Stillers 30, Smallphins 12……. Jan 8, 2017…………AFC Wild Card
Stillers-Dolphs Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 11-5 Stillers hosted the 10-6 Fish in the AFC wild card, in bitter cold weather of about 18 degrees with a wind chill of 4. Despite pretty much dominating the first half, they went into the locker room up just 20-6. The Stillers managed to pour it on late in the 3Q, and turned a tight game into a good whipping. However, Ben injured an ankle late in the game, attempting a pass, no less, which could make this a pyrrhic victory should he be anything less than 98% next Sunday.
Had a stellar first 28 minutes of the game. Then threw a vomit-spewing pass right into the face of a Fish LB, but the fellow allowed it to clang off his mask, and Jessie James grabbed the pass. Undaunted, 2 plays, later, on a middle scramble, with TWO men WIDE open, plus an ACRE of open room, Shitlessberger threw a high, wretched pass that was woefully behind AB and was INT’d to thwart the late 1H drive.
I despised Ben wasting the 2nd of their 2H TOs at 3:38 3Q. The game wasn’t in-hand, and he’d already burned the Fish on a couple prior offsides. On this play, he shooed away the FG team, unsuccessfully tried to draw the Fish offsides, and then burned a very scarce TO.
Ben finished 13 of 18, but the late game INT – entirely wretched -- was not only a case of jack-assed foolishness and bravado on his part, but his ankle got rolled upon by a 290 pound man, and after the game he was wearing a boot. And we all know how shit-laden Shitlessberger plays when gimpy. B
Bell – had an incredibly stellar 3rd drive of the game, chewing chunks and chunks of yardage before nearly scoring on a 26-yard TD, putting the ball at the 1-foot line. He plunged it in 2 plays later. Superb running, 3Q. Just a stellar all around effort, with a Stiller playoff record of 167 yards, plus 2 short grabs and 2 TD runs. A++
DeAngelo – Wasn’t permitted to play on offense, at all, until late game garbage time.
Toussaint – fortunately, never participated on O.
D. Johnson, Nix - Nix destroyed a LB with a lead block on a Bell run for 15 yards, late 1Q. Solid blocking to help lead Bell.
Brownie – stellar RAC for a 50-yard TD, first drive. Then, on the 2nd drive, he grabbed a short slant and left the safety in the dust en route to a 62-yard TD, staking the Stillers to a 14-0 lead. Dropped an easy pass, 4Q. Had 5 grabs for 124. A
Coates – this piss-ass rarely, if ever, played at WR.
Rogers - Steller RAC for 19 yards on an early 3d & 5. Regrettably, this was his lone grab. Teams are not going to use the moronic MIA scheme of leaving AB single covered, so Rogers has got to be a key ingredient of game plans from this point on. Threw a tremendous block after a short grab by Rogers in the 3Q, and was incorrectly flagged for a “blindside block”, which was complete bullshit. THIS is a football play by a tough fellow.
Heyward-Gay – gained 24 yards on a PI flag, late 2Q. Had 1 grab for 10. B
Hamilton – grabbed a short curl to move the chains, late 2Q. Threw a key block on the AB screen that went to the house on the opening drive. Had 1 grab for 10. B+
Ayers – snagged a short cross and converted a 3d & 6, 1Q. Had 2 grabs for 21. I’m growing fonder of Ayers with each passing week. A-
Jesse James – good hustle and savvy on the WR screen TD by AB, first drive. Helped avert disaster by grabbing a pass that had literally hit the Fish LB in the face, late 2Q. This 6 yard grab was his only catch of the day.
Grimble – never used in the passing game.
Green – the biggest pansie in the NFL did not dress.
OL: Overall, the line gave Bell plenty of holes, and also gave Ben good time in the pocket. A
Villeneueva - got abused and allowed a sack, 3Q. Then, on the first play of the 4Q, he completely failed on his block, which got Bell savagely mauled by Phillips.
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus had a rare, good pull and kickout block on the near Bell TD run to the 1 foot line, early 2Q. Flagged for a hold on the late-game INT play.
Foster – Flagged for a hold on a RUNNING play, late 2Q, with the Stillers trying to add to their lead. Just fuking enraged me.
Pouncey – good block on Eli’s early screen pass for 19 yards, although he pretty much just got in the way of the defender as Eli raced by.
DeCastro – committed his weekly false start, 2nd series. Good lead block on the Bell TD run, late 3Q.
Hubbard – played a ton of snaps as a 6th O-lineman/TE.
Hargrave – helped stuff Ajayi, 2d series. Was stout at the POA. Solid effort.
McCullers – did little.
Tuitt – whiffed on the sack on the play in which Dupree lit up Moore, 2Q. Helped stuff an Ajayi run, late 3Q, and then nabbed Moore on the next play, on 4th down, to turn the ball over. Had 2 solos and 2 A’s. B+
Walton – recovered a fumble, 3Q.
Dicardo Matthews – did not dress, due to getting injured in last week’s entirely meaningless game that he was ALREADY hobbled going into.
Timmons – Had sacks on successive plays, 4Q. Had 8 solos and 6 As in a very, very strong effort. A
Shaquier – good stick and stop of Ajayi, 2Q. Got tooled on RAC, 40 second left in half, allowing the WR to get OOB. Very, very poor play, as he went in as upright as a giraffe and had no BASE to shift his feet when the WR cut. Big INT, 3Q, to help put this game away. The one thing I noticed about Shaz in this game, is that several times, he was flying to the ball so fast after a reception that he was out of control and unable to break-down, thereby getting juked on the RAC.
Moats – only played in garbage time.
Harrison – stuffed Gay Ajayi’s first run for no gain. On the next series, forced a fumble with an adroit chop of the ball, which Tuitt recovered. The LOS was on the PIT 8, with 27 seconds left, so MIA had eons of time to trim the Stiller lead to just 7 points (with a PAT). Applied a punishing hit on Ajayi, early 4Q. 6 solos, 4 As, 1.5 sacks in a stupendous, beastly effort. Along with Shaz, he was the difference from the first MIA game this season, when MIA ran off tackle at will for huge chuncks of yardage all game long. A+
Jones – got some PT in garbage time. Busted up a WR screen pass, late 4Q.
Chickillo – did not dress (knee)
Vinnie W. – not permitted to play on D.
Dupree – drilled Moore on a scrambling throw, 2Q, with a legal hit a millisecond after the pass. He was absurdly assessed a “roughing the passer” flag, which was complete and utter bullshoit. The hit by Dupree was a good football play. The QB was OUTSIDE the pocket, ready to run for positive yardage, or throw for positive yardage. Dupree attacked and hit him a mere millisecond after the pass was released. It was not late, and it was not “roughing the passer”. Two plays later, he abused the RT and earned a holding flag. Chipped in on a sack, early 4Q. THIS is the kind of imtimidating, menacing play that has been sorely lacking with the likes of Moats and Jarstiff getting gobs of PT early in the year while Dupree healed. A
Golden – inactive.
Mitchell – got tooled on a 3d & 4, 2Q, allowing a hefty 16 yard gain or so. Was credited with FF on the Moore fumble, in which Moore ran into his own man, and that Fish player was the one who caused the fumble. Then had to run to midfield and preen like a jackass. Put a lick on Ajayi to help force a 4 down, late 3Q. B
Gay - failed to turn AND look for the ball on the 3d & 13, allowing a 36 yard gain when MIA was on the ropes of getting run out of the stadium. Sure as shit, MIA gets a FG to stop the bleeding and gain some confidence and composure. Was far too slow to react to the obvious boot pass to Williams, which scored a TD in the 4Q. C+
Cockrell – got away with a hold on a key 3d & 4, late 1Q. Got tooled deep, late 2Q, for a 37-yard completion, and then took a shot in the head from idiot Mike Bitchell. B-
Burns – flagged for holding, late 2Q.
Davis – active game; more active than his 3 solos would indicate. B+
Justin Gilbert – inactive.
Dangerfield – started the 2H in placed of Cockrell.
Jordan Berry – punted only twice. Had a dogshit 37-yard punt, early 4Q, although it did go OOB, which prevented the shit-awful Steeler coverage teams from having to actually cover.
Boswell – horrible KO on his first try, landing at the 15. Clanged his 3rd PAT off the upright, taking a point off the board so to speak.
AB – nothing of note on punt returns.
Touissaint – made an over the shoulder catch of the opening KO, IN THE EZ, then delayed, and then stupidly decided to take it out…..allll the way to the 16. Then, he grabbed a KO at his own 5, late 1Q, and ran across the field….as slow as a pack-mule hauling a cart full of cinder blocks. He was easily hauled down at his own 17, thereby taking 8 yards off the free spot at the 25 if he’d have simply allowed the ball to land and roll into the EZ. I hear he runs the forty in 4.4 …..minutes. This manure-eater should be cut, ASAP. F
Coats returned the next KO, 2 yards deep in the EZ, and fared little better, getting hit at the 15 and stumbling to the 17. With these two stiffs returning Kos well SHORT of the 25, I remain perplexed how this coaching staff is unable to see the simple advantage of simply TAKING A KNEE in the EZ for a touchback. Just take a fuking KNEE in the EZ !!!! On 4 KOs in a game, you're giving up literally 38+ yards if ya only return a KO to the 15 or 18........the equivalent of about 3-4 penalties. Just take the knee, avoid the risk of an illegal block flag AND a fumble, and allow Ben to start at the 25. Sure, if you have KC’s Tyreek Hill, or a modern day version of Devin Hester, you take a shot with a big KO return. Clearly, this team has complete stiffs who are returning Kos, and even if the opponent uses only 8 men on the KO, there is zero chance of either of these clowns getting a big return.
Jarstiff Jones had the stop on the first KO. Burns was flagged for a hold on the first MIA punt, a punt that rapidly went into the EZ and thus was not returned. Like, how fuking stupid does one have to be to commit a hold on a play such as this?
Woeful KO coverage after the 14-0 lead, giving MIA the ball at their 41. 20 forced a fumble on KO coverage, 2Q. The punt return team, on a 4th and INCHES, allowed a fake punt plunge to convert the 1D.
The always-leaky coverage teams allowed a 58-yard KO return, late 3Q. Vinnie W. had a good lick on punt coverage, 4Q.
I despised the 1st & goal playcalls, 3Q. 1st down – WR Screen to AB, no gain. 2nd down, Bell plunge, no gain. 3rd down, sack. They ended up settling for a FG. Overall, the playcalling was solid, and unlike the last game vs. MIA, Haley got the ball to AB, and got it to him early.
What Haley needs to anticipate, is that the Chefs are not going to single cover AB with some stiff of a CB. They’ll give him much more attention, meaning it will be imperative to get the ball to Eli, the TEs, and occasionally Ayers/DHB.
This grade plummets severely, due to Haley’s unbelievably assaholic decision t o order a PASS play by Ben, up 18, with only 4:30 left in the game. There should have been NOTHING BUT a simple handoff to Williams, and then a punt. Getting Ben injured on this play could be THE biggest impediment to advancing any further. C
Keith Assler had his weekly luxury, this time getting to face a backup QB in Matt Moore. Of course, sure as shit, Assler allows Moore to go 11 of 14, 147 yards, no INTs, in the 1H. The key for Moore in this stretch was that he was rarely ever harassed. Even he big hit by Dupree was simply off a scramble against a vanilla 4 man rush.
3d & 4, early 3Q, and Assler goes with a 3 man rush, which gives Moore an ETRENITY for a 17 yard pass. Then 3 plays later on 3d & 6, he AGAIN goes with a pussyfiuled 3 man rush, and it’s an easy pitch and catch for 8 yards. Finally, on the very next play, some real pressure was applied (with Harrison and Bitchell blitzing), and the FF (somewhat by Bitchell) forced the turnover. When you have an O-line completely incapable of blocking the blitz, then you blitz the shit out of them and annihilate the QB. B-
HC: Mike Dumblin will be all proud of beating an 11-point dog from Florida, while at home, in bitter cold weather while the opponent was forced to start a backup QB and an injury ravaged secondary. Combined with the gift playoff win last year against Cinci, Stoogelin now has 2 recent playoff wins. HoF nomination, right now…..!!
Of course, Dumblin displayed his overt stupidity for all the world to see. I’m still trying to figure out which decision was more moronic:
A. On 4th and 2 INCHES around the 45, Stoogelin sends in his punt return team instead of simply leaving in his starting D on what was an obvious call to go for the fake punt by Mia. I cannot fathom how daft Stoogelin has to be to get duped like this. There is ZERO risk of keeping your starting D on the field in this situation and there is a 99% chance of 1st down conversion of TWO INCHES if you send out your punt return team. Sure as shit, MIA easily converts a fake-punt plunge for an easy yard, and then moves on for a FG. Had the starting D been on the field, this play gets engulfed or MIA checks out of it and punts the ball away.
B. Late in game with an 18 point margin, Stoogelin insists on keeping Ben in the game, and worse allows the OC to call a pass, which not only resulted in injury, but could have been a pick 6. You have an annoyed, irritated MIA defense that is surely pissed off at being pushed around all day, plus a sure loss…..and yer gonna have your QB stand in the pocket and get attacked by those same angry fellows??!! And before some yo-yo mentions that Brady and Rogers are in the game, late, in similar situations, each of those men has, oh, about 3% of the injury track record that Ben has. Ben is a magnet for such hits.
As mentioned above, why is that no one on this coaching staff can see the value of a kickoff TOUCHBACK and taking the ball at the 25, as opposed to have some slow-asssed fuktard like Touissaint bringing the ball back to the 15?? Is the concept that fuking difficult??? Not only is Michael The Almighty a cheerleader, he’s also a complete fuking idiot. C
Synopsis: A solid playoff win, albeit against an 11 point road underdog from Miami playing in 4 degree weather. It won’t be quite so easy next week out in KC. Arrowhead is a tough venue, and KC has a stellar kick return game, which will surely exploit Stoogelin’s inept, weak-assed coverage teams. If Ben is gimpy, you can expect meek play from him, with scattershot passing, a refusal to run for free yardage on scrambles, and 2-3 costly INTs. Plus, Stoogelin’s teams play a timid, meek brand of football on the road, making this task all the more challenging. Should be an interesting game.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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