Stillers 24, Giants 14 ……. Dec 4, 2016…………Game # 12
Stillers-Giants Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers hosted the red-hot 8-3 G-men in a key tilt with Balt whipping the Dolphins earlier in the day. The Stillers went to the locker room at halftime, up 14-0, thanx to a somewhat rare combination of a safety, 2 FGs, and a TD, along with a failed 2-pointer. The Stillers held off the G-men on a 4th & goal stab, and scored a clutch TD in the 4Q, winning by the score of 24-14.
Shoddy pass on the 2-pointer, 2Q. Was just a bit late on a seamer to Rogers that was INTd, late 3Q. That aside, completely outplayed Eli Woman-ing, with 289 yards passing and 2 TDs. B
Bell – dropped screen pass, 1Q. Coughed up the ball on a line plunge at his own 18, mid 3Q. Had a sterling, spinning, churning run for 11 yards on his first touch after the fumble. Also helped chew the clock in the 4Q. Had 29 carries for 118 yards, plus 6 grabs for 64. A very tough, hard-nosed effort. A-
DeAngelo – again, did not dress, due to the knee.
Toussaint - no involvement on O.
Johnson, Nix - David Johnson was flagged for a hold on a ground play, 1Q. There were some adequate blocks thrown by the FBs.
Brownie – stellar TD grab, 2Q. Excellent control and 2 feet IB on a deep out, 4:30 3Q. Had 6 grabs for 54. Drew my ire and rage when he unbelievably just loafed and walked off the field as the Stillers were punting in the 4Q. This caused an illegal substitution flag, which in and of itself, didn’t cause a huge amount of harm. Nevertheless, it’s not like the punt team raced onto the field for a “hurry up punt”, so it’s inconceivable how a WR couldn’t at least half-jog whatever distance to get the fuk off the field. No, this is just another example of the arrogance and stupidity of one Antonio Brown. This one instance of asininity ruins what was otherwise a splendid day in which he out-shone OBJ. C
Coates - Yet another game with zero grabs. C
Rogers - Had a chain-moving, stellar 18 yard grab and run on his lone catch.
Hamilton - Had 2 grabs for 11.
Heyward-Gay – sat out again with the foot injury.
Jesse James – dropped a fairly cake-easy 3rd down pass, 1st series. Clutch grab on a late 4th & 3 to basically seal the W. Had 3 grabs. B-
Green – dropped an easy crosser, late 1Q. Flagged for a supremely ticky-tack OPI flag, late 2Q. Clutch 3D grab, with Ben passing from his own EZ, late 3D. Hauled in a deep seamer, late 3Q, for 33 yards. Then snagged a TD a few plays later. On a key 3d & 3, 4Q, he either dropped a 10-yard pass, or the DB perhaps may have gotten a hand slightly on the ball. Finished with 6 grabs for 110 yards. Nice to get some production from someone other than AB or Bell. A-
OL: Overall, the OL gave Ben plenty of time, plus opened up some good creases for Bell. A-
Villeneueva - allowed pressure, first series. Then got totally tooled and humiliated for a sack, late 3Q. I just pray that he isn’t regressing as he did late last season. C+
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus surprisingly wasn’t called for a penalty. Had an ok game.
DeCastro – flagged for his weekly hold, early 3Q. This put the offense into a huge hole, deep in their own territory, which essentially flipped the field for the G-men. Gee, it’s a good thing GM Kevin Doltbert rushed out to extend this stiff. Even better, I suppose, that Dolbert overpaid him. C-
Hargrave - decent effort in helping to stuff the run. Got a concussion, though, and had to sit out the rest of the game.
McCullers - did little, as usual.
Matthews – chipped in on a stop, late 3Q. Had a big 4th down sack, 4Q.
Tuitt – took an asinine dead ball personal foul with 85 seconds in the game. Stephonie finished with ZERO solos and 1 A. C-
Timmons – made an athletic, huge INT near the GL, along with a big return, in the 2Q. Solid game. A
Shaquier – busted up the 4th & 1 pass from the PIT 3, late 3Q. Fairly quiet with just 3 solos. A-
Moats - thankfully rarely played. He needs to sit the bench the entire rest of the season, and then move on to his life’s work.
Harrison – drew a holding flag in the EZ, 1Q, for a safety and 2 points. Was all set to maul Manning on a sack, early 3Q, but Eli meekly just fell to the ground. Had 3 solos. B+
Jones – saw some bit PT here and there. Did little. C-
Chickillo - saw a fair number of snaps and was held off the scoresheet. C-
Vinnie W. - not permitted to play on D.
Dupree – got extensive PT, and had 2 solos. Doing too much bull-rushing for a guy lacking brawn and strength. C+
Mitchell – For perhaps the 2nd time all season, busted up a pass, late 3Q. Then, on 3d & 13, 4Q, he amazingly busted up another pass, stunning as it was. He was nearly flagged for a hit on a defenseless receiver, 4Q, but the refs picked up the flag after some deliberation. Flagged for PI, late 4Q. B+
Gay - Was surprised the NYG didn’t attack him. Was mostly left alone most of the game.
Cockrell – flagged for PI, 2Q. Fought hard and held up well against OBJ. A-
Burns - solid game, with 5 solos and 1 A. A-
Davis – good stop in backfield, 2Q. INT’d the 4th down pass, 4Q, and had a decent return, but would have been better had had swatted the ball to the ground, as Burns was flagged for an illegal block on the INT return. Had 4 solos and 3 As in an active effort. A
Justin Gilbert - not permitted to play on D.
Sharko Thomas – finally dressed, but not permitted to play on D. Got a concussion and had to sit.
Jordan Berry – punted 4 times. Not terribly impressive, but at least he didn’t completely shank any.
Boswell – had some sort of sore vagina, so Randy Bullock got the PK chores. Came thru in the clutch with 3 FGs, from 44, 34, and 38 yards. For good measure, he adroitly helped stop a 38-yard KO return late in the game, when just about every other man on the coverage team was standing around or waddling around. A+
AB – no punt returns. Returned a free punt (via a safety) for 23 yards.
Sharko Thomas got shaken up late in the 1H from a wicked blind-side hit while he was covering a KO. Ended up being a concussion.
Coates was flagged for a masking on a NYG punt, early 3Q. Vinnie W. was flagged for a hold on a KO return, 3Q.
Hamilton astutely snagged the late-game onsides KO by the Giants.
Haley stuck with the ground game, rather than going all pass happy the way he is wont to do. Getting Green involved was quite nice, and productive. The offense still has the tendency to sputter and wheeze for significant stretches, but overall, an adequate game. B
After 2 consecutive weeks of facing soup cans, Keith Assler finally got to face a legit offense. Eli helped him out with some woefully thrown INTs. Had the Giants simply settled for FGs instead of Eli’s foolish forced INTs, this would have been one ass-pucker of a ballgame. The defense certainly looks far more organized and cohesive than it did during the hideous 4-loss stretch. B
HC: Mike Dumblin managed to finally beat a half decent team, only the 2nd time all season that he’s done so (the other being KC). I despised the late 4Q playcalling as the Stillers were running out the clock. Up by 14 points, Stoogelin made a gutsy call to go for it on 4th down and 3 at the NY 28, which Jessie James converted. With the ensuing 1st down at the NY 23, with just 2:00 left, Stoogelin insisted on plunging Bell twice into the line for minimal gains, taking the risk of yet another Bell fumble, or worse, a severe Bell injury. Then, on 3rd & 7, an incomplete pass stopped the clock, and the Stillers booted a FG. What I would have much, much more preferred, would have been Ben kneeling and taking a 1-yard loss on 3 consecutive plays, forcing NY to burn all 3 TOs. On the 4th down, I would have been content with yet another kneel, or a lob to the end zone (either way, the clock stops on a change of possession.) The FG was nearly blocked, and had it been blocked and returned for a TD, it becomes one of those “uh oh” type scenarios. Simply kneeling at the 27 yard line and turning the ball over to NY with just 1:40 left in the game (NY down by 14 points, and zero time outs), would have sufficed. As it was, on the ensuing KO after the FG, sure as shit, Dumblin’s always-leaky spec teams allowed a 38-yard KO return. B+
Synopsis: A big win to keep pace with the pesky PoeBirds. Next up, a road game to the 6-6 Bills. This certainly has the feel of yet another Stoogelin egg-lay, what with the Stillers coming off a big win over the hot G-men and now going on the road to face a mediocre, hardly dominant Buffalo team. In other words, just the recipe for many prior Stoogelin egg-lays. Let’s hope the team avoids the egg laying next Sun.
(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