Stillers 20, Lions 15……. Oct 29, 2017………Game # 8
Stillers-Lions Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 5-2 Stillers went to Detroit to face the 3-3 Lions. AS is typical on the road, the offense sputtered. The defense, after feasting on vast ineptitude at QB these first 7 games, got fairly shredded, but made some stands when it counted near the GL. The result was a grinding, tight win
Underthrew a WIDE open JuJu on the opening play of the game on a sideline lob, which Ju had to wait for the ball, and probably lost 6 or 7 yards of gain in the process. Threw a bizarre, dart-like liner that sailed waaay over the head of AB, and was INT’d, 2nd series. Rotten throw. Misfired poorly on a deep ball to AB, 2Q, as the pass landed OOB.
Threw a ridiculous 1-hopper on a WR screen to JuJu, first play of 3Q. Then foolishly was off-target to a WIDE open DHB in the EZ, early 3Q. Rotten pass. Had James WIDE open up the seam, 3Q, and stupidly overthrew him by about 9 feet. Fortunately, on the very next play, Benji finally got his shit together and hit JuJu in stride for a 97 yard TD. Ben finished with a subpar 17 of 31, with 1 INT. Not nearly good enough. C-
Bell - good blitz pick up on deep pass to AB, 2Q. Good TD run, next play. Stupidly fumbled on a 3d & 1 plunge, late 2Q, at the DET 21. This removed at least 3 points, if not 7, off the scoreboard. Was able to grind out 76 yards on 25 carries, and had a paltry 2 grabs for 5 yards. The fumble obviously reduces the grade here. B-
Conner - Got a token carry, 2Q, for a yard. That was his lone carry.
Watson - no PT on O.
Nix - missed on a lead block, early 2Q. Flagged for a hold deep in PIT territory, 3Q. Good lead block on Bell’s 8 yard run, 4Q. B-
Brownie – made a good adjustment on a mediocre deep ball, 2Q, good for 44 yards. Was flagged for OPI on a TD grab, 3Q. Extremely ticky-tack flag. If that’s a penalty, then you would see 14 flags a game for OPI. Had a big 3D conversion in the 2H. Had 5 grabs for 70. B
Bryant - did not dress, due to benching.
Eli - WIDE open in the EZ, first drive, and he dropped a routine TD catch, mostly because his hands were BACKWARDS, like a fool. Drew a PI flag on the final series to help salt the game away. C+
Heyward-Gay – thrown a rare pass, this in the EZ, but the pass was a few inches overthrown. C
JuJu - grabbed deep lob for 30 yards, first play o’ game. Good grab on slant, 2d series. Good block on AB’s catch and run, late 2Q. Superb RAC, 3d & 4 early 3Q, good for 18 yards. Snagged a 3rd down seam pass from the PIT 2 and took it to the house, for a 97-yard TD !! Dropped a CAKE EASY curl pass on 3rd down, 4Q, forcing a punt. Atoned for the drop with a key snag of a 3D out pass, 4Q. Grabbed a shovel pass, late 4Q, to seal the game. A
Hunter - got a rare helmet. Grabbed a short pass and converted on 3d & 5, 2Q.
Jesse James - big catch & run for 32 yards, late 2Q. Received a blistering hit to the head, 3Q, which drew a pers. foul flag. Had 2 grabs for 42. B
Grimble - got a fair amount of PT but was never targeted.
McDonald - did not dress.
OL: Overall, the line gave Ben good time, and Ben was never sacked. The running lanes were a bit smallish, but they did grind out some yardage here and there.
Villeneueva - got abused on a wide rush, late 1Q, which forced an off target 3rd down pass. Flagged for a false start, 4Q. C
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus again sat out. Hubbard started. Got abused on a Bell run, 2 yard loss, 4Q. Got nicked up, and Feiler had to come into the game, 6:10 4Q.
Foster – Placed solidly.
Pouncey - Good overall game.
DeCastro – Surprisingly wasn’t flagged for a boneheaded penalty. DL:
Hargrave - good stop, first play of game. Delivered a big lick on a 3rd down GL plunge, 3Q. Stellar bulrush on the late 4th down from the PIT 7, which forced the QB to rush a pass that Shaz nearly INT’d. Very solid effort. A
McCullers - might not have gotten on the field on D.
Heyward – got a Dong Sack, 2nd series, when Lafford held the ball too long. Chipped in with 3 solos. B
Tuitt – once again sat out. Typical Notre Flamer.
Alu - superb pursuit and stick on a screen play, late 1Q. Had the rarest of all rare birds, a batted pass by a Stiller D-lineman, 3Q. Good read and stop of Lafford on QB run on 4th & goal, 4:30 3Q. Good game. A-
Walton - harassed Stafford and forced a TA, 2Q. Good chase-down of screen, mid 3Q. B+
Vinnie– chipped in with Grave on a big lick on the RB on the GL plunge, 3Q. Good stick on a 3d & goal plunge, early 4Q. Had 4 solos and 4 As in a solid effort. A
Shaquier – had a CAKE EASY INT right in his chest and hands on the late 4th down from the PIT 7. Had the moron caught the INT, he likely runs 97 yards for a TD to salt the game away. Overall, had a horrific game, continually flailing, never breaking down, and most often taking entirely poor angles. Worst game he’s had in at least 3 years. D
Moats - Somehow got PT over Harrison.
Harrison – never got off the bench from what I could tell. A travesty.
Chickillo - see Moats’ comments.
Watt - got sucked too far upfield on 9-yard run, late 2Q. Batted a pass in middle-zone coverage, 4Q. Had only 1 solo and 1 A, but was impressed with his steadily improving ability to drop into pass coverage.
Dupree – Had 2 solos and 1 A in a mouse-quiet effort. C+
Mitchell – far too late to bust up a pass to Jones, late 2Q, which gained 25. Then, on the next play, got trucked by Agnew after a 12 yard gain. Was again too slow, and too late, on a 32-yard pass to Jones, late 2Q. Had 5 solos in an unimpressive effort. B-
Gay - Saw some PT. Allowed a TD in the 4Q, but Davis was able to rake the ball away.
Haden - got juked out of his jock by the RB, late 2Q. Got sucked in on a slant and go, 2Q, and allowed a big gainer for 33 yards. Had rare, good coverage on an EZ lob, a few plays later. Half-decent coverage on Jones in the EZ, late 2Q. Made an athletic INT on a deep ball, 4Q, in which PIT was offsides. As I noted earlier this season, sometimes he’s got his head in the game, and other times, not. B
Burns - got torched deep on a flag, good for 43 yards, first series. Grabbed the freebie fumble that Golden Bate coughed up without contact, early 4Q. Led the team with 8 solos. B
Davis - had a good lick on Ebron, first series, and caused an inc. Helped rake a TD pass out of the hands of a TE in the EZ, late 2Q. Flagged for hitting a “defenseless receiver”, which I felt was bullshit. Was too slow and timid on a sideline route by Jones, 3Q, that gained 23 yards. Applied the lick on a 3d & goal plunge, early 3Q. Stellar stop of a screen, early 4Q. Took a horrendously poor angle on Ebron on the 44-yard play, 3:00 4Q. An overall solid game. A-
Hilton - chipped in on a 3rd & long draw play, 1st series. Allowed Tate to slip thru his grasp on screen, early 2Q. Good coverage on 3d & 5, late 2Q, which forced a FG. Stellar play on 3rd down & 5 at the PIT 6 to trip up the RB for a 2-yard loss, at the 2:00 warning, 4Q. All this dude does is make plays. A-
Jordan Berry – punted 4 times, and surprisingly didn’t have any shanks. B
Boswell – clanged a chippie FG off an upright and through, 3Q. Was 2 for 2 on FGs. A
AB – was ass-awkward on a punt, allowing it to land at the 14.
Hilton had a good tackle in punt coverage, early 2Q.
A just-ok game. The absurd OPI on AB took some point off the board, but this team continues to dawdle and waste series. I’m still not pleased with Bell’s lack of use in the passing game…..2 grabs for 5 yards doesn’t cut it for a RB with his route-running and catching skills. The TE involvement is also lukewarm at best. B-
Keith Assler had the rare daunting task of facing a legit top 12 starting QB in M. Stafford. The offense handed Assler an early 3-0 lead, and sure as shit, Assler allowed the Lions to immediately march down for the tying FG. Then Bell scored to give the Stillers a 10-6 lead, and sure as shit, Assler promptly allowed the Lions to immediately march and boot a FG to make it 10-9.
Then the Lions took over on their own 21, late 1H, after the Bell fumble. There was only 56 secs left in the half, and again, the drive began at the 21. Sure as shit, Assler allows the Lions to casually march, easy as pie, to the PIT 16. Luckily, a DET TE dropped an easy TD in the EZ, but the Lions managed to boot a chippie FG to take the lead, 12-10.
In the 3Q, a FG gave the Stillers a 13-12 lead. Sure as shit, Assler promptly allowed the Lions to march all the way to the PIT 1, where luckily the drive stalled. Then JuJu scored on a 98-yard play to make it 20-12. Sure as shit, Assler promptly allows DET to march right back down the field to the PIT 1, where they settled for a chippie FG.
Yes, the D managed to thwart drives deep in their territory. But let us not forget the LONG marches that DET was able to sustain to get there. Let us not forget the shredding by Stafford, who had 423 yards passing. That “#1 pass defense” was complete bullshit, propped up by the complete ineptitude of opposing QBs they’ve faced the first 7 games. 6 pass plays went for 25 yards or more, which is uacceptable. And the continual pissing away of momentum, and leads, every time the Stillers scored was just fuking hideous. C-
HC: Mike Dumblin managed to eke out a road win over a mediocre opponent. Quick -- call the hall of fame !! B+
Synopsis: A sloppy, choppy, grinding win over a mediocre opponent. It was on the road, of course, which makes it at least palatable. Now on to the bye week, sitting at 6-2. One has to wonder if this team will, after the comfy bye week of lazing around, lay an egg on the road against a weak-assed Colts team.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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