 grabs for 60 yards.He held on after a brutal hit late in the 3Q, good for 19 yards.


Spaeth had only 1 pass thrown his way, good for 4 yards.He had a weak block on a toss sweep by Moore that was stopped for -3.������� B+


OL: This may have been the OL�s best overall effort of the season.Ben was given ample time in the pocket, and the RBs had nice creases to attack the LOS in a downhill manner.The right side of the line was superb.Staple had a good block to spring Moore on his 20-yard run, and Staple-Colon had good blocks to spring Parker on his 31-yard jaunt.Hartwig was quietly effective, and even the holding call on him in the 4Q was enormously ticky-tack.Starks didn�t make the usual blunders he is fond of making, and only Staple committed a false start.����� A+


DL:Playing without Keisel, the line was fairly stout.They did get gashed on a few sizeable runs, though.�� Hampton was blown off the ball -- and I mean, BLOWN OFF -- on Morris� 8-yard run late in the 1Q.He also was correctly flagged for holding, when he grabbed ahold of the O-lineman�s jersey for about 4 consecutive seconds.2 plays later, he took out his anger and blew past his man for a rare sack.


Aaron Smith had a strong game.He sniffed a screen in the 3Q and dropped Faulk for a 3-yard loss.He also had a SOLO sack in the 1Q in which Farrior hopped onto for a cheesy half-Dong Sack.�� Hoke had an active game, including a good stop of Moss on a WR screen in the 4Q.��� Kirschke and Eason played ok.��������� A


LB:Harrison was once again a manster -- half man, half monster, despite pulling a back muscle just before halftime and barely being able to walk at that point.Twice in the 2H, he stripped Cassel to create key turnovers.He led all Stillers with 7 solos.


Woodley was mostly held at bay, though he had a good bullrush and sack late in the game.He chipped in with a couple stops in the run game, including a good stuff on a 3rd & 3 draw play in the 1Q.He was a bit slow in coverage on Faulk in the 2Q, which netted 11 yards.���


Timmons had a huge play, making a good read and an athletic play to pick off a pass deep in Stiller territory and race 89 yards to the NE 1.Gee, let�s keep this guy rotting on the bench�..after all, there�s no room for athletic, game-turning plays like this in the Stiller defense.Better to have the ever-cerebral Larry Slow-a-Foote start, and do nothing, as he did once again tonite.Foote was soft and feeble on Morris� 8-yard run up LG in the 1Q.Again, he was soft and feeble on Morris� plunge on the 2d play of the 3Q, which gained 7.


Farrior had yet another horrific, ball-sucking game.Utterly pitiful.�� Let me recount the plays:


-Farrior, the well known �Winged God of LB Coverage�, was slow in picking up Welker on a crosser in the 1Q, which gained 12 yards.


����������� - On the next play, Farrior was trucked by Morris on a 2-yard TD plunge.��


- stupid, dumbassed angle on the screen right to Morris in the 2Q, which gained 12 yards.


����������� - On Faulk�s 41-yard jaunt in the 2Q, Farrior was literally thrown onto his ass by a blocker


����������� - Farrior, the well known �Winged God of LB Coverage�, was totally lost in space in zone coverage late in the 2Q, with Moss left WIDE open in the back of the EZ.Thankfully, Moss dropped the ball.


����������� - Along with Foote, Farrior was feeble and weak on the 2nd play of the 2H, which saw Morris gain 7 yards up the gut.


����������� - Farrior literally played patty cakes with the blocker on Morris� 13-yard run early in the 4Q.


����������� - Farrior flailed at Faulk after a short catch, and the whiff enabled Faulk to gain 17 yards.


����������� - 2 plays later, Farrior whiffed again on Faulk, which allowed a 9-yard run.


Quick, someone call Colbert.�� Maybe Farrior can be extended cheaply for 5 years�!���


Harrison:A+���� Woodley:B+��� Timmons:�� B+����� Farrior and Foote:D


DB:A rocky evening.�� On paper, Moss and the NE receivers were shut down.It doesn�t count the number of dropped balls by Moss and Gaffney, which included 3 probable TDs.


Pola had a decent game.He dropped an INT deep in PIT territory in the 2Q, but atoned for it with a 4Q pick and a nice spin move on the return.


Gay dropped an INT on a deep seamer to Gaffney in the 1Q.His tackling was solid.


Ike had a long nite.He was fooled on a Moss stutter n� go in the 1Q, for 27 yards.�� He probably got away with PI on Moss in the EZ late in the 2Q.Soon thereafter, he dropped a cake-easy, lollipop pass in the EZ for what would have been the easiest INT in NFL history.Worse, he allowed the ball to slither right through his hands and nearly into the hands of Moss for a TD.This guy�s hands are simply atrocious, although it�s not the hands; it�s the eyes and the focus, which are sorely missing.Ike was also flagged for foolishly jousting Moss incessantly on a deepish route in the 3Q.Ike was beaten deep by Gaffney in the 4Q, but Gaff dropped the ball.Ike then committed one of the most assaholic, stupid-assed penalties of all time, taunting Gaffney and drawing a 15-yard flag.You�d think that getting torched on the deep ball would be enough to have Ike meekly waddle back to the huddle with his tail between his legs, but instead, the asshole has the gaul to taunt an opponent and get a 15-yard flag in what was a very, very close game on the scoreboard at the time.


Townsend returned to the lineup and chipped in a little.McFadden did not dress.


This was supposed to be the big redemption game for FS Ryan Clark.There were about 13 articles in the Pittsburgh media this week, all proclaiming that, if only Clark had played last season against NE, the Stillers would have won, and won handily.�� Clark got his chance today to show his prowess, and all he showed was a steaming pile of shit.Clark fought Farrior, tooth and nail, for the �Wretched Piece of Shit of the Game� award, as follows:����


����������� - On NE�s first play of the game, Watson easily tooled Clark and was WIDE open in the EZ for a TD, but Cassel overthrew the open man.


����������� - Clark was then roasted on a deep ball to Moss later in the 1Q, but Moss dropped the ball.


����������� - Clark was juked out of his jock by Faulk on his 41-yard jaunt in the 2Q.Faulk rarely stutters and jukes, but he did so on this play and left Clark�s jock airing out for the entire stadium to view and laugh at.


����������� - Clark was trucked by Faulk on the 13-yard run in the 3Q.


����������� - After Troy busted up a 3rd down pass, Clark put a vicious hit on a defenseless Wes Werlker and drew a 15-yard flag that kept the drive alive in a tight ballgame.So much for the �smart, heady, veteran play by Clark� that we get inundated with, week in and week out.I�m all for punishing opposing players with rough hits, but this was a blatant penalty and a foolish, pussyfied hit.Clark is the same guy that got trucked by Faulk and didn�t hit anyone the entire game, until he gets a freebie shot at Welker.


���������� Overall, tonite validated what a complete tool Clark actually is.


Pola and Gay:B+����� Ike and Clark:D-�����


Spec teams:A surprisingly half-decent game.The coverage teams, aside from the late squib kick, were stellar. Fox had a good stop in punt cover, though he was flagged after the opening KO for a dead ball foul.Bailey had a good stop in KO cover.Madison hit the hapless NE kickoff returner as he was scrambling for a fumbled KO, and Fox pounced on the loose ball for a huge turnover on the NE 8 in the 3Q.


Berger punted okay, though hardly great.Reed was 4 of 5 on FGs on this rainy night, with his lone miss coming from 40.�� Holmes had a good 29-yard punt return in the 1Q, sprung by a key block by Tony Smith. ��Tony also had a good slashing stop in KO cover late in the 2Q.


Davis coughed up the ball on the opening KO; luckily we recovered.He returned the next one as well, before Russell, who�d done so well, was finally permitted to do the return chores.Russ then reeled off a 31-yard KO return.Go figure.�� Moore bobbled a FC attempt OOB in the 3Q.




OC:Blessed with absolutely golden FP the entire 2nd half, all Arians could muster were a handful of FG tries, an 8-yard TD drive that actually went 11 yards, and a 1-yard TD drive.


Arians enraged me after Moore�s 7-1/2 yard run in the 1H set up a 2nd and 3.Amidst a chilly rain, Arians goes EMPTY backfield -- totally eschewing a PAP fake -- and tries some homosexual WR screen, which is rapidly becoming Arians most favorite playtoy.��


The inordinate amount of time it was taking to get the playcall in to Ben was unacceptable.Ben had to burn a TO at 6:41 3Q, and he narrowly avoided DOG penalties at least 4 times during the game.When you have an OC with no identity and no clue as to how he wants to attack, you get clumsy indecision, which breeds DOG penalties and wasted TOs.


The one nice rarity we did see was the 3rd & 1 pop pass to Miller.Hooray !!�� It was so easy, even a caveman could do it��but it�s taken 29 games into his tenure as an OC to hit his #1 TE with a simple pop pass on 3rd & short.������ B-


DC:Dick had his usual weekly bout of incredibly good fortune.�� Brady, of course, would have started this game, but his Sept. injury gave way to the greenhorn QB, Cassel.Maroney (injured) would have started at RB, not Morris.�� Add in the 5 or 6 dropped passes by WIDE open receivers, and you have just about the luckiest man on the planet.�� And let me point out, there�s a difference between a WR alligator-arming a ball in TRAFFIC, as opposed to lazily DROPPING a ball while WIDE OPEN behind the defense.NE�s drop today were the case of the latter, not the former.��


The softee defense at the end of the 1st half was reprehensible.NE just gouged Dick�s defense for huge chunks of yardage, on the GROUND, no less.Little delay handoffs just ate that defense alive, and don�t think opposing OCs won�t spot the chink in that armor.


Dick�s 3rd down defense was better than usual, with NE going a poor 1-13.To be accurate, however, at least 3 or 4 3D plays could have been converted had NE players simply held onto the ball while being wide open.������ B


HC:Tomlin has to be pleased with the way the team clawed back from 7-0 and 10-3 deficits, and he deserves some credit for that.The downside is the continued trend of selfish, totally asinine penalties being taken, with no discipline meted out.Fox, Ike, and Clark committed moronic, dead ball penalties.This plagued the Stillers down the stretch last season, and it seems to be rearing its ugly head quite a bit lately.�� It�s high time Tomlin put his money where his mouth is and start benching, if only for a series, the selfish idiots who commit killer, dead-ball penalties.�� B


Synopsis:A big win over a hated nemesis.Moving to 9-3 with a road win like this is certainly a nice step forward.There�s no time to rest on laurels, of course, as the Stillers host the 8-4 Cryboys next week at Heinz Mud Bog.Giving the Cowpokes a good beating would be a nice way to start the December stretch drive with rugged games at Baltimore and Tennessee to follow.Unlike last season, when this team collectively stumbled and faltered down the stretch, it�d be nice to peak and round into form in December.


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


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