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We're The CHAMPS !! Stillers-Cards Postgame Analysis & Grades

February 02, 2009 by Still Mill

Stillers 27, Az. 23 ���The Super Bowl !
Stillers 27, Arizona 23���. Feb 1, 2009 ����The Super Bowl ���


Stillers-Cards Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers stormed to a 10-0 lead early in the 2Q.But the Cards struck back with a TD to close it to 10-7, and then seemed poised to take the lead just before the half.But Jamie Harrison picked off a Warner pass at the GL and dashed 100 yards for a huge TD on the final play of the 1H.


The Stillers had a chance to take full control in the 3Q, but twice, on the same drive, settled for a chickenshit FG after 1st & goal inside the AZ 5.�� In the 4Q, the Cardinals just shredded and decimated Dick LeBeau�s vaunted defense, and took the lead on a late 64-yard catch & run by Fitz.But as has happened all season long, Ben engineered a late drive, and Tonio atoned for a TD drop by snaring a high pass on the very next play for the winning TD !!




QB:Ben had a superb 1H, going 11 of 14 for 130 yards.The lone INT was off a bat by a D-lineman.�� He had a superb scramble on 3d & 10 and hit Miller for 11 yards, which kept the drive alive for a FG early in the 2Q.He also had a couple other good scrambles that avoided disaster.He wasn�t flawless in the 1H, though.On the 2nd drive, he had Nate open on a deep post for a TD, but lollipopped the pass (LOS was the AZ 44) and Cromar was able to bust it up.This drive ended in a FG, but it should have been 6 points off the deep ball to Nate. ��Later, midway thru the 2Q, Ben had Tonio WIDE open deep on a stop n� go that had clearly beaten Cromar, but Ben again lollipopped the throw, and Cromar was able to get back and bust up the pass


���� In the 2H, Ben had a foolish low throw that was batted on 2nd & goal that nearly ended in a disastrous INT by Rolle.He was timid and tentative on the 3d & 8 at 12:08 4Q, and was sacked for a 12-yard loss.He then was timid, refusing to shuffle or scoot from inside pressure by Dockett, on 2d & 6 at 6:44 4Q, and was sacked.He then under threw Nate on a lollipop lob down the sideline just before the 2MW in the 4Q.In retrospect, Ben would have been better off simply allowing the 2MW to occur than trying to squeeze off a hasty, disorganized play on this 2d & 6.At any rate, Ben was Ben on the final drive, coolly marching the team 78 yards on 5 of 7 passing and passing for the winning TD.Actually, he threw a good pass on the prior play, but Tonio allowed that one to go through his hands.Ben finished 21 of 30 for 256 yards, made some miraculous scrambles, and led a near flawless final drive for the comeback victory.�� He should have been named co-MVP.��A


RB:After a promising 1st half (8 rushes, 34 yards) Parker finished with 19 rushes for 53 yards.Park had a nice bounce on a toss sweep, good for 9 yards in the 1Q.He then had a good power run late in the 1Q, for 8 yards.He eluded Wilson -- who spent the entire evening in our backfield -- midway thru the 2Q and gained 8 out of nothing.


���� But the Cards sold out in the 2H and shot thru every gap, and severely limited Parker in the latter half.One of Parker�s biggest runs was to simply cross the goal line -- from his own end zone -- to avoid a safety and force the Cards to burn a TO at 3:04 4Q.Park had a big 15-yard dash to the AZ 5 to set up the fateful, and unproductive, 1st & goal late in the 3Q.Aside from that run, however, Parker had 10 rushes for 4 yards.


Moore played sparingly, mostly on passing situations in the 2H.He had 1 rush for 6 and 1 grab for 4.Lost amidst all the big plays in this game, Moore alertly found the batted pass late in the 1H and had the sense to immediately charge at Dansby, and made the stop of Dansby without allowing any kind of long INT return.This was a very heady, hustling play by a gritty, intelligent veteran.


Russell had the big TD plunge early in the 2Q, burrowing low for a huge TD.�� He was engulfed by 4 defenders on a plunge in the 1Q from the 1, which lost 4 yards.Overall, there should have been better production, but vanilla predictability made the 8-man front by AZ difficult to run against in the 2H.���� B-��


FB: Davis played sparingly, but had a good lead block on Russell�s TD plunge.He also had a critical bust-up of a very potential INT by Rolle off the batted pass in the 3Q.�� Davis also grabbed 1 pass for 6 yards.�� McHugh played only sparingly at the FB spot.���� Davis:A����� McHugh:Inc


WR:Tonio Holmes.�� Damn.�� What a game.�� I�m not sure where to start, but Holmes finished with 9 grabs for 131 yards and 1 of the greatest, most clutch TD catches in the entire history of the Sup Bowl.Tonio also had 2 long gains (22 yards in the 2Q on 3d & 12; 19 yards on 3d & 10 in the 4Q) that were negated by holding calls.And, Tonio whipped Cromar on a stop n� go in the 2Q, but the lollipop lob was underthrown and busted up.Two aspects of Holmes� game tonight were huge:his plucking of the ball, and his outstanding RAC that piled on a ton of yardage.With Cromar playing soft, Tonio had big RACs on a bubble screen and a 0-step hitch.On the final drive, Holmes had a superb pluck of a high pass on 3rd & 6, which kept that drive alive and helped the offense avoid a do-or-die 4th down.He had the superb RAC for a 40-yard gain later in The Drive, although I wasn�t pleased with his foolish preening after that catch when he should have been quickly lining up in case Ben wanted to get a play off.He did allow a TD pass to go right thru his hands, but on the next play, made 1 of the greatest TD catches in Super Bowl history to give the Stillers the victory.It was only a few scant months ago that Tonio nearly sabotaged the season by getting arrested for possession of a MaryJane blunt in his car during a police stop.Kudos for Tonio for learning from that mistake and then emerging in all 3 playoff games with 1 huge play after another.


Ward got the offense going early, snaring a medium pass and then dashing down the field for a big 38-yard gain.He had a huge, clutch grab on 3rd & 1 in the 3Q, snaring a very difficult pass amidst tight coverage for a 5-yard gain that kept that scoring drive alive.But, he dropped a short curl on 1st down from our own 1 in the 4Q, and was a total non-factor aside from the 2 catches.


Nate had only 1 grab, an 11-yarder on the final drive in which he foolishly took an asinine angle on his RAC and failed to get OOB. Just prior, he failed to come down amidst tight coverage with the underthrown lob down the sideline at the 2:00 mark of the 4Q.


Sweed did nothing.��


Holmes:A+��� Ward:B-��� Nate:B-���� Sweed:Inc


TE:Miller was on fire in the 1H, grabbing 4 passes for 47 yards.He had 21 yards off a pop pass on the first series.He also had a good block on a bubble screen to Tonio, and a great catch on Ben�s 3rd & 10 scramble in the 1Q.He had a good seal block on Parker�s 15-yard run in the 3Q.However, he had a drop of a short in 2 plays later.The shame of it all was that, in the 2nd half, with AZ selling out for the run and walking up SS Adrian Wilson into the box on nearly every 1st & 2nd down, Miller was totally neglected by his incompetent OC.His lone grab in the 2nd half was a valve dumpoff on 3rd & 16 that gained 10.��


Spaeth had 1 grab, a 6-yarder in the 3Q.He totally whiffed on Okeafor on the 1st Stiller play of the 3Q, resulting in a 3-yard loss.He also whiffed miserably on Smith on the 1st & goal run on the 1st series of the game, resulting in a 4-yard loss by Russell.�� Really, I�ve seen this turd stumble and flail all season long in blocking assignments.Colbert�s first order of business, once he cuts Larry Foote, should be to cut Spaeth.


Miller:�� A-���� Speath:C-


OL: Overall, the line played okay.Hardly great, but not pitiful.In the first half, the run blocking was more than acceptable, with Parker gaining over 4 yards per carry.But in the 2nd half, the Card went for broke, run blitzing on every down, and there simply weren�t enough blockers to block 8 defenders that were all within 4 feet of the LOS.


���� To be sure, there a host of boners.�� Piss Kemo bypassed an interior rusher on 1st & goal in the 1Q, resulting in a 4-yard loss.In the 2Q, he foolish hold negated a 22-yard gain by Holmes on 3d & 12.On the first play of the final drive, Kemo committed yet another hold that nearly blew that drive all to hell.Kemo also had a weak-assed block attempt on the 3d & goal QB keeper, barely getting a finger or a nudge on the defender, who ended up nabbing Ben for a 1-yard loss.


����� Hartwig committed a false start on 3d & 5 of the 2nd series.He had the good sense to help drag Ben to the goal line for the apparent TD in the 1Q.He also had a good block on Parker�s 8-yard run late in the 1Q.But, he totally whiffed on Dockett on a 3d & 8 in the 4Q, resulting in a 12-yard sack.And, he was bowled over in the end zone on the 19-yard reception by Tonio, which was ruled holding on a very ticky-tack flag that resulted in safety.


����� Starks was beaten wide on the 3d & goal at the 9 in the 3Q, forcing a pressure and throw-away.


����� Darnell Stapleton was simply wretched most of the game, especially in the 2nd half when he got tooled and abused on nearly every single play.He may have been at his poorest on Parker�s 2-yard loss in the 4Q.


����� Oddly enough, Willie The Colon made few of the boners that he�s become famous for.He wasn�t flagged at all -- perhaps a first in his career -- and wasn�t totally abused and humiliated the way Stapledick and Hartwig were in the 2nd half.�� He had the presence of mind on the 2nd play of the final drive to get up off his ass and at least try to help Ben, who scrambled and found Tonio for 14 yards to help regain yardage after the 1st down holding.


On the final drive, the pass blocking was fairly solid.Ben had time and room, and the line deserves credit for coming through in the clutch on that drive.������ B-


DL:The D-line had some fairly easy stops of the woeful AZ running game.James was held to 10 yards on 4 rushes in the 1st half.He had 5 carries for 23 yards in the 3Q (19 coming on 3 carries early in the 3Q) and then AZ finally woke up and realized that, if they were to win the game, they�d do it through the air, not on the ground.Hampton provided help on James� first plunge of the game, which gained zero.Keisel had a strong, active game.He had pressure on the 2nd series and hit Warner just as he released the pass.Hehad a good stop of Hightower short of the GL after a middle dump, just before Fitz�s 1-yard TD catch.He also jumped on the fumble with 5 seconds left in the game to secure the win.He did allow James to run out of his grasp on a 3Q draw play, which gained 9 when it should have gained 1 yard at most.


���� Aaron Smith was as quiet as a church mouse the entire game, doing very, very little.He finished with 0 solos, 1 assist, and very minimal pressure on the QB.�� Very disappointing.


���� Eason saw a fair amount of PT, and Kirschke subbed in some as well.��


Overall, they played okay, but hardly dominant.���� B-


LB:Leading the way were the Terrible Twosome, Woodley and Harrison, who simply dominated and abused the Cards all game long.


Woodley was an absolute beast, continually tooling and manhandling Levi Brown -- precisely as I stated he would -- and harassing Warner on just about every other play.He constantly pressured Warner, and had the huge strip with 5 secs left in the game to seal the win.He also had a bullrush sack late in the 2Q.Woodley also hustled downfield on the Harrison INT return and helped pave the way.�� Gee, it�s a good thing this guy rotted all of last season.After all, it�s just so complicated and difficult for a LB to learn how to pin his ears back and run hell bent at a QB.��


Harrison was his usual terrorizing self.He was mostly held in check in the 1H, but on the half�s final play, Dirty Harry read Warner, then stepped in front of the short slant that Warner LOVES to throw and picked it off. Not only did he pick it off, but he had the wherewithal and determination to dash 100 yards, eluding tacklers and then plowing the final yard through the tackle attempt by Lary Fitz for a game-turning TD.The Super Bowl has seen its share of great defensive plays over the years, but this has to rank as one of THE best, if not the best, defensive plays in the 43-year history of the big game.Harrison drew a holding flag in the 4Q, getting FACEMASKED by Gandy in an attempt to slow down Harrison.He also had a hit on the QB at 10:33 4Q, and drew another holding flag on Gandy a short while later.��Both Harrison and Woodley were held at least another 6 times during the game, with no flags thrown.


Taunto Farrior tweaked his groin in the 1st half, but fought through it. ��He finished with a team high 6 solos, which tells you how meaningless defensive tackling stats can be, as he had very minimal impact the entire game.He did have a solid wrap of James on a mid-dump in the 1Q.But he was far too slow to get to the outside on James� wide run in the 2Q, which gained 6 yards.He was literally buried into the turf on James� 7-yard run early in the 3Q.After eons in the pocket, he applied a hit to Warner that forced a near-fumble that was ruled an inc pass.He had a good ankle-nab stop on a draw play at 5:03 4Q.


Timmons had a strong effort throughout the game.He showed superb speed and had a good chasedown of James after a dumpoff in the flats in the 3Q, limiting James to a meager 2-yard gain.He put a god, rugged hit n� stop on Boldin late in the 2Q, deep in Stiller territory.And he laid a punishing hit on Breaston after a short crosser with zero RAC late in the 3Q.He helped pave the way for Harrison on the long INT return, blasting an AZ player OOB with a good block.Gee, maybe he can sit for yet another year behind superstar LB Larry FlatFoote because, after all, a player with this much talent and toughness needs at least 3 years -- if not longer -- to learn how to play LB in the NFL.��


Larry FlatFoote gave up the TD pass to Patrick in the 2Q.His coverage was fine.Problem was, Foote never left the ground on this high lob of a pass, literally standing FLAT FOOTED and meekly just reaching up with his paw.Had he jumped just 2 inches -- TWO INCHES -- he very easily bats this pass and the play is broken up.This was one of the most UNathletic plays I�ve ever seen from a supposed �starting linebacker� at the NFL level.We can only hope this will be Foote�s last game in a Stiller uniform.


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


DB:lke Taylor shut down Larry Fitz for 3 quarters, limiting him to 1 grab for 12 yards.For 3 quarters of play, Ike Taylor was The Man.�� For the final quarter, he was a complete pile of manure.In the 4Q -- where games are won and lost -- Ike just fell to pieces, getting tooled all over the field and committing 2 penalties to boot.�� Ike had a good stop on a toss sweep on the 1st series.Late in the 2Q, on a 3rd & 10, Ike got caught flat-footed on a dumpoff to Hightower in the flats, and then got juked out of his jock for a 10-yard gain on a play that should have gained, at most, 5 yards.In the fateful 4Q, Ike failed to look UP for the ball on the fade to Fitz in the EZ, which completed prevented him from making a simple bat on the ball as the ball arrived.3 plays prior, he was clumsy on the curl to Fitz, and was flagged for a hold as well (which was declined).He then took a totally moronic angle on the short in by Fitz late in the 4Q, and then added to it by hopelessly diving at the pass and getting left in the dust as Fitz completed the long 64-yard TD play.Ike also took a foolish, selfish personal foul penalty in the 4Q, needlessly jostling with Boldin after a short reception and push OOB.


Ike wasn�t alone in the boner department, of course.After the dominating performance in the AFCC, Troy Pola basically laid an egg, doing almost nothing the entire game.He was a wretched pile of shit in this game.He flailed and whiffed on James after a short dumpoff in the 2Q, resulting in an 11-yard gain.On the very next play, he flailed again, this time on a wide run by Hightower that was fortunately negated by a holding flag.Late in the 2Q, Pola made one of the most absurd, airheaded blunders ever seen.On a bubble screen from the PIT 5-yard line, Pola flashed up, totally unblocked, with Gay in nearby stop support.Instead of tackling the BALLCARRIER (Boldin), Pola literally jumped atop Gay�s shoulders like a complete fool, taking both players out of the play.What should have been NO GAIN resulted in a 3-yard gain to the Steeler 2-yard line and a 1st down.Unbelievably, with 39 cameras inside the stadium, NBC never highlighted this on a replay.Like a total dumfuk, he jumped on a piddly-assed 12-yard out -- with a CB right ON that receiver -- rather than smartly reading the play on the 64-yard TD late in the 4Q.


McFadden stopped moving on the 45-yard play to Boldin in the 2Q.Overall, he played ok.


Townsend saw a lot of PT and provided decent coverage.Helped spring Harrison on the long INT return by blocking Warner. Gay saw a lot of PT as well.He was tooled badly by Breaston for a 23-yard gain in the 4Q.


Ryan Clark was once again a total waste of oxygen.Like Pola, he jumped on a meaningless 12-yard out pattern -- with a CB in good coverage on that receiver -- on the late 64-yard TD.He was non existent in pass coverage the entire game and did very, very little.


Ike:C���� Pola:�� D+��� McFadden:B-��� Townsend:A-���� Gay:A-Clark:C-


Spec teams:The coverage was decent, aside from the 1 lone breakdown that allowed the 34-yard punt return by Breaston in the 2Q.Bailey and Frazier allowed Breaston to get to the outside on this play.�� Davis made a good tackle to finally stop Breaston.Berger�s punt was also a low liner.��


Reed booted 2 short FGs, including the shortest FG since 1976.��Holmes had 2 punt returns and did nothing on either.


Surprisingly, Bitch Berger didn�t kill the Stillers the way we feared he might.Yes, he did have the low, line-drive punt that Breaston returned for 34 yards.He boomed a 49-yarder in the 4Q and then got off a mediocre punt that rolled for a 47-yarder later in the 4Q.Gay had a good immediate hit on Breaston on the 49-yard punt.


Bailey made a crushing tackle on the free punt after the safety, holding the Cards to mediocre FP.Russell had a good trip up in coverage on the opening KO of the 2H.�� Timmons nearly blocked a punt at 13:49 3Q, forcing a weak, 27-yard punt in the process.


Moore failed to �block� the flyer on the late punt that pinned the Stillers on their own 1.�� Once he realized the punt was sailing over his head, he next task should have been to pick off Adams (#27) with at least a shove, rather than allowing Adams a free pass to venture down and basically field the punt in the air at the 2-yard line.Moore sees Adams, but never makes any move to pick this guy off.


Madison and Davis made the stop on the final KO, holding the Cards to the 23-yard line.


Russell began the game returning KOs, but for no apparent reason, the slowfooted Carey Davis took the KOs in the 2H.�� Very stupid.


Harrison was flagged for �unnecessary roughness� -- with the ball still in play -- on the AZ punt late in the 4Q.Contrary to what FatFuk Madden claimed during the broadcast, Harrison didn�t PUNCH the Cardinal, nor should he have been throw out of the game.He did what you�re supposed to do -- maul the opposing player and not allow that player to crush your punt returner.Mauling and shoving a player is not a penalty in football.��


Overall the spec teams did little to add to the win, but at least they did little to cause defeat, which is about the best you can hope for from Stiller spec teams come playoff time.B-


OC:The 1st quarter was acceptable.��� After that, Arians shit the bed with bland, vanilla predictability and Cro Magnon playcalling.Total vomit.


The 1st series was, for the most part, a thing of beauty.On a total rarity, Ben ran a bootleg right on the 2nd play, and then hit Ward for the big 38-yard gainer.Then, in a miracle of miracles, Ben hit Miller on a quick pop pass for 21 yards.


On the 2nd series, Arians went deep to Nate, which was underthrown.Then the Stillers used the Wildcat and Parker ran right.It gained zero, but at least it showed a different look to keep AZ off balance, which they completely were in the 1st 2 series of the game.This play was followed by a QUCIK screen -- not the glacial, 7-second screen that has been used all season long -- to Miler, which gained 11 yards and a 1st down.�� Here we were, not even through 1 quarter, and the offense had run 4 plays that had rarely, if ever, been run the entire season.


But, as noted, that was it for Arians.�� He shot his wad in that 1st quarter, and having �checked the block� with those 4 plays, he immediately reverted back to the bland, vanilla, dull playcalling that is his forte.In the 2nd quarter, the offense gained all of 22 yards.


In the 2H, the Cards sold out to stop the run, placing 8 men well up into the box and run blitzing on EVERY play.Arians, as stupid as he is clueless, was totally unimpressed by the Cards� selling out, and simply kept running cutesy counters into the teeth of the run blitz for one loss after another.Here�s how stupid Arians is.On the 2nd down play from our own 1-yard line, Arians actually called a COUNTER -- with Kemo pulling waaaay to his right -- which allowed more leakage than the Titanic and nearly got Parker nailed in the EZ for a safety.�� You don�t call a counter from your own 1-yard line in a tight game in the 4Q !!!��


The worst abortion were, of course, inside the Cardinal 5-yard line.The Stillers had 2 of these 1st & goal inside the 5 (or 7, late in the 1Q) opportunities in the 1H, and 2 on one drive in the 3Q (due to a penalty that prolonged that drive), and all they came away with were 3 FG tries and 1 TD.�� Every one of these opportunities was the exact same -- vanilla plunging that netted nothing, followed by bland, vanilla pass plays that did very little.The 3rd & goal QB draw was an outright fiasco, showing just how clueless Arians is.��


There were other boners.�� After a 4-yard gain by Parker on 1st down at 6:44 4Q, the Stillers had 2d & 6.�� Arians, like a clueless dumfuk, goes EMPTY backfield on 2nd & 6 -- for no apparent reason -- and the QB gets nailed for a sack to set up 3rd & long.This is THE PERFECT down & distance to run a PLAY-ACTION FAKE, but Arians has no concept of how to set up a defense and take advantage of down & distance opportunities.


The total negligence of Heath Miller, after a scorching hot 1st half, was reprehensible.�� With AZ selling out to stop the run, Miller should have caught another 7 balls in the 2nd half.Instead, he was thrown to all of 2 times and caught 1 pass, that on a valve dump on 3rd & 16.

It is utterly amazing, even in the afterglow of the victory, how the Stillers overcame Bruce Arians and won the title.�� Unreal.��� The key final drive was BenRoth at his best, running a no huddle with very little interference from Arians.�� We stated here at all season long -- the biggest hurdle to winning a title is simply overcoming the chief saboteur, Bruce Arians.��� C-


DC:After a nice 1H, which was helped by an enormous TOP advantage by the Stillers, LeBeau just got eaten alive by the Cards offense.�� Of course, Dick started to show cracks in the 1H.With the Stillers in full control of the game and up 10-0, Dick decided to get cute and soft.Like a total imbecile, he stays in his BASE defense on 2nd & 7 and then rushes only 3 men, and Warner has ALL DAY to scan the field and walk up 4 steps into his throw, and completes a pass to a WIDE open Boldin for 45 yards to ignite the drive that closed the gap to 10-7.�� We�ll never know why Dick went soft, but of course, coming from Dick, it was expected.


In the 2nd half, Dick was exposed on national TV as the fraud and farce that we alone at have exposed him for, as he repeatedly got tooled and abused.�� Dick had built up his vaunted �#1 defensive ranking� against woeful, inept, injury-riddled offenses all season long.Armed with a 13-point lead, Dick was utterly helpless, going into a prevent-like defense and giving up a quick 87-yard TD march (after the long an 83-yard TD march in the 2Q), and then a 64-yard TD in which he had his safeties on an island a full 22 yards off the LOS despite facing a QB that has NO ARM to throw deeper than 40 yards without a running start.As I personally noted in my pre-game article, the bread n� butter of the AZ passing attack is the 15-yard in, not the Hail Mary bomb.�� So Dick, the dullard that he is, plays right into Warner�s hands by having his safeties line up 22 yards off the LOS in no-man�s land, thereby playing 9 on 11.You have to be a total dumfuk to have your safeties out on an island, defending NOTHING and doing NOTHING, but in many circles Dick will be praised as the greatest man to walk the planet since Jesus Christ himself roamed the Earth some 2,000 years ago.This had to be the most assaholic, most dumfuk defensive alignment ever devised, and it very nearly pulled defeat from victory.


On the 1st down from their own 13 early in the 4Q, Dick actually had LaMarr Woodley -- you know, the big hulking fellow that was in the QBs face the entire evening -- back in COVERAGE, and Warner, with all day in the pocket , hit Breaston for 13 yards to get out of that deep hole and get the drive ignited.When you take a player out of what he does best and put him on a task where he is least proficient, you hinder yourself and you HELP the opponent.�� But remember, according to some, LeBeau is a supreme deity who is the greatest DC to ever walk the planet.��

To recap, the TWO biggest plays by the Cards were the DIRECT RESULT of stupidfuk schemes by The Dullard, Lick LeBeau --


1.�� On a 2nd & 7, Dick gets caught in his base defense, and on a pussyfied, useless 3-MAN RUSH that gave Warner about 8 seconds back in the pocket and all kinds of room to scan the entire field and connects on the 45-yarder to Boldin,.


2.�� 64-yard TD pass to Fitz, with our safeties lined up in NO MAN'S LAND, 22-yards off the LOS.


Warner�s final stat line says it all --31 of 43, 377 yards passing, and a passer rating well over 100.And the Cards came back from a 13-point 4th quarter deficit to take the lead over the supposedly vaunted great guru of defense. Whisenhunt and Haley have all winter and spring to lament why they waited to long to go pure-air after wasting over a dozen plays -- and downs -- in the first 3 quarters running worthless plunges.Had they chucked their worthless running game and gone exclusively to the air, they probably would have scored 38 points, if not more, by game�s end.At any rate, had Ben not performed The Drive, the Stiller fans would have formed a lynch mob and chased down The Dullard, Dick LeBeau.�� 1st half:A���� 2nd half (where games are won & lost):D+


HC:Tomlin had his team mentally prepared, and the 1st quarter showed it.After that, Tomlin allowed both Arians and LeBeau to take their foot off the gas pedal, which allowed AZ to crawl back into the game.I would have preferred Tomlin had gone for it on the 4th & inches after Ben�s TD had been reversed.The team got the benefit of a long, freebie timeout during the replay review to discuss options to attack the Cards for a TD, but instead wussed out and settled for a cheesy little FG.Against a high octane attack like AZ, you cannot settle for cheesy 18-yard FGs; you have to go for the gusto and the 6 points.


I was pleased to hear Tomlin stated that, had the team been forced to punt from its own 1, he would have ordered an intentional safety.That would have been the correct call, as you don�t want to risk a blocked punt for a TD when up by only 6 that late in the 4Q.


The other down note was the plethora of foolish penalties in the 4Q, with the game on the line.�� After committing only 2 thru the 1st 3 quarters, the Stillers committed 6 in the 4Q, including 3 15-yard personal foul flags.�� The team lost its composure after halftime.��


To his credit, the team fought -- as they had all year long -- for all 30 minutes of each half.�� Harrison ended the 1H with the big INT and return.�� Ben and Tonio ended the 2H with the long drive for the game winning TD, and Woodley erased any comeback ideas with the late strip.Playing together and playing for the full 60 minutes -- often talked about all over the league but usually given lip service -- is direct kudos to Mike Tomlin and the attitude that he instilled from day 1 of being hired.


Tomlin has now far surpassed Lord Billy Cowher.Anyone seen �The Mailman�, Billy Cowher, lately ??Tomlin makes Cowhard look like the imbecilic, over-rated buffoon that he truly was.�� A- ��


Synopsis:We�re The Champs !!��� #1, baby !!�� ��The 6-pack of Lombardi trophies shall rest inside Heinz Field !!���� We rule the NFL !!


The grading of all players and the coaching staff will be published in the near future, once I am finished gloating and pounding my chest !!���� Stillers !!��� We rule !!



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



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