Vikes 34, Stillers 27 ……. Sep 29, 2013 …………Game #4
Stillers-Vikes Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers went across the pond to Great Britain, hoping a change of continent would help their feeble, sappy brand of play. Nothing doing, however, as the misery and mistakes continued in a lousy 34-27 loss to the vastly mediocre Vikings, who won their first game of the season.
Ben – Some nice numbers, but another overall subpar game for supposedly an elite QB. Poor play, 3d & 4, 1st series…..refused to run for easy 1D yardage, and then threw a deepish lob to Wheat along the s-line that landed, oh, about 19 feet OOB. Good deep lob to Sanders, 2nd series, for 36 yards. Made some nice completions while flushed from the pockets...and then threw some outright stinkers that weren’t within 15 feet of the intended receiver. The 3Q INT was poor, although perhaps Sanders ran the wrong pattern. The late game spiking -- which Ben has presumably been instructed to do -- was simply horrific to watch, especially when down by 7. The 2d & goal throw-away, while under no particular pressure, was appalling. You’re down by SEVEN, and you simply need a touchdown. You cannot piss away a down there just flinging the ball into the sideline chalk when there is time, and room, to throw a decent pass into the END ZONE to perhaps, ya know, score the tying TD. And then taking the sack on the ensuing 3rd down. Even if we’d recovered the fumble, there likely wouldn’t have been enough time to get a play off. No, on a play like that, you have to throw caution to the wind and whip the ball into the bleachers, or try to jam a pass to a WR in the EZ. You know, kind of like the game-winning TD in the Sup Bowl some 4 years ago. Timid caution on a final, do or die play is just lame and chickenshit. The same timid chickenshit occurred on the 3d & goal play in the 2Q from around the Minn 5 yard line, which, after Ben waited and waited and waited, he took a lame-assed sack. There were too many spotty, off-target passes today, including some completions where the WR (Wheaton, Cotch, Bell, etc.) had to make a circus catch with no RAC, instead of making the routine grab and then churning upfield for RAC yardage.
Lest I forget to mention, The Drama Queen got nipped by a finger of a D-lineman on his hand during the TD pass to Cotchery. Ever the drama queen, Big Ben winced and yelped in pain as though he’d been belted with a battle axe left over from King Arthur’s days. What a pansie. C-
Redman – fortunately was deactivated. Hooray !!
Jones - Rushed twice for 3 yards, and grabbed 1 pass for 4. Inc.
Dwyer – rand twice for 7. Played sparingly. Inc
Bell - The China Doll got the bulk of the work at RB. His first NFL TD was a beauty, making 2 jump cuts in the backfield and then taking it wide for an impressive 8-yard TD run. Good plunge for his 2nd TD. Nice RAC on screen late 3Q. Finished with 57 yards on 16 carries, and 4 grabs for 27. I was impressed and pleased with his cutting, foot work, vision, instincts, and catching. A-
FB: Will Johnson played only sparingly. He could have been used to help out Adams from time to time, but that would have made too much sense. Inc.
Brownie – Had a strong game, grabbing 12 for 88, plus drawing a long PUI flag in the EZ. Clutch juggling grab late in the game. One of the very few skill players on either side of the ball who is actually producing. A-
Sandy – good block to spring Cotch late in the game. Had 4 grabs for 57 yards. May have botched the pattern on the INT, and to make the play worse, he started grouching and “aw shucks-ing” while the defender grabbed the ball and was still “live” Stupid. Showing each week that he is not -- repeat not -- a #2 WR. B-
Cotch - nice TD grab early in the 4Q. Had a clutch RAC late in the 4Q. Finished with 5 grabs for 103. Dollar for dollar, no one on the team is earning his keep more than Cotch. A+
Wheat - nice grab of high pass, 3d & 6, early 4Q. Dropped short in, late 4Q. Had 3 grabs for 26 in his most extensive contributions so far. B.
Moye - did not dress. There’s no room in this offense for a big, rangy receiver.
Miller: Good block on Bell’s 1Q TD run. Finished with 6 grabs for 70. Am amazed he’s not been reinjured. A
Paulson - Didn’t see him, which was good for my acid reflux.
David Johnson - the slowest TE in the NFL snabbed a short grab and actually eluded a tackler, gaining 8 in the 1Q. Colbert will use this play as justification to sign this stiff to a 3-year, $11M contract when the season ends. B
Adams - Puffer Adams had a horrific, wretched game, bringing back bad memories of Pis Conrad. Abused by Allen for a sack, early 2Q, with wretched technique in which he stooped over like a 70-year old man who’d just dropped a quarter and was looking for it on the ground. Flagged for a hold, early 2Q. On a 3d & goal late in the 2Q, Puffer again did an “Ole”” block, completely whiffing on Allen and allowing a sack. Whiffed completely on a simple down-block on the Bell TD plunge early in the 3Q. On a 3rd down play late in the 3Q, he simply STOPPED after an initial tap to OLB Chad Greenway, who continued on and sacked Ben. Just a vomit-inducing effort by a total piece of shit. Is there any way the team can put him back on a marijuana regimen ? Surely it couldn’t hurt. Plus, if nothing else, he could be suspended, thereby helping the team out. F-
Gilbert - whipped to the inside on 3d & 3, late 1Q. Hardly played great, but at least gets in the way of defenders from time to time. C-
Foster – injured his chest in the 1H. Figured he would miss a few plays and be back, but he never returned. Inc
Velasco - Played solidly. His SG snaps are much improved. B
DeCastro – Good pull and lead block on Bell’s 10-yard run in the 2H. Not dominant at all, but at least he’s not a traffic barrel. B-
Beacham - got inserted in the 1H for Foster. Beaten on the strip-sack on the offense’s final play of game. B-
Keisel - good stop of Peterson, 1Q. This was his only tackle of the game. Simply not enough. C
McLendon - good stuff of Adrian, late 1Q. Had 4 solos, but got gashed a couple times on runs. B-
Hood - Had a rare stop. Finished with 2 solos in a very quiet, bland effort. Ran himself out of the play, waaaay to his right, on the 2nd AP TD run. C-
Heyward – got a rare bat, 1st series. Aside from that, was literally held off the stat sheet, and did nothing else meaningful or helpful. D
Woods - flagged for a foolish facemask of Peterson in the 1Q. Had 1 solo. Hopefully will report back to the bench. Or to a nearby 7-11 store that has an opening for a sales clerk.
Timmons – Led the way with 6 solos. Whiffed on the long Peterson TD run. Good stop of AP on 3d & short, late 3Q.
K. Wilson - did not start and played sparingly.
Williams – started at ILB. Feebly whiffed on AP on a 3d & 1 in the 3Q. Has no business starting in the NFL. C
Worilds – did nothing, and now that I think of it, barely got on the field. Which is a good thing.
Jones – had all of 1 solo all game. Failed to corral the loose ball in the 2Q.
Big LaMarr - feebly flailed and whiffed, with his dick in the dirt, on an EASY tackle attempt on the 60-yard TD run by Purple Jesus early in the 2Q. Had a rare strip of the QB on 3d & 3 late in the 2Q when the QB was flushed toward LaMarr and he got a finger on the ball for a Dong Sack, but the ball bounced forward and the Vikes actually gained a 1st down on the recovery. Fought off a block by the TE and helped bottle Adrian, early 3Q. Like a complete jackass, he body slammed a Viking ballcarrier while a full 3 yards OUT of bounds for a 15-yard penalty in the 3Q. On the 2nd Peterson TD run, Big LaMarr -- just like last week -- simply took himself OUT of the play by moseying over to cover a TE while the play was very clearly a HANDOFF to the RB. What a clueless simpleton. Got totally caved in on the 11-yard AP run up RT at 10:30 4Q. On the next play, he flailed and whiffed after a short pass to Gerhart, good for 7 yards. Got a he-man solo on a lil’ 0-yard out to Rudolph, 3:29 4Q. At 2:03 4Q, AP ran wide right and Big LaMarr had an EASY play, but meekly WHIFFED like the complete bag o’ shit that he is, allowing a 4-yard gain. D+
Ike – good cover deep ball, 1st drive. Nearly had an INT, but the WR wrested the ball out of Ike’s hands. Busted up a slant, 3d & 5, late 1Q. Had some soft tackling after short grabs. Whiffed on the long Peterson TD.
Pola - ran around a lot, but did very, very little. Finished with 2 solos and zero impact. C-
Clark – moved as slowed as a 4th grader wearing snow-boots on the 60-yard TD jaunt by Peterson early in the 2Q. Nowhere to be found on any of the long pass plays. Just a complete waste of oxygen. D-
Gay - Also whiffed on Jennings on the long RAC TD, 1Q. Had some decent coverage.
Golden - rarely played, if at all.
Thomas - rarely played, if at all.
C. Allen – The other China Doll finally played. Now, thanks to Cortez, Wemblay Stadium reeks like an over-used outhouse after Cortez smelled it out. Whiffed on the short out to Jennings that turned into a 70-yard TD. Good cover on deep post, late 1Q. Got trucked on bubbled screen, 1st play 3Q. Anther whiff, 12:20 4Q. Got tooled and abused by Jennings on the 16-yard TD pass in the 3Q. His primary problem is he goes TOO HIGH on his tackle attempts, which should have been corrected in camp, and obviously was not. To think this guy was some sort of savior for this defense...? F
Zoltan - shitty pooch punt of 32 yards late in the 1Q, which was FC at the 15. Then followed that up with a doghsit punt of 30 yards early in the 2Q, giving Minn golden FP. This guy completely sucks ass. Someone please remind me why Colbert so ardently acquired this shitbag?? F
Suisham - booted 2 easy FGs. Solid KOs.
Tonio Brown FC a low punt late in the 1Q, despite having an acre of room to run. FC another punt where it looked like he had some room. This team doesn’t need meek timidity from playmakers.
The KO coverage was spotty and leaky after the 1Q. Pion Wilson was flagged for a hold on a punt return late in the 3Q. Overall, a C-
Some improvements, and the offense looked sharper and crisper. I liked the quick-screen after the fake end around....a nice, sharp looking play that produced positive yardage. In defense of Haley, he was forced to play continual catch-up football, thanks to a sorry-assed defense that couldn’t stop a high school squad. What really annoyed me was the incessant spiking of the ball on 1st down during the final drive. This occurred THREE times on 1st down during that drive, which give the defense a free pass on those plays. At this level of football, it’s unacceptable. Ben has been with Sanders and Brown since 2010. They haven’t figured out a simple hand-signal to run a quick out, or a quick lob down the sideline ??? This kind of safe plays can generate YARDAGE, or perhaps a PI flag. Nope, not the Haley offense. In fact, from the 3d & 3 at the MInn 13, and the final 3 plays from the Minn 6, the offense generated exactly ZERO passes into the end zone. None. That’s pitiful. You make the defense’s job easy as pie with these incessant spikes, and then you make it even easier by refusing to take a stab into the EZ.
Then there was the outright refusal to give Sadman Mike Adams some HELP against Jared Allen. This is fairly simple, and Haley himself has done this many times in the past, using a Miller, a David Johnson, or a Will Johnson to chip block on the DE, or keeping a RB over there to chip and release. But no, not The Blind Man, Todd Haley. Adams was getting abused and beaten every single down, yet DumFuk Haley refused to give the clearly out-matched Adams any help. Just stone stupid. C-
The Stillers deferred on the opening KO, and just like last week, Dick allows a long, clock-chewing, 9-play opening drive and gives up a FG. He soon allowed a long TD march to make it 10-0 before the Brits had even finished their first cup of tea.
Sure enough, after the Stillers had crawled back into it. Dick, as he is prone to do, allowed an 8 play, 47 yard drive late in the 2Q to make it a 20-10 game.
In the 3Q, the PIT offense took the KO and marched down the field for a TD to make it 20-17. What does Dick do? Once again, Dick shits then bed and goes soft, and before ya know it, the Vikes have marched 76 yards for a cake-easy TD to restore their 10-point lead. Then, after the Ben INT, the defense just ROLLED OVER and played dead, allowing another cake-walk TD drive of 37 yards.
After Cotch scored to make it 34-24, Dick ONCE AGAIN allowed a long, clock-chewing march that chewed 6 minutes of clock. Sure, the Vikes missed 44-yard FG, but the damage to the clock had been done, thanks to the softee, flaccid defense of one Dick LeBeau.
Today was another humorous dose of Dick’s 2013 clever ploy, using Troy Pola as an announced, undisguised pass rusher amid a 5-man rush. Yup, time and time again, there was the 5-10”, 212 pound Polamalu, rushing ONE ON ONE against a 6-5”, 310 pound OT, and getting swallowed up in the process as easily as a bangers and mash after a big British soccer victory. Brilliant !! The ignorant out there, of course, will claim that this is better than Pola playing 35 yards off the ball in deep CF. Sure, but that assumes there are no other choices, which is utterly preposterous.
Speaking of preparation, backup scrub Mass Assel, forced into the starting chores late in the week due to injury, said after the game, “I think the coaches did a great job scouting the film and looking at where there might be some holes and where we can take advantage of some easy throws.” Easy indeed. Rarely ever harassed or pressured, Assel played pitch n’ catch. Preparation indeed. While Minnesota’s OC did a splendid job of preparation, Dick LeBeau put in his 5 or 6 hour days and then crashed for a long nap. Cassel was forced to start this game, due to an injury to the starting QB, Ponder. Assel had a QB rating of 67 last season, and 76.7 the year before. For his career, he had a rating below 80. Sure enough, Dick -- who is such a clever, diabolical genius, you know -- allows Matt Assel to calmly chuck completions all over the field, with no INTs and a QB rating of 123.4. It’s high time for Dick The Dullard to save face and retire. He’s completely embarrassing himself, and the franchise, each and every week. F-
The bizarre end of 1H is emblematic of what ails this team. PIT burned a TO just before Minn booted a FG at 0:39. After the touchbacked KO, PIT took over at its 20. Bell ran for 11 yards. With no hurry up or anything, the offense ran a harmless dive play for 3 yards, and the clock ran out. As always, there was no plan, no cohesion, no common sense. You’re down by TEN points. Either take stab, or simply KNEEL on the ball and avoid a strip or a botched handoff.
Waiting until Friday to fly to London looks more and more foolish, as if it wasn’t asinine in the first place. Equally asinine was the decision, once again, to dress only TWO reserve O-lineman. When Foster got injured, they were down to just 1 backup, Guy The Whimperer, and had zero flexibility. Brilliant ! It would almost be comical if Momlin hadn’t been burned by this short-sighted stupidity, oh, about 9 prior times in the past season-plus. The complete lack of leadership, attention to detail, and intensity falls squarely on Momlin’s frail shoulders. He’s in way over his head and as clueless as a toddler. Momlin’s a fine coach to rah-rah a team that’s on a roll, but he’s entirely the wrong man to fix a team that is buried in a massive pile of shit and slop. F
Synopsis: It all starts at the top, with Colbert and Momlin running this team into the ground with shoddy personnel decisions, and a complete lack of leadership and vision. It’s extended to the players as well, as key veterans (Ben, Pola, Big LaMarr, et al) have failed to perform up to even a modicum of expectation. If Rooney had any class or manners, he would issue a formal apology to the fine citizenry of London for impersonating an NFL team. The result is an embarrassing 0-4 record, with no hope of actually digging out of this hole. All the macho talk by Momlin means jack shit, because action talks, bullshit walks. And in this club, there’s far too much of the latter and not enough of the former. This band of bumblers now gets a bye next week, which comes at a convenient time for this entire organization to do some collective soul searching.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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