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Stillers-Lions Postgame Analysis and Grades

October 11, 2009 by Still Mill

Stillers 28, Lions 20��� Oct. 11, 2009
Stillers 28, Detroit 20���. Oct 11, 2009 ����Game #5


Stillers-Lions Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers vaulted out to a 28-13 lead in the 3Q over the hapless Lions, and once again -- just like last week�s game versus San Diego -- the biggest suspense seemed to be which backups would get work in mop-up relief.Instead, the offense went stagnant and the defense was once again riddled and carved in the 4Q, and the Stiller held on for dear life for an all-too-tight 8-point win.��




QB:Ben started out okay, going 17 of 23 in the 1H for 195 yards and 2 TDs.He had some down notes in the 1H, though.He tripped over Hartwig�s foot on a plunge, and instead of simply eating the ball for a mere 2-yard loss, he tried to reach out and �stab� the handoff to Mendy, which of course bounced off Mendy�s hip and onto the ground.Only by a sheer miracle did Mendy recover the ball amidst 4 Lions.�� Then there was the weak INT on a crosser in the 2Q, which was negated by a really cheesy roughing-the-passer flag.The defender had made a valiant, successful attempt to AVOID Ben�s knees with his (the defender�s) head and pads, and only a sliver of his forearm grazed Ben�s knee to �earn� the 15-yard flag.�� A liker of brutal, hard-hitting football, I despise these kind of softee, cheesy penalties.�� And then there was the hideous Pick 6, on a tentative, telegraphed out pass to Wally.


Ben threw only 7 passes after halftime and completed 6 of them, including a weak, quail-like bomb to a wide-open Wally that somehow managed to escape the hands of the DB and nestled into Wally�s hands for a cheap TD pass.Ben held onto the ball far too long on a 3D play at 12:10 4Q, taking the sack.Then there was a pitiful, poor, low pass to Wally on a 3d & 4 later in the 4Q that could have helped to salt the game away.��


An ok effort, but against the worst pass defense in the league, not something to crow about.��� B-��


RB:Parker sat again with turf toe, so Mendy got the start.He gained 77 yards on only 15 rushes, a nice 5+ yards per carry.I was pleased with his work on a screen early in the game, where he threw a crisp, effective chip block, then smoothly peeled off and grabbed a screen pass and then rumbled for 9 yards.On the very next play, Mendy avoided a defender in the backfield with nifty footwork, and then ripped off a 27-yard run.Later in the 1Q, Mendy bounced a gut-plunge wide and had the speed to turn the corner for an untouched 7-yard TD.


He also ripped off a nice 11-yard run up LT early in the 4Q, as well as an 8-yarder on 1D late in the 4Q.Perhaps the one fairly routine play that brought joy to my heart was the 1st down off-tackle plunge at 12:30 2Q. Mendy took the HO, and then decisively went hell-bent up a small fissure off-tackle. The result was a 5-yard gain -- nothing to jump for joy over amidst the highlight reel world of ESPN -- but this is exactly the kind of running that has been missing since 2006.�� 5 yards on 1st down is a �win� for the offense, and the decisiveness and authority of this run is precisely what I want to see out of the RB position.


Moore had 3 rushed for 8 and 3 grabs for 20, in yet another solid, professional effort by an unheralded player.�� ����A��


FB: The O rarely used a FB today.When it did, TE David Johnson did the chores.����� Inc


WR:Ward led the way with a stellar effort, grabbing 7 balls for 85 yards and 1 TD.The TD was no cheesy gimme, either.He made a superb pluck on a pass slightly off-target, and then vaulted to the GL for the TD.A tremendous TD that will surely be shown at his retirement ceremony some day.


Tonio chipped in with 4 grabs for 40 yards.He busted a tackle early on after a 0-step hitch, gaining 14 yards.He also had a clutch grab on 3d & 5 in the 2Q amidst good coverage, and then added RAC for an 11-yard gain.On a down note, Tonio, standing in the EZ, foolishly grabbed the arm of a nearby DB as Ward was vaulting to the goal-line.Luckily, no ref saw this foolishness; it could have easily been a horrific holding penalty and was obviously a totally unnecessary, amateurish, stooge-like move by Holmes.��


Wally had 2 grabs for 52 yards, including the 47-yard TD in which he blew by the defense and then had to camp under Ben�s badfly underthrown wobbler, showing good concentration as a DB nearly batted the ball away.Wally had his share of boners, however.He dropped a wide-open bomb that would have been 6-points in the 2Q. To add salt to the wound, the bonehead kicked the ball after the drop, resulting in a 5-yard DOG penalty.What an idiot!!��� This was magnified when, 2 plays later, Ben threw the Pick 6 that completed a 14-point swing.�� On the Pick 6, Wally ran an out, but instead of coming back crisply to the ball, he lazily drifted away from the ball, and the DB merrily stepped into the void for the easy INT and TD return.Wally also failed to grab a tough, but doable, low pass on 3d & 4 in the 4Q.


Limas Peed, who peed the bed as a toddler and still does, was allowed to dress and play today, and again failed miserably.On the game�s first drive, on 3rd & 5, Sweed was thrown a low but catchable pass on a slant, and of course the ball clanged off his mitts for an incompletion.


Ward:A���� Holmes:��� B���� Wally:�� B-������ Limas Peed:�� D-


TE:Miller was a house afire in the 1H, grabbing 5 passes for 54 yards.Of course, he finished the game with 5 grabs for 54 yards, apparently because his idiot OC felt it too unfair to exploit Miller some more in the 2H.Heath had a superb TD, snaring a short screen, side-stepping a tackler, reading his blocks, and then rumbling for a 15-yard TD.


Matthew Spaeth, the big, lumbering TE who can�t block, negated Mendy�s 2nd TD run with an asshumping hold of a defender who was 14 feet from Mendy as Mendy sped around the corner.An entirely foolish, assaholic holding penalty by one of the absolute worst blocking TEs in the entire league.Johnson committed a false start.��


Miller:�� A����� Spaeth:D


OL: The line had a solid effort for 3 quarters before giving way the final quarter of the game.


Essex was injured in the 1Q and briefly replaced by Legursky, but Essex soon returned.


Colon committed his weekly false start late in the 2Q.Kemo and Hartwig were feeble on a plunge on the final play of the 3Q, resulting in a1-yard loss.The Colon was also lazy on a draw play, which caused a 5-yard loss by Mendy in the 4Q.��Essex got literally wheeled back to the QB on a sack at 12:10 4Q.Starks was clumsy and lazy, failing to sustain his block on Peterson on a sack later in the 4Q.Kemo was shoved backwards on a plunge late in the 4Q, resulting in a 1-yard loss when Mendy ran into Kemo�s back.��


It was a very nice effort for 3 quarters, but the 4Q was unacceptable.���� C+


DL:The D-line had a fairly easy afternoon facing a feeble Lion ground game that had to be abandoned in the 3Q when the Stillers got the 15-point lead.


Keisel had an active game.�� He had a good run stuff on the 1st series of the game.He forced a hurried TA on 3d & 9 in the 2Q.He sniffed and stopped a draw for 2 yards later in the 2Q.He did have a couple boners, though.He whiffed in the BF on the 2nd series, allowing Smith to gain 7.He was slow and poor on a 3d & 7 delay in the 3Q, which netted 8.


Aaron Smith had a good stuff for -2 in the 2Q.Kirschke sniffed and stopped a draw in the 1Q.Fat Casey chipped in with a couple stops.��


Rookie Ziggy Hood saw some PT, but not nearly enough in the 5th game of the season.Time to stop molly-coddling this guy and time to get a man of his brawn and skill onto the fuking playing field.��




LB:Some good, some lousy.��


Leading the way was Jamie Harrison, who was an absolute terror the entire game.The man never stopped hustling, hunting, and hitting.�� He tied with a team high 7 solos, and was wreaking havoc all game long.In fact, he forced a fumble on the first Lion play of the game, beating the TE, Heller, off the edge and then stripping the QB.Later in the 1Q, Harrison delivered a punishing but totally clean, legal, �clean up� hit on WR Calvin Johnson after a 0-step hitch.The hit essentially knocked Johnson out of the game and he never returned.I absolutely loved the effort on this play, a play in which Ike Taylor had made 95% of the stop, but Harrison, with no let-up, cleaned up Johnson to ensure he didn�t escape with extra RAC yardage.Later in the 1Q, Harrison forced an IG flag, and in the 2Q he showed good speed on 3d & 8 to haul down Ballpepper for the sack.In the 3Q, Harrison over-powered Backus, the LT, and then mauled the QB for a sack.


Timmons had a solid game.Unlike some slowfooted ILBs you�ll see, he had good coverage on Pettigrew on an early 3d & 5, which forced a FG.He delivered a huge hit on the FB, Felton, on a middle-dump in the 4Q, nearly taking the man�s head off.Timmy then showed his electric speed and acceleration on a 3d & 21 sack late in the game.


Taunto Farrior had another pedestrian game in which he did so very little.He stood idly by while Felton, the lumbering FB, ran right by and down the seam for a 27-yard reception in the 2Q.He was slow and late on a 3d & 2 pass to Smith in the 3Q that netted 6.Taunto was soundly beaten by Pettigew on 3d & 15, which gained 19 yards.Taunto was slow on a 3d & 5 pass to Northcutt at 6:30 4Q, which gained 5 and moved the sticks.I haven�t seen a veteran play disintegrate and regress this badly since Steve Blass did in 1973.�� Very, very pitiful.��


Don�t let Big Jason Woodley�s stat-line of 3 solos & 1 assist fool you into thinking he snapped out of his season-long funk.�� He did not, I assure you.I personally isolated on Big LaMarr the entire game and he was as unproductive as he was laughable.�� While rushing on the 1st series, Big Jason got caught in a titty-jousting contest, and totally lost CONTAINMENT while Ballpepper scrambled around end and then raced for 32 yards, the longest play of the game by Detroit.This is a theme that continued all game long, as Big LaMarr constantly lost sight and sense of what the QB was doing while LaMarr jabbed and clawed at the opposing blocker�s breasts.�� On a 3d & 1 plunge in the 1Q, Woodley was simply BURIED by the ancient John Runyan, which allowed an easy 4-yard gain.LaMarr was at ILB in spy mode on 3d & 8 in the 3Q, yet stood flat-footed and meek as Ballpepper scrambled up the gut for an easy 12 yards.�� For the life of me, I have no idea what this stiff was doing on this play.�� Woodie whiffed in the backfield in the 3Q, turning an easy loss into a 1-yard gain.


��� Here�s a recap of Big LaMarr�s official solos and assist:


����������� - 1Q.�� QB fumbles the snap, then falls on it.�� Big LaMarr meanders over and touches the prone QB on the shoulder for a �solo tackle�.��Hip-hip hooray!��

����������� - 2Q.��� Pettigrew runs a 2-yard curl pattern.�� Big LaMarr, dropped back in coverage, makes the cake-easy �solo tackle�

����������� - Late 4Q.Ballpepper has 8 seconds in the pocket, but is unable to find anyone.Finally, Big LaMarr gets the Dong Sack on a coverage sack.��

- Late 4Q.�� Gay rushes on an outside CB blitz and forced the QB to step up in the pocket.Big LaMarr chips in with an entirely cheesy Half Dong Sack/assist on a play created, made, and forced by William Gay.���


That was it for the Big He-Monger, Big LaMarr.�� Lest anyone think Big LaMarr spent the �entire game back in coverage� -- a theory that has been bandied about in typical yinzer fashion -- think again.�� Including plays with flags thrown, Jason Woodley dropped back into coverage 13 times, while rushing the passer 36 times (again, bearing in mind Culpepepper�s 3 scrambles, Ike�s PI flag, pass plays with sacks by various defenders, and so on.)���


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


DB:Ike and Gay led the way with solid efforts.�� Gay tied for the team lead with 7 solos.His CB blitzes at the end of the game basically forced 2 sacks.


Ike chipped in with decent coverage, although he didn�t have to deal with Johnson most of the game.His bat on the final Hail Mary, however, was a bit weak. Rather than batting the ball directly down, he batted it sideways, and it could have been snared for a TD.�� Ike was flagged for a ticky-tack PI flag on a deep ball in the 4Q.


Ryan Clark did little, but he did gather in a Dong Interception on a horrendous cross-field TA lob by Ballpepper thatClark basically fair-caught.He also injured himself late in the 4Q when he led with the crown of his helmet -- like a complete idiot -- on a falling WR.�� This is how ya get paralyzed.�� Clark also took a poor angle on a 3d & 10 screen early in the 3Q, which gained 16.��


Ratliff was poor in coverage on Northcutt on the TD down the seam in the 4Q, although Clark offered no help whatsoever.He redeemed himself late in the 4Q on a similar seamer to N-cutt by busting up the pass.


Townsend shared SS chores with Carter.�� Mundy saw some work in coverage.��The overall grade would be higher if Detroit had a deeper, more dangerous WR corps and a better QB than a career journeyman making his 1st start of the season.��� B-


Spec teams:A very spotty, shoddy game.��


Gay was offside on the Lions 1st FG attempt, an unforgivable flag on such a play because a missed FG can either be booted again or the flag could provide a 1D.Not to be outdone, Ike committed the same jackassed penalty on the next Lion FG.Unbelievable !!���� Unbelievably stupid, I might add.Frazier held on a punt return in the 2Q.


The KO coverage mostly sucked elephant balls.�� Shoddy coverage allowed 34 and then 27-yard KO returns, the 2nd of which would have gone to the house were it not for Bailey�s stop.


There were a few good individual efforts.Fox had a good stop in punt coverage early on.Arnie Harrison had a good nab in KO coverage in the 2Q.Besides saving a TD in the 2Q, Bailey mauled a blocker and then made the stop in KO cover in the 3Q.He chipped in with Fox for the stop on a late punt.Mendenhall had an innocent but very effective pancake block on the KO return late in the 4Q.


Logan had some good work in the return game.After the pick 6, Logie sped wide and returned the KO 47 yards to set up the O with golden FP.He also had a nice jitterbug punt return of 14 yards in the 4Q.


Bailey and Logan:A������� Rest of ST:C��


OC:Arians had an easy day, toying with a drab, lukewarm defense that was last in the league in pass defense.�� But sure enough, as the game wore on, Arians� own ineptitude and imbecility began to catch up with him.


With the Stillers starting a drive at their own 8 in the 2Q, Moore, not Mendy, was in at RB.Why??��� We have no idea. It�s not like Mendy was tired.��


Then there was the utter abortion that consumed the final minute of the 1H.The Stillers started at their own 10, 1:02 left in the half, with the Stillers up 21-13.��Just to get into FG range, the Stillers would need to march to the Detroit 35, at a minimum.Instead of quietly plunging and running the clock out, there�s Arians, flinging the ball around like a circus act.The screen pass to Moore was deflected, as was a pass a short while later in the middle of the field to Miller.Either could have been picked off and led to cheap points by the Lions.��


Lastly, there was the horrific playcalling midway in the 4Q.Taking over after a punt at the PIT 49, with 9:57 remaining in a 15-point game, you�d have thought the time was here and now to salt this game away with an array of smashmouth football with Mendenhall -- who was having a stellar game -- and short passes to the ever-trusty Miller and Hines.�� No, not Arians.��� On 1st down, with no PAP, he has Ben looking deep, and he gets sacked.�� Two plays later, Ben was sacked again, and the Stillers punted while losing yardage & chewing up very, very little clock.In fact, Heath Miller, who was a house afire in the 1H with 5 grabs, never caught a pass in the 2H.Why?Because Arians is a fuking clueless idiot!The Lion ILB is Larry Slow-A-Foote, who couldn�t cover a picnic table with a tarp, much less cover Heath Miller, yet Arians refused to exploit this man in the 2H.�� Added to that is Mendy, who ripped apart the Lions for 65 yards in the 1H, but only 15 in the 2H.


When it comes to 2nd half football, no one is more clueless and lost than Bruce Arians.��� C-


DC:You�d think Dick would have had the Lions right where he wanted them.�� Detroit was starting an over-the-hill journeyman BACKUP QB making his 1st start of the season.Their only big-threat WR (Johnson) was knocked out of the game in the 1Q.The Lions were down to only 3 WRs, 1 of whom was a rookie who�d never caught a pass in the NFL.The Stillers had a 15-point lead in the 4Q.The Lions had to abandon the running game.Despite all the outrageous advantages listed above, Dick still managed to flounder about in a state of befuddled confusion -- much like the officer in charge of lifeboats aboard Titanic -- getting carved & riddled in the 4Q for a long 82-yard TD march and another late march that came up just short.�� What the fuk more did Dick, The Dullard, want??���� Boxing gloves worn by all skill players of the Lions??�� Shoes tied together by all O-lineman of the Lions??���� The Detroit OC announcing each upcoming playcall over a bullhorn???���� Hell, Detroit even missed a 49-yard FG in the 3Q.


The riddlings on 3d & long have reached epic proportions.�� Detroit, as lowly an offense as can be found in the NFL, managed this on 3d & long --


�� - 3d & 11�� --32 yard QB run

�� - 3d & 11-- 16 yard screen pass

�� - 3d & 15�� -- 19 yard seamer to Pettigrew

�� - 3d & 19�� --22 yards to Northcutt


The mismanagement of personnel is an absolute joke.�� Taunto Farrior -- the slowest LB in the NFL besides Larry Foote -- continues to remain in the game on 3d & long.Why ???��� On the 3d & 15 noted above, Farrior was abused by Pettigrew for the 19-yard gainer.WHY is Farrior even in the game on 3d & 15 ??????���� He is no longer a world class pass defender, and frankly, he is no longer a mediocre pass defender.He�s an abject atrocity in pass defense, yet Dick, the decrepit dullard that he is, insists on keeping Taunto in the field in these situations.Gee, and it�s like, duh-uh, upcoming, opposing OCs have no access to game tape !!��� Every time an opposing OC sees Farrior on the field on 3d & long, he�s licking his chops at the thought of taking candy from a baby.��� Even the final 2 plays of the game, LaMarr Woodley was dropped into short pass coverage.For WHAT ???��� To cover the dumpoff to the FB ???����


There was only 1 turnover created by the defense, and this was really the result of Ballpepper -- not the sharpest pencil in the drawer -- aimlessly flinging the ball across the field to no one in particular.��


There was a Gay Rights Protest today in DC.�� They very easily could have marched instead in protest of Dick�s faggotty, ball-fondling defense.�� There remains no more overrated a coordinator in the entire NFL than The Dullard, Dick LeBlow.������ D+


HC:The ship is foundering and I�m not sure Tomlin, after FIVE weeks, has a clue of the foundering or the gumption to address it.��� Hello, Tommy -- the season is 31% complete!!���� There aren�t very many more tomorrows.�� Preseason ended back in August.�� For Tomlin, a defensive expert, to idly stand by and watch his defense just get riddled, carved, and dissected EVERY week in the 4Q is sickening.�� At some point, Tommy has got to man up, and as Dick�s boss, he�s got to rectify the horrific woes in this 4Q defense.��


Secondly, exactly what in the fuck did Tomlin think the offense was going to do, backed up on its own 10-yard line with only 1:02 remaining (and only 2 timeouts) in the 1H ????��� We�d already given up one pick-6.We had an 8-point lead.�� We would have had to have marched ~55 yards just to get into FG range.�� Backed up this far, and armed with the lead, the most prudent course of action would have been to plunge the ball and, if needed, punt.�� As it was, TWO passes in this sickly, senseless drive (which got only to the PIT 39-yard line) were DEFLECTED, either 1 of which could have been picked off.�� Didn�t Momlin, or any of his staff, watch Jack Squirek intercept Joe Theismann just before halftime in the January 1984 Super Bowl ??�� I can�t, for the life of me, understand how, or why, Tomlin would have permitted the rabid goatfuck that occurred at the end of the 1H.Hours later, I�m still utterly livid over this outlandish goatscrew.�� ����


Lastly, I guess it�ll take an injury for Momlin to figure this out.The games against Diego and Detroit should have been blowout laughers, with starters donning baseball caps and then shucking and jiving on the bench while seldom-used scrubs like Batch, Frazier, Arnie Harrison, Sweed, Burnett, and others get some playing time in mop-up relief.�� Sure as shit, a key cog like James Harrison, Ike Taylor, Tonio Holmes, or Justin Hartwig will eventually wrench a knee or a shoulder in the 4Q when they should have been enjoying a relaxing break during a blowout.��� �����C


Uniforms: Allow me to add a rant here regarding the NFL and its strict jurisdiction of uniforms.This is a league where fines are routinely handed out for SOCKS being drooped down amidst a muddy, grinding football game.Yet, here we are, amidst this month-long, grande� �Breast Cancer Awareness� month, and a large smattering of players are wearing pink paraphernalia.�� Last week, it was a nice novelty.��� Great.�� Enough is enough, and that was enough.�� This is a prime example of The Law of Unintended Consequences.�� I can see where this is going, into the never-never land of Political Correctness where no one will be willing to shut off the flow of asininity for fear of backlash, public outcry, and negative publicity.�� The Breast Cancer awareness stuff was & is a good idea.�� It�s been done well in MLB for a couple seasons with pink bats and so forth.�� If allowed to languish, and if it�s deemed okay to wear garish pink shoes, gloves, and wristbands, then, by golly, it should be okay to hearken back to the Jim McMahon days of personalized headbands worn around the neck, arms, and so on, along with all kinds of other personalized uniform accoutrements.It�s time for the NFL to put a kabash on this pink foolishness the minute October is over, if not sooner.�� And, of course, next year, this should be limited to one, and only one, week.���


Synopsis:A lukewarm, Wannstedtian win over a lowly, injury decimated Lions team.�� Not much to crow about, especially given the nail biting end to the game where the Lions had a legit chance to score and tie the game with a 2-pointer.Letting down in the 4Q in EVERY game this season -- all 5 of them -- has gotten to embarrassing proportions.It�s time for Momlin and the team leadership to either address the flaws and shortcomings, or get the hell out of the way and let someone else who is willing to fix the problem step in to address and fix.�� The idiot will claim, �It�s only been 5 games�.�� This is the 16-game NFL, not MLB that has 162 games.The season is 31% complete, and after next week, it�ll be 38% done.�� The time is now to step forward out of mediocrity, or lie dormant and remain in it.��



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



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