Stillers 20, Dolts 17……. Nov 12, 2017…………Game # 9
Stillers-Colts Postgame Analysis and Grades
The 6-2 Stillers went to Indy to face the hapless 3-6 Dolts, owners of the worst scored-against defense in the league, 31st in passing yards allowed, and 31st in yards allowed. Sure enough, following the bye week at the Tomlin Country Club, the Stillers slopped and slathered their way through a miserable first half and lousy 3Q. They finally came to life in the 4Q, and won on a last second FG.
QB: Shitty under-throw of a deep ball, 2nd play of game, and was INTd. A screen play was smothered, 1Q, and Ben, as is usual lately, just gave up on the play and threw the ball away. There was no heavy rush, and why not take the extra 2 seconds to see if a secondary receiver was open?? Awful sideline pass to AB, mid 1Q, which was snared OOB. On aa 3d & 6, 2Q, Ben scrambled a bit to his left and flicked an off-target shovel to James, which was Inc. Frankly, upon reviewing the play on my DVR, it appeared Ben had at least a 60-40 chance at running for the 1st down, but as I’ve been pointing out ALL season, Ben is as timid and chickshit to run with the ball as any unemployed QB in the country. Clumsily dropped a SG snap with 50 secs left in the 1H, losing yardage and forcing a TO.
Poor misfire on deep lob to AB, late 3Q. Superb play, eluding the grasp of a rusher and getting the ball to AB for a 32-yard gain. In all, Ben was again too erratic on deep balls, and dropped a snap late in then half to waste a down and a TO. 19 of 31 for a piddly 236 yards against THIS awful defense is unacceptable. C-
Bell - decent run, 1Q, and fell over his own two feet. Looked sluggish on a dumpoff, late 3Q, in which he put on a lazy, pathetic little juke and was easily stopped for 1 yard. Then, on the 1st play of the 4Q, on a key 3d & 5, he grabbed a dumpoff and was ankle-nipped and stopped for no gain. These are stops that are acceptable for a 3rd string, 7th round pick. They are unacceptable for a supposed All Pro RB. C
Conner - got a whopping ONE carry all game, in the 4Q, for 10 yards. Apparently injured his foot on the play.
Nix - Only sparse PT today.
Brownie – failed to haul in a spotty, but catchable, deep ball, 2Q. Grabbed an out pass, late 2Q. Had a whopping 2 grabs, 1H. Flagged for OPI, late 3Q, which was ticky tack, although AB did get his hand in the face of the Indy DB and push off a tiny bit. 3 grabs for 47 yards isn’t good enough. C+
Bryant - stupidly ran backwards and lost 9 yards on a silly reverse that would have lost 3 anyway, but Bryant again showed ZERO instincts as a ballcarrier. Decent effort on a WR screen, late 2Q. Grabbed a key 2-pointer in tight coverage, and also had a good grab & run on the final drive. B
Eli - flagged for OPI, although I felt this was a ticky tack call. Hard-nosed run on an end around/shovel pass, taking a good lick and barely making the 1st down late in the 4Q. This was huge, because if he’s just 1 inch short, the team likely punts the ball.
Heyward-Gay – injured a foot, 2nd series. Did come back.
JuJu - nice grab on an out pass, 1Q. Grabbed a pass, late 2Q. Stellar grab of a deep ball, with blanketed coverage, early 3Q. Snagged a TD, mid 3Q. Stellar, clutch grab of a tough seam pass, 4Q, good for 20 yards on 3d & 12. Stellar instincts to block for AB, enabling AB to gain more yardage AND get OOB, late 4Q. 5 grabs for 97 yards. A+
Jesse James - missed a block on 1st & G, early 3Q. Got eaten alive by Sheard to the inside. No catches. Sadly is regressing. C
Grimble - only sparse PT.
McDonald - grabbed a pass for 9 yards, late 2Q. Grabbed a TD pass, 4Q. Had some problems in blocking. B
OL: Overall, the line had various struggles, although they gave Ben decent time in the 4Q. As usual, Jabaal Sheard ravaged and ate this vaunted O-line alive.
2d & 2, deep in Indy territory, 1st drive of 3Q. The line gets no push, and Bell is lucky to burrow for 1 yard. Instead of an easy 1D conversion, the O has to fight for a 3d & 1, which Bell luckily converted for 5 yards.
Villeneueva - played decently.
Gilbert - FatAss Marcus finally returned.
Foster – Got completely humiliated and abused for a 1st down sack mid 1Q. Got abused on a 3d & 17, 2Q, in which Ben took a big shot as he threw inc. Had some other struggles as well. C-
Pouncey - flagged for a hold on a 3d & 15 draw play, which was declined.
DeCastro – Adequate game.
Hargrave - got a hand on a 3d down pass, 3Q, forcing a punt. He’s got more passes defended this season than sorry-assed Mike Mitchell.
McCullers - Thankfully did not dress.
Heyward – feebly pawed at the QB on a 3d & 4, late 2Q, which allowed the QB to escape and dump off to the RB for a 1D. Good pressure, forcing a hasty inc, and then snagged Gore on a draw, late 3Q. Had several good pressures and bulrushes, and was a force. A-
Tuitt – got a Dong sack, 3Q, but Gay’s flag erased it. Got a sack on 3d & 14, 4Q.
Alu - did little.
Walton - not sure if I saw him at all.
Vinnie– good stuff and wrap of a plunge, mid 2Q. Good lick and FF of Gore, 3Q, but a stupid, early whistle ruled it as being down. (Forward progress is not reviewable.) 4 solos and 1 A. B
Shaquier – weak-assed WHIFF on a 3d & 4 dumpoff that gained a 1D. on a play in which the RB was like 2 inches from the sideline. Good read of dumpoff to Doyle, and then stellar INT of bobbled ball, early 4Q. Busted up a screen pass, 4:00 4Q. Solid game with 5 solos. A-
Moats - thankfully saw little PT on D.
Harrison – did not practice all week and did not dress.
Chickillo - saw only sparse PT.
Watt - got collapsed to the inside on an early 3d & 1 plunge that was easily converted. Allowed himself to get cut block on the 2Q run that Shaz had blown up deep in the Indy backfield, but the RB was able to elude and gain 3 yards. Flagged for illegal hands to the face on an accidental couple of fingers on the TEs mask on a gut plunge. Got wrap of Gore, 6:00 3Q. Helped string out an end around, early 4Q. Good tackle of Gore, 4Q. B-
Dupree – applied some pressure on the opening 3d & 5, forcing a QB flush. Good ankle nip tackle on a cutback run, 2Q. Got a sack, late 2Q, in which he slashed to the inside and hunted the QB. Slashed inside and dropped Gore for no gain, early 4Q. After weeks of lazing around and pretty much doing nothing, it was nice to see Crud do something. A-
Mitchell – As ALWAYS, was way too slow to offer help on the deep ball to Moncrief for a TD, early 2Q. Then, he lamely and clumsily WHIFFED on Rogers on the 61-yard catch & run TD, early 3Q. Mercifully, he soon departed on a cart with a foot/ankle injury and did not return. D
Gay - weak-assed WHIFF on the 3d & 4 dumpoff, 2Q, that gained a 1D. Flagged for a hold, which negated a 3rd down sack by Tuitt. D-
Haden - got injured, late 1Q. Sensabaugh replaced him. Sens gave up like a 9 yard cushion on a deep out to Hilton, 2Q. Sens busted up a deep out to Hilton, 4Q. Hey, Sensabaugh now has more passes defended this season than sorry-assed Mike Mitchell. B
Burns - On a 1st & 20 -- a play that SCREAMS for a downfield PASS play -- Burns gets tooled on a little pump fake and rabidly bites up, getting torched for a 60-yard TD. Just brainless and stupid. D+
Davis - slashed in and dropped the RB for a 5 yard loss, 1Q. Led the team with 6 solos. A
Hilton - Came up and force a slide by the QB, opening drive, which forced a punt. All this dude does is make plays. Blitzed and stopped the RB for no gain, late 2Q. Failed to bring down the WR on the 3Q TD. Blitzed and forced a sack by others, 4Q. B
Jordan Berry – punted adequately, for once. Had a 46 yard average, although he was aided by kicking in a dome. B
Boswell – Booted a 41-yard FG, late 2Q. Had a PAT blocked, 3Q, although it seemed to be a blocking fault, not his. Sliced an easy 37-yard FG, with the game tied, midway 4Q, and the kick hit the outside of the upright, no good.
Rogers - no PT in punt returns.
AB – lazily watched a shoddy punt, 3Q, bounce and roll….all the way to the 1-foot line. Instead of, you know, fielding it around the 15 and perhaps getting to the 20 or so. Indy punted SEVEN times in this game, and AB lazily fielded just one punt, continually GIVING AWAY yardage on bounces & rolls. Part of the issue was AB lining up some 55 yards back, when the Indy punter was routinely booting the ball just 35 yards down the field, with long rolls created when AB allowed the punt to land and bounce. D-
Awful punt coverage, first punt, allowing a 17 yard return after a 55 yard punt.
Golden or Haden was flagged for a hold on a punt return, 1Q. Kennedy, the LS, was flagged for a hold on a 1Q punt, which was FC at the 10. The re-punt was grabbed and returned to the Indy 25. But Davis was flagged for a hold on that, which forced a 2nd re-punt. I felt this was a horseshit call. The 3d punt was returned to the Indy 32, meaning this rash of foolishness gave away 22 yards to the Colts.
McDonald - surprise !! -- got injured on a KO return in which he wasn’t the runner. Stellar string and tackle by Davis in punt coverage, late 2Q.
Berry and James hustled on the blocked PAT, which saved 2 points. One cannot over emphasize the hustle, and importance, of this play.
OC: Haley had the luxury of facing 1 of the most decrepit, inept defenses in the NFL. What does he do? The offense comes out, thumb up their collective asses, with a gameplan that looked part shit, part vomit.
Why Bryant on a reverse ?? The guy has ZERO instincts as a ballcarrier, with no fight. Sure enough, Bry runs backwards and loses 9. Haley barely eked to 100 yards of offense, 1st half.
Wasted TO on 2 point try, 4Q. Then, on the ensuing try, rabid confusion forced a DOG penalty. Thankfully, Ben converted to Bryant for a tying 2 pointer. But really -- what in the fuk was discussed during the timeout?? The local strip clubs in downtown Indy ??
After the 2MW, Haley decided to go to the grab bag, calling some bizarre fake reverse running play to Bell that was swallowed up for a 7 yard loss. Just hideous. The entire game plan was just a steaming pile o’ shit. F
Keith Assler had the luxury of facing 2nd year greenhorn QB Brissett. Sure as shit, of course, he allowed Brissett to get white hot and go all Peyton Manning in the 1st half.
A rare good punt by Cherry put the Dolts on their own 8, 2Q. Right off the bat, Assler’s D allows an 8 yard run on a plunge. The Colts then marched…..and marched…..chewing gobs of clock and settling for a fairly easy 48 yard FG by Viniateri. This should have been an immediate forced punt from the Indy end zone, not a lonnnnggggg, clock-chewing march. C+
HC: Mike Asslin spent the bye week presiding over the Asslin Country Club, where players basically loafed and lounged while sipping mint julips at poolside as topless waitresses provided a wide array of services. This would explain the rabid slop and slather, along with the overall carelessness and indifference, this team displayed throughout the first 23 quarters of this game.
Why wait till 4 seconds left to call the late TO ? On 3rd down, if the FG snap is poor, you can recover it and try again on 4th down. Stoogelin had ANOTHER timeout at his disposal, so why not try the FG with, say, 13 seconds left, so that if a bad snap occurs, there is enough time to attempt another play. What, Stoogelin was afraid that, with 9 seconds on the clock (after a made FG), the Colts would strike back and tie the game…??
Overall, a shoddy, sorry, unacceptable team performance. D
Synopsis: A weak, flimsy win over an inept, sub-par foe. Not nearly good enough. The slumbering, inconsistent offense has had 9 games now, and has been fairly awful in just about every game. This isn’t an aberration; it’s a long slump. There isn’t much time to mull things over, as the Stillers host the Titans on Thur. nite. (Note: due to work commitments, I’ll be unable to compile a post-game report for that game.)
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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