Stillers 17, Jaguars 13 ��. Oct 16, 2011 ����Game #6
Stillers-Jaguars Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers roared out to a comfy 17-0 lead, and like the Pitt lead of 14-3 yesterday in the same stadium, it seemed to be a done-deal amidst a yawny afternoon. Of course, just like Pitt, the Stillers slopped and stumbled the entire 2nd half, allowing the Faguars back into the game and making the 4th quarter quite interesting. The Stillers held on by the skin of their schwanzes, with a flimsy, uninspiring 4-point win.
QB: A tale of 2 halves. Ben started out afire, going 11 of 15. He then cooled off, more resembling the Pitt QB duo that amassed all of 50 passing yards in their game yesterday, than the QB who fired 5 TDs last week versus the Titans. Tino, er, Ben, showed signs off problems early, when on the 1st play of the 2nd series, he badly underthrew a deep ball to an open Wally, which was nearly INTd. This trend continued the rest of the game, as Sunseri, er, Rothelisberger, continually misfired on deep balls; sometimes too long, sometimes too short, but never catchable despite his WR being wide open in the clear. And on these plays, the pass pro was superb.
Ben also badly over-threw a wide open Brown in the EZ on 3d & goal, forcing the Stillers to settle for a FG. Late in the 1st half, he nearly threw 2 INTs, each of which was dropped (1 by Mathis, 1 by Landry). The 2nd half was just a train wreck, and the lone productive play Ben made that half was his scramble on 3d &2 at 2:54 to move the sticks and chew more clock. In an entirely Sunseri-like manner, Ben managed to complete all of ONE pass in the 2nd half. Just one. Ben committed a DOG penalty on 3d & 2 in the 4Q, a play where the entire O was lined up with plenty of time, but Ben failed to keep tabs on the playclock and it simply ran out on him. The next play, he was sacked to force a punt. Perhaps the Stillers need to separate themselves from that high stink-tane offense of Pitt, lest the stench starts to rub off even more. D+
RB: Socrates Mendenhall returned from the ham injury with a vengeance, gashing the Jags with 146 yards on 23 carries and 1 TD. He ran with 8 times more authority and focus than he had all season. The big carry was the 68 yard jaunt that sliced thru the middle of the Jag defense and then, after a strong stiff-arm, down the sideline. While a splendid run, I was enraged when Socrates, who is such a mindful thinker, failed to change hands with the football, which could have resulted in a costly strip on the TD-saving tackle. Dumb; just really dumb. Mendy used better vision today, bouncing outside when the corner was there for the taking, such as his 8-yard TD run and the 10-yard run late in the 3Q.
With Mendy back, Redman, of course, was immediately relegated to bench duty, even after a long 68-yard run that left Mendy gassed. Red carried all of 4 times, for 22 yards. He had a strong plunge on 3d & 1 on the 1st series, plowing and driving for 11 yards. Red had a strong blitz pickup on 3d & 4 on the 1st play of the 2Q, which enabled Ben to hit Ward for 9 yards.
Dwyer had a nice lunge for 7 yards, and finished with 2 rushes for 8. A+
FB: rarely used, although Johnson had a good lead block to spring Mendy for a 12-yard run late in the 1Q. Inc.
WR: Wally led the way with 2 grabs for 76, although he could have easily had 4 grabs for about a buck 60. He made a superb grab on a deep flag for 48 yards. He did drop a backshoulder sideline pass in the 4Q.
Ward had 3 grabs for 47. He allowed a short TD pass to slither thru his hands in the 2Q. He had a good RAC on a screen for 19 yards.
Brown had 1 grab for 16, that on a nice pluck on 3rd down in the 2Q. He had a foolish false start flag on a potential Hail Mary play at the end of the 1H. Sanders, who seems to have been written out of the offense, had 1 grab for 32 yards. Perhaps he�ll see more passes. A-
TE: Miller had 4 grabs for 27 amidst taking some punishment. The blocking was decent. A-
OL: The line played fairly well as a unit. Ben was given decent time, and there were some good holes for the running game. Legursky wrenched a toe on the 1st play of the 2Q and ended up getting carted to the locker room. Essex replaced him and played the final 3 quarters. Essex had a good short-pull and block on Mendy�s long run.
Max Starks spent most of the week reading press clippings. He then had his lunch handed him to him in the 2nd half, as the Jags demonized him with speed rushes that attacked Max�s weakness. Twice in the 4Q, he was beaten to the corner on a speed rush, first forcing a sack and then causing a strip that would have been disastrous had Essex not pounced on the loose ball.
Pouncey played solidly, although he was flagged for a hold on a running play.
Scott was far from dominant, but didn�t get outrageously tooled or abused. You have to wonder exactly what this coaching staff was thinking when they thought this stiff could play LEFT tackle. A-
DL: Hampton and Smith did not dress, due to injury. Keisel had a rare, big game. He batted a pass in the 2Q. He then got a fingernail grab of Drew on a screen pass and hung on for dear life, holding the dangerous RB to a 3-yard loss. Brett then bullrushed through the fissure of 2 blockers and dropped Gabbert for a clock-eating sack in the last minute of the game.
Hood started and didn�t even make the stat sheet. D-side stats are often skewed and often meaningless, but would it hurt a former 1st rounder in his 4th season to show up on a stat sheet after being on the field for 50-some plays ? He whiffed on a sack on a key 4th down in the 3Q, which allowed Gabbert to scoot ahead for the 1D. In the 4Q, he correctly read a screen, but then dropped a potential INT.
Hoke delivered a big smack on the game�s 1st play, belting Drew on a 1-yard gain. Hoke got a stinger, though, and was replaced for a good chunk of the game by Steve McClendon, who acquitted himself quite well. Amazing how there is ZERO dropoff from the $4M per year fatass to a 3rd string scrub named McClendon. To add more insult to the $4M FatBoy at nose tackle, the Stillers are now 17-1 in games where Hoke starts at NT. Heyward saw some PT in the 2H. B+
LB: Taunto Farrior led the way, with 6 solos and 5A�s. He was fairly active and lively. He even had a rare pass bust-up in the 2Q. On the next play, Farrior also had a Dong Sack when he came in untouched and unblocked. Taunto did struggle some in the 2H. He got rumbled over by Drew on an 11-yard carry in the 3Q. He then was quite poor, along with Timmons, on a 3d & 1 plunge by Karim that netted 14 yards. Midway thru the 4Q, Farrior -- long known as The Winged God of LB Pass Coverage -- got totally tooled on a flag by Lewis, which gained 21 yards and sparked that drive. Lewis was actually wide open the entire game, but a bumbling, inept rookie QB kept the Jags from taking advantage.
Larry Slow-a-Foote started at ILB and did little. He badly over-ran the cutback play by Drew that gained 19 yards at 10:52 2Q. Foote did have a rare, but good, hole-fill on a Drew plunge that gained 2 yards in the 4Q.
With Harrison out, Casper Timmons again started at ROLB and was completely invisible. Playing in a glory spot against TWO rookies at LG and LT, he was held completely off the stat sheet. Again, stats don�t define everything, but a LB in THIS system should be flying to the ball and making some tackles. He failed to react at the POA (point of attack) on the 3d & 1 plunge that gained 14 yards in the 3Q. Earlier, he whiffed on a QB scramble that saw a conversion on 3d & 11, although a Jax penalty nullified the gain. His pass pressure was minimal and he isn�t coming close to making the kind of impact, splash plays that this defense needs from an OLB.
Big LaMarr had a lot of slop n� glob for cheesy paper stats, but there was little substance. Yes, he showed more desire than those first 4 pitiful games in which he stood around with his thumb up whatever orifice was handy. On paper, it looks liked Big LaMarr had a �monster game�, but it was loads of gooey slop.
He got 2 early assists on half-assed slop assists. Then, the Jags tried to use a wingback, backup RB Brock Bolen, from the LEFT side of their formation to come over and block Big LaMarr. With a shitty angle and being outsized by 40 pounds and 4 inches, Bolen was easily over powered by Woodley for a Dong Sack. Later in the 2Q, The Dogger was solo blocked by tackle Guy Whimper, and after eons of time, Gabbert took a coverage sack by Big LaMarr that officially got recorded as yet another Dong Sack.
There was more slop assists in the 2H, plus a slop solo where Drew ran up RG/RT and was totally stuffed, and Big LaMarr -- who had nothing to do with the stuffing -- reach over and got a slop stop.
Two plays exposed Big LaMarr as the over-hyped he-man that he truly is. At 4:09 1Q, Woodley was solo blocked by the TE and got driven and then BURIED into the turf on a 4-yard run by Drew. Then, in the 3Q of a close ballgame, Big LaMarr got into a scuffle with FB Greg Jones. The scuffle grew heated and turned into some fierce jostling. All of the sudden, one man slammed the other onto the ground, onto his back. Poor Jonesie....er, wait, no, Poor LaMarr, who got his ass thrown onto the turf by a running back who gave up 2 inches and well over 20 pounds. What a weak-assed puddpuller. It�s bad enough Woodley got goaded into a scuffle that could have resulted not only in a costly penalty (luckily there were offsetting flags), but also a possible ejection. But then, to make matters worse, he gets his fat ass kicked by a no-name RB. Maybe the Penguins� Aaron Asham can give Big LaMarr some fighting lessons. Lest we forget, there was also a stupid-assed offsides penalty by Woodley on a 3d & 4 in the 2Q, which gave the Jags a freebie 1st down. Of course, none of this will show up on the stat sheet, so you can be assured that there will be another 5 articles this week praising �the great play of Big LaMarr Woodley�.
All LBs: C
DB: lke had his first sub-par game of the season. He finally allowed a TD, getting scorched by Hill for an 18-yard score. He was also beaten on a deep post on the 2nd series of the game, but the pass was overthrown. And although Mundy was called out by the refs for a holding flag in the 2Q, it very clearly was Ike. Hopefully this off-game isn�t a portent of things to come. To his credit, his run support was very sturdy.
Pola had another stupendous game. Dude was just flying out there like a crazed maniac. In the 2Q, he timed the snap and then pounced between center and guard to grab at the QB, forcing an inc. He swooped in to stuff Karim for a 2-yard loss late in the 3Q. On a key 3d & 2 in the 4Q, he slashed in and cut down Drew for no gain. However, he wobbled off the field after this play, apparently taking a knee to the head, and did not return.
Clark had a flailing whiff on a WR screen in the 2Q. He dropped an INT (what else is new) on the game�s final play, although one could claim that he intentionally dropped it, although the nearest receiver was a good 7 yards away. Gay started and wasn�t picked on, although Gabbert just isn�t experienced enough to pick on anyone.
Mundy and Lewis saw a fair amount of PT. As usual, this crew picked off zero passes. Pola: A+ All others: B-
Spec teams: A fairly ugly day at the office.
- poor KO coverage after 1st TD; allowed 33-yard KO return.
- Suisham missed a 46-yard FG, duck-hooking the piss out of the kick a good 30 feet wide to the left.
- Sepul rocketed an easy pooch punt into the EZ in the 3Q for a net of 25 yards
- Sepul then had a nice 55 yard punt, but then shanked an ugly -23 yard punt that nearly went into the bleachers, giving Jax the ball at their 48.
- With the Stillers sitting on a nice 14-point lead, Mundy blatantly roughs the punter on 4th and 21, giving the Jags a 1st down and new life, which they converted for a TD.
Curt Brown and Battle had good solo tackles. Brown seems confident and ready to break a KO return any time he touches the ball. D+
OC: It�s hard to place a ton of blame on Arians for this 2nd half debacle, which all too much resembled Todd Graham�s �high stink-tane� offense at Pitt, which shares the same mud bog. Ben had open receivers and mis-fired time and time and time again. There were some botches, though --
- On the 2nd play of the 2Q, Arians calls this cutesey PAP pass to Miller, who catches the pass 4 yards behind the LOS. He�s lucky to garner forward for 2 yards, but it�s still a 2-yard LOSS. Haven�t we seen enough of these behind the LOS passes to the un-quick Miller ??
- Mendy ripped off the 68 yard jaunt to the Jax 4, which, with the flag on Jax, set up shop at 1st & G at the 2. I don�t care who you are, 68 yards -- which really was about 80 yards of �real yardage� -- is a long way to run in pads and then take a tumble at the end on a shot OOB. At this point, unless there are only 10 seconds left in the game, you HAVE to get Mendy out of the game for a breather. This point is even more obvious when one considers that Redman has established himself as THE short-yardage runner on this team. Nope, not Asshole Arians. Mendy stayed in the game, and was stuffed on the ensuing play for a 1-yard loss.
- 2 plays later, the Stillers faced a 3d & G at the 3. Arians, true to his nature, went with an empty backfield, SG set. This is a faggot-fuk formation led by a complete asshump of an OC. That close to paydirt, you actually CAN run the ball, and if nothing else, you can run a PAP. The RB also gives you a chance to block a blitzer, which is highly likely to occur. Ben felt some pressure from an untouched DB on his left, and hastily lofted a pass to Brown that was too high, forcing a FG.
As well as Mendy ran today, I despised the immediate banishment of Redman to the bench., especially when a hamstring can re-occur quite easily the first 1-2 weeks after it supposedly is �healed�. Platoons at RB can, and do, work in the NFL. If only this staff knew how to implement one. B-
DC: Dick, the luckiest man in the modern history of the NFL, once again was able to FEAST upon a rookie greenhorn. One would think that, having feasted on Tarvarius Jackson, Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Matt Hasseljack, Dick�s good luck would run out.
Today Dick had the outrageous luxury of facing rookie QB Blaine Gabbert, who just turned 22 yesterday and is THE youngest Qb in the NFL. Making his 4th start, with a receiving corps that would make the Andre Hastings/Ernie Mills due looks like John Taylor and Jerry Rice, Gabbert was easy fodder for Dick. What�s more outrageous in terms of luck, was that the Jaguars started two rookies on the left side of the offensive line due to injuries to guard Will Rackley and tackle Cameron Bradfield.
Of course, Dick still had his problems trying to stop the weak-assed Jax offense, and at times Dick was just about overwhelmed and flailing about like a drowning man latching onto an anvil. After the opening KO was a touchback, Dick allowed an easy, 9-play drive that ended with a punt to the PIT 13. That�s called FLIPPING the field; in this case, from the 20 to the 13.
Then, after the roughing the punter, Dick saw fit to allow a 12-play march from the Jax 35 for a TD that turned a laugher into a squeaker. A 4th quarter, 12-play, 65-yard TD march to a scrub-assed rookie QB. That seems to be Dick�s mantra.
Late in the game, with less than a minute left, Dick actually allowed the Jags -- after a sack at the Jax 10 -- to march (with no timeouts, mind you) from their 10 to the Jax 48, for a legit Hail Mary attempt.
Overall, if that�s not shit defense, then I don�t know what shit defense is. C-
HC: Tomlin, whose clock management skills are akin to a plumber running a jewelry store, again botched this routine task. Near the end of the 1H, he failed to call a TO after Keisel�s minus-3-yard stop deep in Jax territory. 25 seconds were wasted as the Jags ran another play, and when Jax punted, the Stillers had the ball near midfield but only time for 1 snap.
Then there was the decision to go for a punt block, which was foolish on many levels. Not only was a block entirely not needed there -- what with the punter punting INTO the brutal wind -- but had the Jags run a stunning fake punt, their man would have run untouched for 80 yards for a TD. As it was, the dumbassed roughing flag gave the Jags a free possession, which they cashed in for a TD. The situation to call a blocked punt simply was not there, and this was a myopic decision made by a mental midget grasping at straws.
There still is a lot of sloppy play, combined with poor discipline (foolish penalties and the like). B-
Synopsis: A lukewarm win over a weak-assed opponent that is in a 5-game loss tailspin. With a 2nd half that saw the Steeler offense eerily mirror the woeful likes of the Pitt offense from the day prior on the same field, it leaves a lot to be desired. Next week, a trip out to 1-4 AZ, where the Stillers have long flubbed and floundered. And, of course, this will be the very 1st offense the Stillers have faced this season that has a competent, semi-dangerous passing offense.
Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the