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Stillers-Titans Postgame Analysis and Grades

October 10, 2011 by Still Mill

Stillers 38, Titans 17 ��� Oct 9, 2011
Stillers 38, Titans 17�. Oct 9, 2011 ����Game #5


Stillers-Titans Postgame Analysis and Grades


The Stillers roared out to a 21-3 halftime lead, and then rumbled their way to a thorough 38-17 whupping of a vastly mediocre Titans team.��




QB:Ben shook of his aching foot and had a career day, tossing 5 TDs on 24 of 34 passing.�� He didn�t incessantly hold onto the ball like a fool, either.The long laser to Wally was perhaps his prettiest pass, but there were also numerous sharp passes to Miller and Ward.Ben started off slowly, but as he warmed up and got comfortable, he became red-hot.��� Well done.�� A+


RB:Socrates Mendenhall dressed, but did not play due to injury.�� Redman started in his place and acquitted himself quite well.�� He had a superb, LOW plunge on an early 3d & 1, gaining 2.�� He had a good 5-yard run on the last play of the 1Q.�� He then had a strong run for 10 yards on the 1st play of the 2Q.On a 1st & 5, he had a superb 2nd, 3rd, and 4th effort, twisting and churning for 3 yards.Then, on a 3d & 1, he kept plowing and got 5 yards.�� These aren�t long Barry Sanders type of runs, but they are quietly efficient and enormous effective.��


��� In the 2H, Red had a nice 12-yard run, and then a nice 6-yarder and a good spin n� churn for 5 yards on 2d & 4.�� He got nicked up on a screen pass early in the 4Q.�� In all, Red had 49 yards on 15 carries, plus 3 grabs for 12.��


��� Dwyer saw his most extensive PT of his young career, gaining 107 yards on 11 carries.He biggest rush, of course, was the 76-yard jaunt on a counter up RG on his first carry of the season.�� Dwyer still looks heavy and not as quick as he could be, and it�s up to the staff to melt the extra, unnecessary 15 pounds off his frame.����� A+��


FB: Lightly used.��� Inc.


WR:Wally again led the way, often toying with the Bitans on underneath stuff they were giving.�� He went to the house on the deep ball in the 4Q for a 40-yard TD grab.He made a tremendous grab on a low pass in the 1Q that was originally ruled incomplete but then over-turned on a challenge.Wally had a clever pinkie-shove of a DB on a 3d & 1 reception in the 4Q, in which he hauled in a 12-yard pass.Of course, no flag was thrown, nor should it have been.(Nor has it ever been thrown since the absurd OPI on Seattle�s Darrell Jackson on a pinkie-shove of Chris Dope, who would have played today were it not for an injured arm.) ���


�� Brown had 2 grabs for 23, including a nice pluck on a high slant for 17 yards.He also had a nice 10-yard run on a jet sweep.��


�� Ward had his 1st 2 TDs of the season, and had 7 grabs for 54.�� His 2nd TD was a gem, as he artfully hopped over a cut-tackle and into the EZ for the score.For whatever reason, Sanders was written out of the script today.�� ������A


TE:Miller had a nice day, grabbing 3 for 46 yards and a TD.Saunders was targeted on the 1st drive, and dropped a tough, but do-able, pass.�� Johnson grabbed a rare pop-pass for 4 yards on the 1st series and the short TD pass off a reverse boot in the 2Q.�� Johnson also had a very strong, effective seal block of the ILB on Dwyer�s 76-yard jaunt.��� ��A


OL: After the past 2 weeks of outright stench, the line had a very acceptable day at the office.��


Leading the way was none other than Maxwell Starks, who had no training camp and all of 3 days of practice coming into this game.�� Dude hadn�t taken an NFL game-snap in 11 months, but played superbly.No imitations of traffic cones, windmills, traffic barrels, or turnstiles.�� Steady, solid play, keeping Ben�s blind side clean.���


Legurski, who started at LG for the injured Kemo, had a nice pull and block on the Dwyer 76-yard jaunt.�� He then moved to center in the 3Q when Pouncey�s knee was hurt.Essex then came in for Leggo.�� Pouncey returned to action in the 4Q, and did a nice pivot-pull on a Wally end-around.��


Gilbert had a decent game, before his shoulder got dinged mid-way thru the 2Q.He was replaced by The Human Turnstile, Jon Scott, for the rest of the game.�� Scott miraculously didn�t commit any grave boners, and perhaps he is better suited for the RT job.��


Foster probably had the worst boner of the game, getting totally abused on the first drive and causing a near strip-sack (only Ben�s firm grip avoided the disaster).��� ����A-


DL:Keisel returned to action, while Smith and Fat Hampton did not dress.�� Hoke played superbly in place of Fat Hampton.He stuffed Johnson (along with Timmons� help) for a 3-yard loss in the 2nd series.He then had a good stop 2 plays later.�� He defended the stretch well, and was never blown off the ball.��� Amazing how a journeyman can replace the $4M lardassed nose tackle, and actually outplay the fat boy.���


�� Keisel had a key bat of a pass in the 3Q, which popped the ball into the air some 25 feet and created the team�s very 1st INT this season.�� Hood played okay.�� Heyward was finally given meaningful playing time, and responded with a strip of the QB, and later in the 4Q he forced an intentional grounding.��� Gee, maybe he should rot another 8 weeks so that he can better �learn the system�.�� �����A


LB:Harrison missed the 1st of several game with the broken orbital bone.��� Timmy started at ROLB and Larry Slow-a-Foote started at ILB.��


Taunto Farrior was pretty active, leading the team with 9 solos and 4 A�s.�� He had a flail n� whiff on Williams after a short catch, which resulted in a 15-yard gain late in the 1Q.He managed an ankle-grab tackle of Johnson on a toss sweep for no gain in the 2Q.�� On a 3d & 1 in the 4Q, Ringer was covered by Taunto, but Taunto just stood there and failed to bust up the pass, enabling Ringer to gain 3 yards and a 1st down.�� The Winged God of LB Coverage was also flagged for a blatant illegal contact penalty on 3d & 12 from the PIT 12.��


Timmons was adequate at ROLB.�� He didn�t harass the QB all that much, but was steady against the run.He blew up a stretch play on the 1st play of the 2nd series, resulting in a 3-yard loss.He had good coverage on Cook on the 1st series.�� He had a poor read on the Johnson TD run, blindly rushing upfield instead of reading the handoff to Johnson, who easily scooted under Timmons and untouched into the EZ.


Foote didn�t do much.�� Remarkably, he didn�t even make it onto the score sheet, which is rather sad.

Big LaMarr Woodley managed to get some paper stats, as little as they were, what with 1 solo and 2 assists despite rarely, if ever, leaving the field.�� His solo was on a Dong Sack, in which he was SOLO blocked by a backup RB, Ahmard Hall, and rumbled by the huge mismatch for the sack.��� That shows the clear -- and correct -- lack of respect the Titans had with the $61M Man.�� Big LaMarr teamed with Hood for a coverage sack in the 2Q, when Hasseljack had plenty of time, and then spun around and simply fell to the ground like a coward.�� LaMarr picked up his other assist on a slop assist on the 1st Titans play of the 2H, in which he was mauled off the LOS a good 5 yards, and then nudged into the ballcarrier at the end of a nice 5-yard gainer.


���� Big LaMarr was far too soft on a 1st & 10 counter play up RT in the 1Q, feebly taking on the pulling lineman and getting shoved wide, allowing a 6-yard gainer.�� On a 3Q pass play, LaMarr immediately dropped into middle-coverage at the snap, and was far too slow to converge on Nate Washington on a crossing route.�� Worse, as Nate steamed toward the sideline and upfield, Big LaMarr basically QUIT on the play and started JOGGING as Nate sped away for a 21-yard gain.�� A shit play by a shit player.�� Big LaMarr had an INT, but again, that�s where defensive stats are so misleading and meaningless.�� Brett Keisel MADE that INT occur with a bat, with popped the ball up into the air a good 25-feet.�� All LaMarr had to do was out-joust a clumsy O-lineman and haul in a plopped ball that was falling so softly that it wouldn�t have broken thru a wet paper bag.�� A classic Dong interception by a dong of a player.��


������ Timmy, Farrior:B+����Foote, WoodenDong:��� D+��


DB:lke had such a strong game that the Bitans rarely, if ever, threw his way.�� He is becoming the kind of CB that is shutting down half the field.��


Pola had another stupendous game.�� He nearly picked a couple of passes and seemed to be all over the field.He kind of nudge-poked the ball loose out of Nate�s hand on a near-TD pass in the 1Q, when the game was still very much up for grabs. He eluded a block on a screen pass and then made the stop.He busted up a deep in on a 3d & 12 late in the 1Q.��


Lewis had a solid game.�� I was impressed by his ability to react to the ball and close on the receiver.He also had a nice bust-up of a 4th & 5 pass in the 4Q.�� On the downside, he foolishly stopped and peeked back at the QB on the late TD pass, getting no help from Mundy, who was late.


Gay had a good cut-tackle of Ringer after a valve dump in the 3Q.


Ryan Clark had his usual shit game, although the paper stats look gaudy enough to fool those who failed to watch the game.�� He was flagged on the opening drive, when, like the complete jackass that he is, he blasted Ringer well out of bounds.This negated the false start flag on Tenn, so rather than facing 3d & 12, Tenn got a freebie 1st down plus the 15 yards.�� What a douchebag.�� He had a flailing whiff on a screen pass in the 3Q, which gained 8 yards.��


Ike and Pola:�� A+����� Clark:�� D����� ��All others:�� B


Spec teams:Some good, some disastrous.���


�� Brown had a superb 52-yard KO return in the 1Q after he faked a reverse handoff.�� Dwyer made a couple good stops on kick overage, with help from Sylvester on the 1 stop.Sepulveda threw a nice pass on a fake punt, in which Mundy was wide, wide open in the middle of the field.Mundy had some nice RAC, and the play gained 33 yards.��


�� But the mistakes were utterly grisly.��


�� Shoddy KO coverage in the 2Q allowed the Bitans to return the ball to their 43.The Bitans pulled off an onsides kick in the 3Q, with a high popper of a kick that Arnez Battle -- whose 1 and only job on this team is to excel at spec teams -- failed to corral, as did Sylvester.�� Of course, Battle is a WR; Sylvester is a LB.�� ��Then in the 4Q, Foote committed a false start on a Steeler punt., which is just asinine for a veteran player, playing with the relative quiet at home, on this kind of play.�� Not satisfied with the blunder, Foote proceeded on the next snap to block the OUTSIDE guy rather than the man coming right up �left guard�.�� That, combined with Sepulveda casually taking his time, caused the punt to be blocked.�� It was returned for a TD, but the score was wiped out by a needless block in the back.���C-


OC:Arians had a rare, decent day.��� What made it decent was that Mister Stubborn finally decided to add some WRINKLES and some CHANGES and some ADJUSTMENTS to an offense as stale as week-old bread.�� These included:


- Jet sweep by Brown for 10 yards.�� This wasn�t the usual end around play that takes about 9 seconds to develop.This was a jet sweep that most colleges run nowadays, with the motion man taking the handoff a millisecond after the QB gets the snap.�� The Stillers have run with sweep zero times, EVER.��


- Reverse boot by Ben for the TD pass to Johnson.�� The Stillers have run a reverse boot ZERO times this season.It took Arians into the 5th game to get Ben on the move on such a simple, obvious tactic.


- Pop pass to the TE (Johnson), which has been used maybe twice this season.��


Of course, it was far from perfect.�� I was enraged by the wasted timeout after the successful fake punt.There was a Chinese fire drill, which caused the timeout.�� This is horse-shit that happens at the high school level.�� Totally unacceptable at this level of football to waste a timeout.�� ����B


DC:Dick had his usual first-drive problems.�� The Bitans marched 69 yards in 15 plays for a FG, but it could have been a TD.�� The tackle-eligible, Otto, missed hauling in a short TD grab, and then Nate Washington -- true to his nature -- dropped a TD pass a few plays later.You have to realize that the Stillers won the coin toss but deferred, with the intention of their defense setting the tempo.Allowing a long, methodical 69-yard FG march ain�t what the head coach had in mind.��


��� Coming into the game, Tenn was the only team in the NFL who had not converted a 3d & 10 or longer.Of course, they easily snapped that streak today, with a completion to Nate on 3d & 10 late in the 3Q.Chris Johnson had come into this game with zero TDs this season.�� Of course, that streak came to an end the next play, when he easily scooted up LT for a TD.��


��� Then, on a 3d & 1 at 6:00 4Q, no one covered the deep-middle of the field, and Nate was WIDE open for an easy, long TD.�� Hasseljack overthrew the open man to help the Stillers avert this disaster, but it was a shit play by a shit defense.�� With this much experience and lack of ANY rookies (on the field) in the back 7, this is inexcusable.��


��� On the late 3d & 19, the Bitans had an easy pitch n� catch for a TD pass to Williams.�� Very, very poor.����������������


���I won�t fawn over a defense struggling to limit an offense consisting of Hasseljack, an out-of-shape Christine Johnson, no Britt, and a WR corps led by Nate Washington.������ C+

HC:Tomlin had a rare, intelligent challenge, getting an over-rule on the low grab by Wally in the 1Q.�� I was enraged when Dumblin, once again, kept key starters in the game during garbage time, LATE in the blowout.��� The Stillers were up 38-17, and with less than 2 minutes remaining, Troy Pola is still dashing and flying around the field.WHY ??�� This guy has been injured more than Bob Sanders and Aaron Smith.�� Why even tempt fate by having him on the field during such meaningless garbage time ??���� And a guy like Pola knows no such thing as �playing it safe�.�� He�s either diving and darting....or he�s not playing at all.�� This is where astute leadership realizes this particular battle has been won, but a larger war is in progress.���


On the plus side, Tomlin managed to have his team wash away the awful taste from last week�s stenchfest, and they came out plenty fired up.����� B


Synopsis:Another TastyCake win over a creampuff, this team�s 3rd of the season.�� Tenn had the gaudy 3-1 record, but the wins were against teams with a combined 3-9 record.�� (Balt was obviously a quality opponent, but Denver and Clev were complete punching bags.)�� The Stillers have now managed to overcome the vaunted, daunting likes of Seattle, the Manning-less Colts, and now the Bitans.��� I�m hardly impressed.�� See me in 3 weeks, when the Stillers face the Pats.�� Actually, neither of the next 2 games are complete gimme�s.�� Jax seems to always play the Stillers stoutly, and the Stillers have long found trouble when they fly into Arizona to face the Cards.��




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




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