Stillers 27, Bitans 24..... Oct 25, 2020 …………Game # 6
Stillers-Bitans Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers mosied down to Nashville for a battle of the 5-0 unbeatens. The Stilllers were up 27-7 in the 3Q, but true to their nature, they turned soft, and took their foot off the gas. Tenn promply scored a 73 yard TD, and before ya knew it, the blowout turned into an ulcer-inducing nailbiter, with the Bitans missing the trying FG with some 12 seconds on the clock.
QB: Ben had a solid game, directing impressive TD drives, including an opening TD drive, the team’s first in 23 games. He had 2 TD passes and no sacks. But, the Bad Ben creeped into this game……forcing and greedily jamming passes down the field amid blanketed coverage. The late INT to Ju was a bit of an odd play, with the ball being dislodged by the LB and then INT’d, but the bigger picture is that the team was already in FG range, and on a 3d & 12, could have hit a short 6-yard pass (if no one was open in the EZ, and Schuster certainly was not) and perhaps the RAC gets you the 1st down, perhaps it does not. However, the RAC may have chewed some clock, and the FG put you up by 6. I also despised the late 1H play, which was similar in terms of greed and foolishness. On a 1st & 15 from the TENN 37, with 11 secs left in the half, Ben threw this desperation, long ball into the EZ, where no one was open and the ball was picked off. The INT did little harm, but it took away, at the very least, a 54 yard FG try. Again, though, this was a situation that screamed for an 8 yard out pass, at which the receiver could easily scoot OOB to set up a shorter FG. I was also fairly annoyed that Ben had, what, 4 passes tipped or batted. The guy is 6 foot fuking 5 inches tall…..exactly what in the sam hell ?? B
Conner – had 20 rushes for 82, including some stellar power running and a nice spin move that helped move the chains. Did have a fumble in the 1Q, but it was recovered. Probably the best game Conner has had this season. A
Samuels – not involved at all in toting or catching the ball, but did have a stellar block on a wide run.
Snell – Had just 2 carries, with 1 being a walk-in TD from the 1. Showed good patience and reading on this run.
McFarland – Had an early carry for 6 yards and was never permitted to carry the ball again.
FB: Watt sat out again with a ham. A terrific use of $4M a year in cap money. Henry Mondreux filled in at FB and had a good lead block on the Snell TD.
JuJu – arose from an ultra quiet past 4 games, to lead the way with 9 grabs for 85. He warrants considerable credit with the stellar work on multiple 3rd down grabs, in which he fought off tacklers to get the 1st down yardage. That was some clutch work. A
Wash - Was oddly written entirely out of the script today. Not sure if it was by design or accident. Inc
Dionte - came back from injury and had 9 grabs for 80, and 2 TDs. Also made some clutch grabs on 3rd down, and the 1st TD catch was no easy grab, due to blanketed coverage. He did fail to corral a long lob in the 2Q that could have been 6 points. A
Claypool – Like Wash, he was pretty much written out of the script today. Fumbled a shovel pass in the1Q that could have been disastrous had he not recovered. That was his only catch of the day. Inc.
McDonald – Had 2 grabs for 14. Had some mauling blocks to help spring Conner. A
Ebron – Had 6 grabs, including a couple fairly tough chances, and also held on despite some big hits. Had no drops, which was nice. A-
OL: Overall, the line played superbly, keeping Ben clean (no sacks) and rarely under duress. They also opened up some nice holes for Conner to cruise thru. Okorafor drew my rage early on, with a masking and a hold on the same drive. A
Heyward – The $65M Man had zero solos and 1A in the game. That’s what $65M gets ya nowadays. He did have a couple decent plays to help limit Henry, but I’d hardly crow after a mouse-quiet game like this. C
Tuitt – another vaunted DE who had all of ONE solo the entire game. That’s it. Sure, he pressured the QB into the int grounding flag late in the game, which ultimately made the FG 10 yards longer. Still, that’s a shit-ton of cap dollars spent on such ho-hum production. C
Alu – Had 1 solo, although he’s not paid big to rack up the tackles. Had a nice play in the 2H in which he completely forklifted the center almost into the QB. B+
Vinnie – Now THIS is what a Hard Hat defender looks like. Vinie had 9 solos in perhaps his greatest game ever as a Stiller. Dude was all over the field, and he made stop after stop after stop. He also harassed the QB and had a sack. This is what manly linebacking looks like. Dude was a beast today. A+
Bush – out for the season, torn ACL.
Watt – Had a stellar game, continually disrupting the Tenn ground game. Had 4 solos, along with a sack in which he essentially beat a double team. A-
Crud Dupree – Crud had the luxury of facing the BACKUP left tackle today, with the starting LT, Lewan, having gotten injured last week and now out of the season. Crud personally allowed Henry’s longest run of the game, a 17-yard cruise up LT in which Cru, as is his penchant, overly titty-jousted and never disengaged from the LT, while Henry ran THREE INCHES away from Crud for the 17 yard gainer. Here’s Big Bud’s stat line: 0 solos, 0 assists, 0 pressures, 0 hurries, 0 fuking ANYTHING. He was completely held off the stat sheet, as can be seen at: https://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=401249063 Tenn ran 53 plays, of which Crud was on the field at least 40 of them, if not a few more. And despite facing a backup LT, Crud got stymied and rolled a donut. I am laughing my ass off as I type this. Especially with Crud, who so often loves to “pile jump” and “stack jump” when a ballcarrier is clearly stopped, all so that he’ll pick up a slop assist or two. Crud DuPree – a huge pilo dung. F
Odeniyi – got a few plays.
Lowsmith – Continues to impress me with his range, instincts, and ability. Had 3 solos. Nicely done. B+
Spillane – Micky Spillane got the start in place of the injured Bush. He manned up right from the get go, helping to bottle Henry in the 1H. On a huge 3d & goal the 1, Spillane filled on the hole and met a hard-charging Henry head on in then hole, and the freight-train collision resulted in Henry being stopped dead in his tracks, and may have lost a few inches to boot. Like Vinnie, this was a MAN playing manly football, and kudos to Spillane for filling the hold and making the kind of play that Crud Dupree would have SHIED AWAY from. Unfortunately, Spillane hurt his shoulder on the play. But my gosh, give me 11 Spillanes any day to 11 over-hyped pansies like Crud DuiPree. A+
Haden – had a solid game, with 4 solos and 1 PD. Started to get picked on as the game wore on, though. B
Nelson – A fairly unimpressive game, with 0 PDs. I’m stil not sure if he should have stayed with Brown on the long 73-yard TD play. B
Hilton – missed the game with an injured shoulder.
Edmunds – stop the presses ! Eddie had not one, but two PDs ! That’s more than his entire career. Am still speechless. A-
Minkah - Had a rough game. Took an awful angle on the Brown catch n run play for the 73-yard TD. Also committed a foolish, brainless hold on the 4Q 4th & 1, which turned an incomplete pass and Steeler football, into an easy 1st & goal that Tenn converted into a TD. D-
Sutton – Dude made some plays !! Had 4 solos and 2 PDs in a very, very stellar effort. Very impressive. Played better than I ever anticipated. A
Colquitt – cut on Friday.
Jordan Cherry – the Stillers re-signed this bag o’ vomit on Sat. Only punted twice, with boots of 59 and 51, which isn’t shabby. Perhaps sending him off to the unemployment line back in early Sep boosted his lethargic motivation and shitty-assed punting. B+
Boswell – 2 for 2 on FGs. Did a pretty good job with his pooch KO’s. A
RayRay – had a stellar PR of 57 yards in the 1H. Not to be picayune, but he cut the wrong way, to his LEFT, around the 30 yard line, when there was an ACRE of open field, AND a blocker, to his right. Had he veered right, he walks into the EZ for a TD. At any rate, this dude is getting more impressive each week. A
OC: Randy Sphincter had a splendid 1H, with the passes being spread around and the ground game clicking. It seemed like Spincter abandoned the ground game in the 2H, and also failed to get the ball into the hands of 1 of his very best playmakers, Chase Carpool. A guy with Carpool’s talent cannot play an entire game, which included 73 offensive snaps, and touch the ball ONCE. I don’t want to hear about decoys and that bullshit. Sure, ya use him as a decoy here and there. But, you still get him some touches among those 73 snaps. B-
Keith Assler had the luxury of a comfy lead that forced Tenn to mostly abandon the ground game. Sure as shit, of course, Assler coughs up the vast majority of the lead quicker than a Covid-affected patient starts coughing. First, the 73-yard TD play. Then, the Bitans ground out a 12-play, 70 yard TD drive to make it a 3 point game. Lord know what may have occurred had this game gone into OT. B
HC: Mike Asslin oversaw a solid, hard-nosed team effort. The plethora of penalties, of course, showed a lack of focus and discipline, which was a bit of a negative. Taking the foot off the gas is a common Stoogelin predilection, and it nearly cost the team a W this time. All in all, some solid, hard-nosed football. B+
Synopsis: A nice road win against one of the AFC’s best teams. The team hasn’t started 6-0 since Tony Dungy was a player for the Stillers in the late 70s. Naturally, the game o’ the year is next week, in Balt to face the hated PoeBirds. Will be a sterner test, with a better D and a better QB in Jackson.
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