Stillers 27, Bills 20…. Dec 11, 2016…………Game # 13
Stillers-Bills Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 7-5 Stillers went to 6-6 Buff on a snowy, chilly day. The Stillers fairly dominated play, but as is their nature, they never choked the life out of the Bills. This game became a 1-score game that could have been very interesting had Buff managed a simple, 10-yard onsides KO instead of booting it OOB some 5 yards short.
Completely brain-dead, foolish INT, 1st series, deep in Buff territory. This may have partially been Lazyrius Green’s fault. Good deep ball to AB, 2nd series. But then, 2 plays later, threw a deep seamer into double coverage that should have been INTd in the EZ. With the Stillers in complete control, up 14-0 in the 2Q, Ben threw a hideous quail that was INTd and returned to the PIT 7. If that wasn’t sorry-assed enough, he threw an even more hideous INT. Early in the 4Q, with the Stillers poised to take at least a 24-7 lead, if not a 28-7 lead, Ben had James WIDE open in the EZ on 3d down from the Buff 7. Instead of using all the acreage at his disposal, Ben threw this babyfied little lollipop to James, as though James were a 3-year old toddler. Sure enough, a Bill stepped in and snared the lollipop for a crushing INT. Had this ball simply been thrown 2 feet higher, and 6 feet deeper in the EZ, it’s a CAKE EASY TD. Because Ben couldn’t be trusted today, he threw the pill only 5 times in the 2H, and finished with a dreadful QB rating of 37. D-
Bell - stellar grab and RAC, 1st series. Amazing effort on a grinding run on 3rd & 2 from the Buff 4, mid 1Q, for a TD. Good TD run, early 2Q. Stellar 12 yard run, 2Q. Had a risky, high flying vault near the sideline, early 4Q, which put a scare into anyone who has seen Bell miss the past 2 playoff seasons. Luckily, he wasn’t injured. Had an unbelievable game, rushing 38 times for 236 yards and 3TDs, plus 4 grabs for 62. A++
DeAngelo – did not dress, due to the knee.
Toussaint - had 1 carry for 6 yards. Of course, the goal of this offense is to run Bell into the ground as much as possible, thereby ensuring he misses the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive season.
D. Johnson, Nix - Johnson had a clutch grab and run on 4th & 1, early 2Q. Superb lead block by Nix on long Bell run, 3Q. Nix bullied a helpless DB on Bell’s sweep run for a TD, 5:28 3Q. Nix - A+
Brownie – superb grab of deep ball, 1Q, good for 40 yards. Flagged for OPI, late 2Q. As OPI goes, this was a horseshit call. Had 5 grabs for 78. B
Coates - As is usual, did nothing on offense.
Rogers - Good shake n bake on a RAC, early 2Q. Had 3 grabs for 20. B-
Hamilton - good grab on a semi-tough catch, on a key 3rd down in the 3Q.
Heyward-Gay – did not dress, due to injury.
Jesse James - dropped a tough grab, early 2Q. Had 1 grab for 5. Chipped in with some adequate run blocking. B
Green - may have cut the wrong way on the INT, early 1Q. Good 3D catch and run, 2nd series, for a key 1st down on 3d & 10. Had 2 grabs for 25.
OL: Overall, the line opened up gaping holes for Bell, and also gave Ben plenty of time on nearly all pass plays.
Villeneueva - adequate game.
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus was flagged for his weekly false start, 2Q, on a 3d & 10.
Foster – did not dress, due to injury. Finney got the start. Good block on Bell’s 2nd TD run. Then had a good pull and block on Bell’s 11 yard run, 2Q. Committed a false start, 3Q. Overall, Finy acquitted himself quite well. A
Pouncey - led the ground assault.
DeCastro – surprisingly didn’t have his weekly boner and weekly holding call.
Hargrave - did not dress, due to injury.
McCullers - did little, as usual.
Matthews - saw a fair amount of PT.
Walton - helped stop McCoy on a draw play, late 1Q.
Tuitt – had a half sack, first series. Batted a 3D pass, early 3Q. Stephonie was easily sealed off on the late TD run by Shady. Very poor, and shoft. Finished with 1 solo and 1 A. B-
Timmons – kind of a quiet game for a guy who’s been all over the field the past month. Had no solos, and 1 A. C+
Shaquier – good slash up and nab of the QB, 2Q. Tremendous play to trip up McCoy, 2Q. Went low and drilled McCoy on a plunge, 2Q. Guessed wrong on a plunge, late 2Q, which allowed a 22 yard run. Whiffed on a fairly easy RAC tackle of Shady, who then gained 41 yards on the 4Q play to spark the Buff comeback. Good speed to haul down a scrambling Taylor, late 4Q. Had 6 solos. B+
Moats - thankfully, had minimal PT
Harrison – very meager impact. Just 1 solo.
Jones – Not sure he ever saw the field.
Chickillo - Had a few decent pressures.
Vinnie W. - not permitted to play on D.
Dupree – made a stellar athletic play to sack a scrambling Taylor, 1Q. This is why this man was drafted in the 1st round. Flagged for holding, the very next play, which negated a pick 6 TD by Will Gay. Two plays later, he bullrushed to the inside and blew up a pass play, in which Davis got the sack near the Buff GL. Blew up a ground play, early 3Q. He feebly flailed on an easy sack of Taylor, 4Q, but then picked up a Dong Sack when Taylor eluded like 4 other rushers before Dupree got back into the action. Overall, this was surely his best game in the NFL, and if he continues to get healthier and more aware, he could be a demon late in the season. The OLB rotation on his side has died a quiet death. A
Golden – sat the bench behind Davis.
Mitchell – injured a knee, 1Q. Came back to action later in the half. Did nexst to nothing and had 2 solos. C+
Gay - Had a slick INT-pick 6 off a ricocheting ball, 1Q. A def. Holding negated it, though. Solid game. B
Cockrell - way too soft on Watkins, 2Q, who grabbed a short pass and gained an easy 14. Nabbed McCoy for a loss, late 2Q. Tooled on a 3d & 10, early 3Q. Nice bust-up of a 3D pass, 3Q. B
Burns - good stop of Shady, 1st series. Good INT, right after Ben’s ugly INT, early in the 4Q, on a ghastly pass by Taylor. Missed his INT attempt, which then was snared by Clay, who ran it in for a TD in the 4Q. B
Davis - Had a half sack, first series, and then got a sack in the 2nd series. Got tooled by Watkins for a short TD, 2Q. Flagged for a hold on Burns’ INT return. Stupidly knocked Gay OFF the tackle of Clay, who then raced in for a 40-yard 4Q TD. Had 6 solos in a rugged, active effort, but the miscues here and there are annoying. B
Justin Gilbert - See Boykin, Brandon. Chris Hubbard will get PT at CB before Gil does.
Sharko Thomas – did not dress, due to concussion last week.
Jordan Berry – punted only twice. Boomed a punt into the EZ, 2Q, which could have pinned the Bills near the GL. C-
Boswell – returned to the lineup after missing last week’s game. Booted 2 short FGs and 3 PATs with no issues. A
AB – I loved how Phil Simms inadvertently ridiculed AB after his 4th punt return meekly went untouched OOB. “He’s returned 4 punts today and hasn’t been touched yet…” Yeah, no shit. Not that I want AB fighting for a meaningless extra yard at the PIT 34 yard line on a punt return, but could this fellow try something, some day, other than veering straight OOB on every single punt return?? C-
Nix had a good stop in KO coverage at the Buff 14 yard line. Made another stellar stop on the 2H kickoff. Chick made a good tackle in KO coverage in the 4Q.
Coates, the moron, was flagged for a hold on a punt return, late 1Q.
At the start of the game, the wind was whipping, snow was falling, and temperatures were in the teens. Perfect weather to run the ball and limit risks in the passing game, right? Uh, not according to Haley. He came out with Ben firing the ball all over the place, making Don Coryell’s Charger offense look like a Wannstedt-led offense. The first 6 plays were passes, and after a Bell run gained a smallish, modest gain of 16 yards, it was back to the pass, with the 8th pass picked off a the Buff 12 yard line. It wasn’t until halftime that Haley, the imbecile, realized that Bell was gaining HUGE chunks of yards on the ground, while also realizing that Ben, the road struggler, was once again struggling on the road. Aside from the botched pass for an INT early in the 4Q, Haley took little, if any, advantage of PAPs. Makes no fuking sense. C
Keith Assler had cake-easy day, facing a completely inept QB in T. Taylor. Sure, the D did a nice job of bottling Shady McCoy, but with the large PIT lead most of the game, the Bills never had a chance to establish the ground game. I was enraged at the softee defense during the 4Q, which allowed 2 long but quick TD drives, which is pretty much how this team lost to the Cowpokes a few weeks back. C
HC: Mike Dumblin managed to eke out a W over a weak, downtrodden team that has the 30th best QB at the most important position in pro football. Who approved this bulkshit offensive gameplan to start the game?? And I completely despised how this team turtled and caved in during the 4Q, turning a blowout into a nailbiter. C
Synopsis: A solid win amid the kind of cold weather that will be likely come playoff time in Denver, KC, Boston, and so on. You wonder if next week’s game, at Cinci, is a trap game, what with the showdown versus Balt the week after. Cinci is obviously going nowhere, and it’d be easy for Stoogelin and his merry crew to get greedy and overlook the Bungals as they gear up for the Ratbirds
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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