Stillers 23, Bills 10 ……. Nov. 10, 2013 …………Game # 9
Stillers-Bills Postgame Analysis and Grades
The Stillers hosted the lowly Bills, and in a dull, drab, bland affair, the Stillers managed to get off the schneid with 23-10 win.
QB: Ben had a foolish INT deep in BUF territory on a promising opening series. Overthrew Sanders on a bomb, 5:30 1Q. Tossed the desperation shovel pass top Bell to avoid the sack, which gained 34 yards, mid-2Q. Deft touch on the fade pass to Cotch for a TD late in the 2Q. Nearly lost what would have been a disastrous fumble at 8:30 3Q on his own 35. Tried a bizarre, Yepremian-like push-pass while wrapped up on a sack on his own 20-yard line at 1:58 3Q. Fortunately, he was ruled down. Finished 18 of 30 for 204 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. So-so. C+
Jones - had 4 rushed for 16. And, of course, zero receptions, despite being the smoothest receiver out of the BF on this roster. B-
Bell - gained 34 yards on a desperation shovel pass mid 2Q, dashing and weaving for huge yardage. Finished with 57 hard-earned yards on 22 carries, and chipped in 39 yards on 3 grabs. He does a nice job of getting low and using leverage at the POA (point of attack). B
Dwyer - Good power run for 6 yards on 3rd & short, 1st play 2Q. A few plays later, he carried again on 3d & 1, and his good 2nd effort moved the sticks. On a 3d & 3, mid 2Q, Dwy bounced it wide and gained 8. Had 6 rushes for 38 and 1 grab for 3. B+
FB: Will Johnson played here and there. Without reviewing the tape of this game -- and I have no interest in reviewing this dull game -- it’s hard to gauge his impact. Inc
Brownie - Very quiet early on, but then erupted for a solid game. Nice grab along the sideline on 3d & 4, for 24 yards at 2:30 2Q. Smooth grab on 3d & 3 along the sideline chalk, early 3Q. After his big punt return in the 3Q, he immediately followed it with a 40-yard catch n’ run. Had 6 grabs for 104. A
Sandy - nifty run on a Wildcat end-around, good for 25 yards. Had 4 grabs for (hold your laughter) 13 yards (just over 3 yards per catch), which is becoming fairly typical of his production. C+
Cotch - Clutch 3rd down grab and nifty RAC, opening series, 25 yards. Hauled in a short lob for a TD late in the 1H. A
Wheat - did something productive and hauled down the defender after the long, early INT return. Caught zero passes. C
Moye - Did not dress. No need for a tall WR to help in the RZ., because this offense is already clicking so smoothly in the RZ. Inc
Miller - dropped a short out pass, mid 1Q. Completely whiffed on a lead block on a Bell 2d & goal run early in the 2Q, which was stuffed. Grabbed a screen, late 2Q, and stupidly cut to the middle of the field instead of getting OOB. Clumsy as an ox, he failed to come down with a fade-lob in the EZ late in the 4Q. Finished with 1 grab for 6 yards. Good thing this cripple was rushed back so quickly after 3 ligaments were torn in late Dec. C
Palmer - grabbed a short pass, late 1Q. Blocking remains a vast weakness. Inc
Adams - Puffer Adams saw a ton of PT as an extra TE. Had a churning, driving pancake block on Bell’s TD plunge in the 3Q. Actually looked competent. B
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus started but then got nicked up, giving way to Whimper. Came back in when Whimper had to go to guard to replace an injured Foster. Inc
Foster - limped off early in the 3Q with an ankle injury. Inc
Velasco - solid day at the office. Wasn’t tooled or abused. B
DeCastro - returned to the lineup after sitting out last week. Had an adequate game. B
Beacham - started at LT. Got totally whipped on a speed rush -- remember, he has no reach or frame length -- and allowed a sack at 10:27 4Q. Got abused on a simple seal block later in the 4Q, which caused a 4-yard loss on a Bell run. C-
Whimper - saw PT at tackle and OG. Got literally shoved aside like a toddler and allowed a 3d & goal sack at 9:10 2Q. C
Keisel - Did little, although not much was needed. Helped bottle the run. B-
McLendon - mostly held his ground and played stout in the ground game. Took a foolish roughness penalty after the apparent Heyward fumble recovery late in the game. B
Hood - saw some PT and had 1 solo. Let’s see.....I guess The Ziggster is down to his final 7 games in a Stiller uniform. C-
Heyward - abused the OG and nabbed a sack, mid-4Q. Picked up errant flub by Manuel late in the game and rumbled for 27 yards. It was over-ruled as an inc pass, but at least, unlike most of his mates in the past couple of years, he had the presence of mind to pick up a loose ball and run the other way. Had 5 solos and is looking more and more like a guy who was so widely lauded coming out of Ohio St. a few years ago. A
Woods - saw some PT. Inc
Timmons - good lick on a 3rd down run at 4:20 1Q. Delivered a huge hit to the QB on a sack early in the 3Q. Had 7 solos and 1 assist while still playing with the broken hand. A-
V. Williams - Had a decent tackle on Fred Jackson on a gut plunge early in the 3Q...albeit 9 yards down the field. Very poor. Finished with 2 solos, which is just unacceptably poor for an ILB in this scheme. C-
Worilds - Inserted at LOLB, he got totally fooled and tooled on a reverse bootleg in which the QB raced around end for 9 yards, late 3Q. Applied some good pressure on the QB in the 2H. C+
Jones - got his first NFL sack, mid 4Q. This was his only tackle of the game. Inc
Big LaMarr - faced #79, RT Erik Pears. Got an assist on a 2d & goal plunge at 7:03 1Q. Almost got a pick on a rottenly thrown pass, 4:48 1Q. Got a slop assist while barely blocked, 1:52 2Q. Got a slop stop at the 2nd of Stevie Johnson’s 23-yard catch and run, 8:14 2Q. Late in the 2Q, at 1:55 2Q, Jackson ran a plunge up the gut and burst thru a nice hole. LaMarr, who was completely unblocked, moseyed over for the slop stop after an 8 yard gainer. Got a slop assist on a 4-yard dive play up LG at 14:51 3Q. The overweight pansie that he is, Big LaMarr suffered (hold the snickering, please) a calf injury in the 3Q. C
Ike - got nicked up midway thru the 3Q but sat only 1 play. Had some decent coverages. Flagged for a hold in the 4Q. B
Pola - good, tight coverage on 3d & long, 7:00 2Q. Delivered a couple of good, hard tackles. B+
Clark - Got a Dong INT on a horrible 4Q pass in which the WR fell down onto the ground. Otherwise, finished the game with a on-descriopt 0 solos and 2 As while not doing much of anything. C
Gay - Actually came up in tackle support and made some adequate submarine stops. Flagged for a PI on 3d & 4, 1Q, on a short out pass that was well short of the sticks.
Thomas - failed to corral Johnson after a catch, 2Q, and then stayed down with an ankle injury and did not return. Inc
C. Allen - busted up a poorly thrown 3rd down pass, late 1Q. Good stop of Jackson after a dumpoff, late 2Q. Flagged for a PI mid 2Q. B-
McBriar - booted a genuine junior varsity punt, 5:00 1Q, that went all of 27 yards to the PIT 44. A short while later, he followed that up with a booming punt that went all of 36 yards. D+
Suisham - booted a KO OOB midway thru the 4Q, which always enrages me. Was 3 of 3 on FGs. A-
Golden nailed the returner on the opening KO of the 2H.
Brown had a good punt return in the 3Q, nearly busting it to the house. Then took a punt return 51 yards in the 4Q.
Wheaton went offsides on a KO, which is another miscue that enrages me. Will Johnson had a hold on a punt return in the 3Q.
Jarvis Jones was flagged for a roughness after the whistle on the opening KO of the 2H. With a tight score of 10-3, I could have done without this kind of foolishness.
OC: 3rd drive of game, 3d & 4, and the result is a piss-ant 3-yard completion to Sanders to set up a punt. Why is Sandy even running a 3-yard route ?? Yes, I understand it was an underneath route, but this is all too typical of this popgun offense.
This was evidenced in the RZ offense, which was a complete cluster. Time and time again, the offense ventured into the RZ, only to resemble a group of school kids just lobbing and booting the ball about during recess. The result was a near-constant settling for shorty FGs. There is no discernable plan of attack when this offense gets inside the 10. Instead, they seem to fiddle faddle and hope that Ben can improvise and replicate his pass to Tonio Holmes for the Sup Bowl game-winner. C-
DC: Dick once again dad the luxury of facing a greenhorned rookie QB, EJ Manuel, who’d sat out the past 4 games and had the commensurate rust. Then, the Bills most dangerous WR, Stevie Johnson, went to the locker room midway thru the 4Q with an injury.
There isn’t much to be taken from this game. Playing at home, in windy conditions, against a greenhorn QB who hadn’t played since Oct. 3rd -- all of this made Dick’s job as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. This is precisely the kind of inept offense that Dick has managed to feast on and attain the gaudy -- and completely meaningless -- “#1 defensive ranking” the past few years. Someone see me when Dick faces a legitimate QB and legitimate offense, as he did last week when he got torched for 55 points. Inc
HC: Momlin seemed to have his men better focused and more disciplined that we’ve seen of late. They went out, in a business-like manner, and beat down a team that they rightfully should have beaten down. Too bad the same thing didn’t occur against mediocre weaklings like Minn, Chico, Oak, and Tenn. B-
Synopsis: As noted, a drab win over a drab opponent. Hard to assess a team after a relatively hum-drum win over such a hum-drum foe. Next week, the Lion offense will certainly be more of a litmus test than this woeful Bills offense was today.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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