Steelers-Pats Postgame Analysis and Grades
by Still Mill - Monday, Dec 10, 2007
Pats 34, Steelers 13
The Steelers ventured to Boston to take on the 12-0 Pats, with high hopes of ending the Pats’ unbeaten season while also establishing themselves as co-frontrunner in the AFC. Instead, after trailing only 17-13 at the half, the Steelers were thoroughly blown out, embarrassed, and humiliated en route to a 34-13 assbeating.
QB: BenRoth picked a poor time to have an exceptionally mediocre game. He was spotty, tentative, and erratic throughout the game. Even on passes he did complete, there were several occasions where the pass was thrown shabbily enough that the receiver had to break stride, thus limiting RAC. Facing a weak-assed secondary that had been shredded by the likes of AJ Feel-Al and Kyle Bowler, Ben finished with a rather unremarkable 19 of 32 for 187 yards.
Ben made a nice play to improvise and then hit Davenport on the lone TD, but that was about in terms of above-average playmaking by the most important position on the field. If this team is to advance come playoff time, Benji will have to play at least 4 times better. C.
RB: Parker shook off last week’s case of the “dropsies” and chipped in with a very stellar effort, gaining 124 yards on 21 rushes and grabbing 4 passes for 23 yards. He ripped off several strong runs, including a 9-yard power run in the 1Q; a 30-yard dash in the 2Q; a 19-yard run to start off the 3Q; and a few solid runs late in the 3Q. Davenport had a strong game as well. He made a smart play to turn up the field on Ben’s shuffle-scramble, and then finished the play with a sterling, leaping grab for the 32-yard TD. He also had a good power run on 3d & 1 late in the 3Q and a good vault over the stack on the down in the 2Q. This was the only position on the entire team that acquitted itself adequately the entire game. A.
FB: Davis saw limited action. He chipped in with a few blocks for Parker. Inc. ...not enough to grade
WR: Facing a weak NE secondary, this crew did very little. Ward had 5 grabs, but for a paltry 39 yards. Holmes had a grab in the 1Q for 13 yards, and then was gimpy and did little thereafter, mostly sitting out with a hobbling injury. He did have a nice block on Parker’s 19-yard run on the 1st play of the 3Q. Washington did little, grabbing 2 balls for 29 yards and dropping a curl pass in garbage time. Cedric had 2 grabs, including a clutch 9-yarder in traffic on 4th & 1 in the 2Q. C+.
TE: Miller had 4 grabs for 28 yards. On Parker’s drop in the 2Q, Miller was thoroughly tooled by Vrabel while pass blocking, which rushed Ben a bit. Speath, who started the season so strongly, has now essentially been entirely removed from any participation in the passing game. The run blocking was adequate. B-.
OL: Not that they were dominant, but the line had one of their better days of what has been a struggling season for this crew. Parker gained over 5 yards per carry, and Ben usually had adequate time in the pocket. Colon and Simmons had nice pulls and blocks on Parker’s 30-yard run. Simmons in particular had some strong run blocking in the 2Q. Smith returned from the 2 games of injury-rest, and played acceptably.
But there were a host of ****-poor, shoddy plays by this line. Alan Faneca continues to establish himself as one of the most over-rated turds in the entire league. He was directly responsible for 2 of the 3 NE sacks. Late In the 1Q, the Steelers ran a play-fake off a counter -- with Simmons pulling to the left -- and Faneca did next to nothing, which allowed inside pressure and ultimately the sack. Early in the 3Q, Faneca stood there, with his thumb up his *** on a THREE-man rush, as Vince Willfork rushed right in front of his face and spun around The Crybaby, UNTOUCHED, for the easy sack.
Faneca wasn't alone in the stench department. Willie Colon was simply a wretched pile o’ shiat in this contest. He was flagged for 2 holds. Worse, his pass-pro technique was simply awful. Instead of squaring up to the rusher and getting the initial “punch”, Colon, like a stupidass, kept retreating faster than the French army without so much as delivering a love tap to the onrushing Vrabel. Within 2 seconds, Vrabel was within 8 inches from the QB and forcing Ben to scoot away from pressure. The play that really enraged me was the 4th and 1 counter play to Hines, which was supposed to follow Colon’s block into the EZ. Colon pulled slightly to his right and had Junior Seau right in front of him, but like a complete stupidfuk, Colon never attacked Seau, instead standing nearly still and getting blistered backwards, which caused Hines to run into Colon’s fat *** and botch the entire play for no gain. This was as weak and faggotty a play as I have ever seen from a Stiller lineman in the past 10 years.
Smith, Mahan, and Simmons: B-.
DL: The d-line was its usual ho-hum, hum-drum self. Compared to the work of the NE d-line, this crew looked like a band of 10th graders playing their 1st game of varsity ball. They did next to nothing to impact the game. Wait, they did have one big play….hold your cheers….Keisel did have a batted pass a the LOS late in the 2Q. Yipee !! Aaron Smith was a complete zero and did absolutely nothing. Stop the presses -- Casey Hampton finally made a crisp solo stop, tackling Maroney on a plunge in the 2Q. Quick, let’s rush out and extend this fat *** for another 4 years, at $6 mill per year!! Hampton sucked *** the rest of the game. The one play that says it all for this fat, over-rated pile o’ shiat, was at 3:40 of the 1Q. Maroney took a handoff up the gut. Hampton was SOLO blocked -- not “tying up a double team” the way you hear these fables and mythical bullshiat -- and Maroney ran RIGHT NEXT to The Fat ***, who did nothing to disengage from the blocker and tackle Maroney. Worse, while Maroney was pushing this pile a full 8 yards past first contact, Fat Casey was literally WALKING - yes, walking -- after this scrum like a complete, lethargic, fat pile o’ shiat. In the 2H, when NE never attempted to run the ball even once until garbage time, Fat Casey was as useless as tits on a boar hog.
Rest of DL: C.
LB: Another mediocre, no-impact game from the position that is designed to be the glory-hounds of this defense. Clark Haggans, as has become a weekly occurrence, had 1 good rush and did nothing else the entire game. Larry Foote was a day late and a dollar short. Jamie Harrison blasted Light back into the QB on the game’s first play, but generated little heat or harassment the rest of the game.
I’ve pointed out numerous examples this season where Farrior has proven that he is clearly on the downside arc of his career, and this game was chock full of them, as follows:
- On Maroney’s 10-yard run in the 1Q, Farrior filled and met the 220-pound Maroney head-on, 2 yards downfield. This was a basic, simple play for a veteran ILB. Instead, Farrior, the dumfuk, took on Maroney HIGH, which Farrior has been stupidly doing all season. Maroney proceeded to truck the 250-pound Farrior and bulled and plowed, and moved the entire pile -- with Farrior hanging on for dear life and then finally shrugged off like a rodent -- another 8 yards for the 10-yard gainer. This is as sickening a play as you’ll see in the NFL.
- On Moss’s 4-yard TD in the 1Q, Farrior had the responsibility to provide inside slant help on Moss. At the snap, he immediately darts out to do that task, but then stumbles like a complete oaf as the ball is arriving and whiffs in pathetic fashion.
- At 8:00 3Q, Watson caught a flarish-type bubble screen to the right. Farrior lumbered over, as slow as shiat, but finally got the angle and had Watson wrapped up for a short gain. Or so we thought. Watson easily dragged Feeble Farrior an extra 4 yards, before Gay finally had to pound Watson OOB at the end of an 8-yarde gain.
- On a 1D from their own 1-yard line in the 4Q, Welker grabbed a short hitch from the slot with Farrior out covering him. Farrior -- supposedly “The Winged God of Pass Coverage” -- got tooled on the cut, but was very nearby, and had a good angle for the stop. But true to his nature, he was as slow and feeble as shiat, and Welker easily pulled away for a 22-yard gainer as Farrior dove for nothing but air.
In all, Farrior has proven that Timmons, or a high draft pick, needs to be inserted into the starting lineup next season.
All others: C.
DB: The Mouth, Anthony smith, had guaranteed a victory. What he should have guaranteed, was a sad-sack, horrific, piece of shiat performance and a national embarrassment. The guy was a total pile of manure, from beginning to end. He avoided contact on the 3rd & inches, deep in Stiller territory, in the 1Q. Then, after Brady completed the 4-yard TD pass to Moss, ******* Anthony got in Brady’s face like a complete asswipe. In the 2Q, Smith bit on a 1D play-fake -- despite the very facts that: a.) he’s the FREE safety, b.) he has deep coverage, c.) there are 8 defenders in front of him to stop the run, and d.) NE had done next to nothing on the ground. Smith bites way up; Moss runs right by; and 63-yards later the Pats have any easy TD. Then, on the “double pass” in the 3Q, Smith came biting up, then stopped, then bit up SOME MORE like a complete moron, and was beaten for the 56-yard TD by Gaffney. Both of these plays were as poor as **** for a FREE safety in this defense. The STRONG safety is the freelancer and the rover, while the free safety has DEEP help, period.
Smith wasn’t alone in the boner department. Ike Taylor had his share of blunders as well. On an early 3d & 2, Ike had superb coverage on a deep stop to Moss, but typical of Ike, he flailed and whiffed on the ball, as it seemingly went thru his hands, and Moss made the circus catch for the clutch 1D. On the long Moss TD in the 2Q, Ike, as he ALWAYS does on 1st down, peeked into the backfield and bit on the playfake like a rabid dog. Moss blew right by Ike, and then by Smith, for the cake-easy TD. Utterly pathetic. Ike also committed a hold on Moss in the EZ. Ike, when permitted to play up in Moss’s face, provided tight coverage, but whenever he was ordered to play off, Moss had acres of room.
Ty Carter made a couple good sticks, but then failed to wrap on the deep seamer late in the 2Q. He also stood around like an idiot in no man’s land -- covering nobody -- on the short Welker TD pass in then 3Q. Townsend played okay. Gay had a couple decent hits. McFadden was totally invisible.
Tony "mouth" Smith: F.
All others: C-
Spec teams: Another lousy game. The Stillers took the 3-0 lead with a FG, but on the ensuing KO the spec teams blunderers easily allowed a 39-yard KO return to the NE 48. Jeff Reed had a totally horrible day kicking off, booting these gimpy-assed, low liners to the 12-yard line that had zero hang time. For the most part, Sepulveda punted adequately, but then shanked a punt midway thru the 3Q that gave NE the ball at midfield.
The worst ST boner of the day belonged to Allen Rossum on the shanked NE punt that hit Gay and caused a turnover. This wasn’t Gay’s fault, it was Allen Rossum’s. Remember, a blocker like Gay -- who is running AWAY from the punter and never sees the ball in midair -- has no idea if the punt has been shanked. It is the responsibility of the punt return to WAIVE OFF the blockers with wild, animated, theatrical waving and shouting, not standing there like Rossum as quiet and morose as a Tibetan monk in deep prayer. For a veteran punt returner, this was as pisspoor and lethargic an effort as I’ve ever seen around the league. Then, on the opening KO of the 2H, Rossum failed to follow the blocking to the outside, and a very promising KOR was stopped for 24 yards.
Arnie Harrison committed a foolish late hit in garbage time, and Gay was flagged for running OOB in punt coverage in the 1Q.
All others: C
OC: No analyst around the country has ridiculed Airhead Arians as much as I have, and you all saw the cold, hard truth of this daft simpleton today. He was as clueless as he was moronic. The biggest flaw today, was that the Patsie pass defense, which had been carved and eaten alive by the weak-assed offenses of Philly and Balt, suddenly was like GLUE and VELCRO on every single pass play. Aside from broken plays where Ben scrambled to buy time, EVERY pass play was challenged by a DB that was within 5 inches of the intended receiver. Given the utterly pitiful talent and depth of this secondary, HOW, pray tell, is that possible??? I’ll tell you how -- it’s because Arians runs an offense that is as stale as week-old bread, and every bit as shiatty tasting. This dull, unimaginative offense puts ZERO pressure on any defender; never puts the defense off balance; and fails to exploit any weaknesses. It’s the classic grab-bag offense that could just as well be managed by a 7th grader with a chart of plays to call into the QB. Other notes:
- If you were to tabulate the total amount of RAC yardage gained by the Steelers offense today, it would be a number no greater than, oh, about 30 total yards.
- You need to have mindset of scoring 30+ points to beat the Pats. Arians had no such hunger and was more than willing to wallow in the red zone.
- a classic example of this guy’s ineptitude and incompetence occurred at the end of the 3Q. At 0:32 3Q, down 31-13, Davenport gets stopped on a 3D plunge for 2 yards at the NE 8-yard line. The stop was made at 0:32. You’re down by 18 (eighteen) points, which is at least a 3-score game, and perhaps 4-score the way this Steeler softee defense was playing. The offense then lumbered and fiddle-faddled and played grab-***, and by the time they meandered to the LOS, the 3Q clock had expired. This is as clueless of clock management as you can find in the NFL.
- The problem with the “goal to go” sequence early in the 4Q, was they ran nearly IDENTICAL plays to Ward, in the same direction….first a shovel, and then 2 plays later, a counter that was entirely too similar. Sandwiched in between was a no-brained, futile lob to Holmes that has a .003% chance of every succeeding.
- there was the burned timeout before the 3d & 2 late in the 2Q, in which the offense diddle-dicked around and had to burn the TO. Coming out of the TO, the offense was so in synch that a simple 4-yard curl was misfired due to some bizarre miscommo.
- As of 5:46 of the 4Q, Arians’ offense had mustered al of 32 2nd-half passing yards against a defense that was reeling and flailing against 2 of the worst offenses in pro football. Isn’t it amazing how Feeley and Boller -- 2 piece of shiat QBs - can carve up the Pats defense and Arians -- with 15 times more offensive talent -- can’t do jack shiat to score except for a broken play on the Davenport TD……?
Once again, all those members of the Bruce Arians Fan Club -- please step forward to accept your justly-deserved ridicule. F
DC: I’d been ridiculing the softee nature of this paper tiger defense the past 4 games, only to hear cries of, “It’s the #1 defense in the league…how can you complain….?” This game proves without question that absolutely nothing is more meaningless than defensive football statistics. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Defensive football stats are generated almost entirely based upon a.) the quality of the opposing offense, b.) the situations during the game (ie, sitting on large lead, etc.), and c.) weather and field conditions. For 12 solid weeks, the Stiller defense was a fašade that had feasted on creampuffs and clumsy incompetents, with the most dangerous QB they’d faced being -- hold your laughter -- Derrick Anderson. Today, they faced a competent offense led by a competent QB, and they were carved up like a Halloween pumpkin.
It won’t do much good, but I suppose the Steelers could file a complaint to the NFL about the unfair advantage the Patriots offense had for most of the 2nd half. The Patriots, you see, had 11 players to the 10 of the Steelers. That’s right -- TEN players on defense. Sure, the Steelers actually trotted out 11 men, but one was an utter and complete waste, that being the fat, 340-pound lardassed nose tackle. NE never tried a true running play the ENTIRE 2nd half, except for a couple plunges in garbage time at the very end of the game. Nonetheless, Dick the Dullard kept sending out Fat Casey Hampton, or Nick Eason, to do nothing more than paw and titty-joust with the center or guard at an area about 18 inches deep in the NE backfield.
- This wasn’t only 34 points given up. The Pats missed a 48-yard FG, and Moss dropped a WIDE-open TD in the 4Q.
- Ike had been very successful in the 1H when lining up in Moss’s face. Sure enough, Dick has Ike playing 14 yards OFF Moss to start the 3Q, and Moss grabs a short slant and gets huge RAC yardage.
- One of the the keys to beating the Pats that I’d noted was to get PRESSURE on Brady. In the 1st half, there was adequate pressure and Brady was held in check, and the defense forced some stops. In the locker room, NE made adjustments while Dullard Dick did absolutely nothing. The pressure in the 2H was a feeble as shiat, allowing Brady plenty of time, space, and vision to play pitch n’ catch.
- the overt lack of gang tackling was just sickening. The entire defense stood around and watched whenever ONE defender attempted a tackle. This has been going on for weeks and apparently it will continue for another 4 weeks. F
HC: Tomlin has now reached the bottom of an abyss, and he’s got a long way to crawl out of it. He allowed Anthony Smith -- a known loudmouth -- to make the jackassed guarantee. Not good, but it does happen. But then Tomlin does NOTHING to Smith -- a boorish loudmouth that belongs with the Ravens thugs -- in terms of punishment, discipline, or at least making sure the guy is mentally ready to play a quality ballgame on Sunday. Tomlin preaches accountability, but lately has not backed it up, at all.
Remember, NE was the team coming off the road MNF game, not Pittsburgh. This should have given us an extra day of preparation.
The lack of intensity, lack of a game plan to attack NE’s obvious weaknesses, and the lack of any halftime adjustment all must be partially attributed to Tomlin. Very, very disappointing. D-
Synopsis: A totally humiliating assbeating. There’s no sense sugar coating this or glossing over the cold hard facts. Down only by 3 at halftime, this Steelers team thoroughly outclassed, toyed with, and embarrassed in front of most of the entire country. There is no time to mope, however. The Steelers must now host the Jagoffs, who themselves have dominated and thrashed the Steelers in each of the past 2 seasons. To a certain degree, you can write off this road loss to the very best team in then NFL, but playing at home against a solid but very unspectacular Jags team, this crew needs to learn some quick lessons and then go out and hunt bear against the Jags.