Stillers 37, Lions 27 ……. Nov. 17, 2013 …………Game # 10
Stillers-Lions Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers endured a wild roller coaster today. They went out in front, 14-0, only to be pillaged in the 2Q and trailing at the half, 27-20. With help from the rain that picked up much harder in the 3Q, the Stillers edged closer, and in the 4Q the Stillers finally prevailed with a comeback vistory.
Deft step-up in pocket and pass to Brown for the 47-yard TD, 2nd series. Clever back-hand toss to Miller to avoid the sack and gain 10 yards, 2Q.
Poor pass, early 3Q, which should have been INT’d but was dropped. Hideously overthrew a WIDE open Paulson in the rear of the EZ, 3Q. Good pump fake and lob to Cotch for the late TD to seal the win. Ben finished 29 of 45 for 367, 4 TDs, and best of all, 0 INTs or fumbles. A
Jones - Carried once for 0 yards. Inc
Bell - good 1st run, gained 13 yards. Allowed a good pass to clang off his hands near the GL, 2Q, and was nearly INT’d. Grabbed a short slant , 2Q, and dashed full steam ahead for 43 yards. Started to skip and dance on a 3 & G plunge, 6:00 3Q, and then slipped and was stuffed for a 1-yard loss. Good grab and dive for the 1D on the 4th & 2 midway 4Q. Gained only 36 yards on 18 carries, which ain’t good enough. The OL sucked, to be sure, but the Lions start 2 rookies on their OL and each of their RBs managed to gain a much better yards per carry. B-
Dwyer - Good RAC for a 13-yard gain, mid 4Q. Carried once, for 0 yards. Inc
FB: Will Johnson grabbed a short pass for a 1-yard TD in the 4Q to put the Stillers in front. Didn’t play all that much, due to the personnel packages and no huddle. Inc
Brownie - superb RAC on 3d & 11 after a short catch, weaving and juking for the 1st down. On the next play, he slipped 2 tacklers after a short curl, and sauntered in the EZ for a 34-yard TD. On the next series, MegaBrown took a short pass and zipped through the middle of the field, untouched, for a 47-yard TD. Clutch grab on 3d & 9, early 4Q. Bobbled a lofted pass on 1st & G at 5:39 4Q. Had 7 grabs for 147 and 2 TDs; the late drop hurts an otherwise stellar day. A-
Sandy - failed to corral a low pass, 2nd series. Injured his foot, mid 2Q, and did not return. Inc
Cotch - nearly made a sterling, clutch grab of a high pass on 3d & 8, 1st series of 3Q, but the ball squirmed out as he hit the turf. Superb 2nd and 3rd effort on his RAC, mid 4Q, giving the Stillers a 1D at the DET 1 yard line. Grabbed the late lob for a TD to seal the game. A
Wheat - finally did something, grabbing a low out pass, 2Q. Showed good speed on his RAC, 2Q, which produced 21 yards. Had 3 grabs for 38. B
Miller - dropped a fairly easy TD pass, midway 2Q. Finished with 8 for 87, which is a piddly, platry 8 yards per catch. His blocking was mediocre, at best. No one can convince me this lumbering stiff is anywhere close to being fully healthy. B-
Adams - Puffer Adams saw a bit of PT as an extra TE. B-
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus continues to struggle in the ground game. Is unable to sustain blocks or open holes. C+
Foster - did to dress, due to the ankle.
Velasco - played ok, but the complete lack of running success must at least partially be attributed to him not getting the job done. B-
DeCastro - played solidly, and even held Suh off the scoresheet, although Suh was nicked up and missed a number of snaps. I’d still like to see the ground attack churn with consistency behind Castro, which obviously has yet to occur. B+
Beacham - started at LT. Flagged for a false start, 1Q. Got shoved back into the BF and his man dropped Brown for an 8 yard loss on an end around, 2Q. Had struggles in pass pro all game long. C-
Whimper - started at LG in place of Foster. Abused and then allowed a sack on 3d down at the DET 12, mid 2Q. Flagged for a hold on a draw play, 2Q, and also for a hold later in the 2Q. D+
Keisel - did not dress, due to the plantar fasciitis.
McLendon - mucked around and had 2 solos. Not getting the pass pressure that he’d shown in prior seasons. B-
Hood - stopped a plunge, last play 3Q. Got a fingernail grab of the QB’s jersey for a game-ending sack late in the 4Q. B
Heyward - batted a 3rd down pass, early 3Q. Had 5 solos in a better effort than what we were seeing in Sep and Oct. B+
Timmons - scooped up the Bush fumble, early 2Q. Blew up a screen, 7:00 2Q, and stopped it for 1 yard. Had a fairly quiet 3 solos and 2 As, which isn’t good enough in this defense. C+
V. Williams - Was removed when the team went to extra DBs, but saw PT and finished with 0 solos and 1 A. C
Worilds - good chase-down hustle play on screen, stopping it for just 1 yards. Sacked the QB in the 3Q and nearly earned a safety. Had struggles setting the edge of power runs toward RT. B-
Jones - got sealed in on the 18-yard run by Bell, late 1Q. Like Worilds, struggled to set the edge. Got very little pass pressure. Seems to be a Velcro queen like Jason GilDong, continually velcroing himself to a blocker and never disengaging. C
Big LaMarr - had a sore vagina, er calf, and did not dress.
Ike - near bustup of 4th down slant to Megatron, 1st series. As it was, Tron failed to corral the pass. Missed tackle of Tron on 1-step hitch, late 1Q. Stuipidly tried to tackle Tron up high, and was shrugged off like a toddler as Tron rumbled and scored on a 79-yard play that cut the score to 17-10. Dropped an easy INT that hit him directly in the stomach, late 2Q.
Dropped a cake-easy INT at the GL, late 2Q. Played better in the 2H, although much of that can be attributed to how the Dome-playing Lions shriveled when the rain picked up. Flagged for a hold (which was declined) on a completed pass, 2Q, and then on the next play, flagged for a PI in the EZ. C+
Pola - Just about as much of a non-factor as a player of his caliber can be. Wasn’t able to help at all during the hidesou 1H onslaught. Finished with 1 solo and 2 As, which is simply unacceptable. C-
Clark - nearly had a FF, 3d play of game. Busted up a pass to Tron in the EZ, early 4Q. Nowhere to be found during the 1H onslaught. C+
Gay - beaten by Ogeltree on a bomb, 2nd series, but the pass was hideously too long. Surprised he wasn’t picked on more often. B-
Thomas - did not dress, due to injury.
Will Allen - forced a fumble by Bush, early 2Q. Got a Dong INT late in the 4Q on a horrifically underthrown pass to Tron.
C. Allen - played sparingly and didn’t do much. Inc.
McBriar - junior varsity punt, early 2Q, that went low and only 41 yards, which was returned 13 yards to the PIT 42. Late in the 2Q, while punting from his own EZ, Briar got off yet another shit punt, this one going 31 yards. The pile o’ dung finally did his job, booming a 70-yard punt early in the 3Q to flip the field. C+
Suisham - booted 2 chippie FGs. B
The coverage teams were fairly decent. McLendon and Heyward teamed up to punish the holder and force the fumble on the fake FG, early 4Q. Actually, the FF gave the Stillers worse FP (field position) than if the holder had held onto the ball, but that became moot when the Stillers marched 97 yards for the big TD.
Came out with NH (no huddle), 1st drive. Voila -- 1st time all year Haley’s offense has produced points of any sort in its opening drive. Why’d it take until Game 10 to try something fresh ??
3d & 18, 2 yard pass to Brown, which gained 5 yards, early 2Q. I cannot describe how pissed off I was.
Haley deserves some credit for the 97-yard TD march in the 4Q that essentially won this football game. B+
Dick has his usual assortment of good fortune going into this game and then during the game. WR Nate Burleson was inactive. Starting TE Brandon Pettigrew injured a knee on the very 1st offensive play of the game. The right side of the DET OL are both ROOKIES.
Dick played basically the entire 1H with a scheme devoid of any intelligence, with ZERO deep help, particularly on Megatron.
Reggie Bush was WIDE open on a 3d & 3, 1st drive, at the PIT 32, but the pass was hideously too high. This was an easy 6 points, as no one could have gotten over to nab the speedy Bush.
Ogletree was wide open on a bomb, 2nd series, but the pass was hideously too long. Another 6 points.
Pettigrew saw a pass go off his hands at the GL early in the 2Q, in what would have, and should have, been a TD. The Lions settled for a FG on the next play, but they should have been lining up for a PAT instead.
On the 4th drive, DET scored on a 79-yard pass play to Tron. The 5th drive, DET comfortably marched down the field, and then scored on a 19-yard Tron TD to cap a 74-yard TD drive.
On the 6th drive, DET took over at its own 38, with only 2:31 left in the 1H. Of course, they easily marched for a TD, with plenty of time left in the half, to take a 24-20 lead.
On the 7th drive, Dick had a comfy 3d & 15 to defend late in the 2Q, but as usual, allowed a pass to a wide open Tron for 20 yards.
Mercifully, the 1st half finally came to an end. 7 DET possessions, and basically 7 scores for 45 points, had the Lions not been so inept,. In the 1H, Stafford was 16-30, 327 , 2 TDs, and 27 actual points. This was Safford’s 1st career game with over 300 yards in 1H . With the boners committed by Stafford and then Pettigrew in the 1Q & early 2Q, this was essentially a 45-point half for Dick.
Luckily for Dick, it began raining much more in the 3Q, and the domey Lions started to struggle.
3d & 3, PIT, 22, 1st play of the 4Q, and Dick gets schooled on a QB draw that gained 7.
DET marched to the PIT 10 and was set to boot a chippie FG to go ahead by 7 early in the 4Q, but their idiot HC tried a fake FG on 4th & 5 that came up short.
Ogletree dropped a deep ball that hit him right in the numbers, 2:20 4Q. This should have been a 50+ yard gainer.
Dick will be lauded and deified for “making the adjustments” at halftime. The reality is that the adjustment should have been made, oh, about SIX DAYS ago when they began in earnest preparing for the Lions passing attack. It was a brainless, assaholic scheme that Dick used in the 1H. Period.
Lost amid this game was that you had a DOME team whose clearly play deteriorated as the rain got worse in the 3rd quarter. For once, the woeful conditions of Heinz Mud Bog turned out to be a nice home field advantage. C
Momlin was entirely unprepared for the Lions offense, getting scorched the entire 1H. Some adjustments were presumably made, although the timing of the rain was a nice coincidence that helped more than anything. Momlin managed to keep the team’s focus and energy together at, and after, halftime, and the team had a very strong 4Q, which has been rare the past 16 months. Stunningly, the Stillers committed zero penalties the entire 2H, which has to be a recent record of sorts. B
Synopsis: A good comeback win. The team showed moxie and fortitude, when they could have packed it in after the hideous 2Q. Of course, all of this could be quickly pissed away next week up in Cleveland. Recent Stiller teams have taken Clev far too lightly, and then have been licking their wounds after a Clev win. For Clev, next week is essentially their Super Bowl, and the Stillers had better be prepared with hustle and energy.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
Follow Mill on Twitter, at StillMill1