Memo to Bruce Arians: Play not to lose and you probably will. When something is working, it’s usually a good idea to go with it until it stops working.
Memo to Mike Tomlin: Think it’s time to get the oline some more help? Might want to look at emphasizing plays on special teams too, especially when it comes to the long snapper positon.
Memo to Dick LeBeau: Keep doing what you’re doing.
Memo to Ben Roethlisberger: What made you such a perfect fit for this team was that you weren’t a pure pocket passer, so why are you trying to be?
Memo to James Harrsion: You may suck at long snapping, but you’re still one hell of a linebacker.
Memo to my daughter: Perhaps you may want to look into going into sports medicine, with the drop in my 401K, you may be needing to support me in my old age.
Yesterdays Giants versus the Steelers game proved to be the defensive battle that Giants and Steelers fans expected it to be. Did it live up to the hype? Perhaps, depending on who you were rooting for. Of course, if you were looking for a high scoring run away game, forget it, neither defense was going to allow it. And, in the end, it was the defenses on both teams that would make the difference in this game.
Going into the game, there were three questions I had. 1) How would the Giants oline do against a defense that ranked first in sacks? 2) Would the Steelers defense be able to contain Brandon Jacobs? 3) How would the Steelers oline handle the pass rush of a Giants defense that ranked second in sacks? These questions were answered yesterday. 1) Great, 2) Most definitely, 3) Very poorly.
No doubt after this game, there are questions on the Steelers offense. At the beginning they came out looking strong and put themselves ahead. However, the game and momentum would shift in the Giants favor, a lot due to the pressure the Giants defense was able to place on the oline and Ben Roethlisberger and would limit the Steelers to only 14 points for the entire game. Of course it didn’t help that the play calling seemed to become rather conservative when it needed to be aggressive either.
It wasn’t just the Steelers offense that struggled getting points. Though the Giants did better in obtaining yards on the ground to get to the red zone, the Steelers defense for three quarters would limit the Giants offense to nine points in four trips to the red zone, all field goals. Steelers defense made an impressive stand keeping Brandon Jacobs out of the end zone and ended up turning it over on downs. In fact the Steelers defense against the rush, did spectacular in keep Jacobs under 40 yds rushing for the game.
However, it is said that the team that wins that battle in turnovers will win the game. Unfortunately for the Steelers, it would be the Giants that would win the turnover battle. Roethlisberger would end up, at the end of the day, being credited with four interceptions. So we can argue how good or bad those interceptions were, however, that is irrelevant. Two of the interceptions placed the Giants with good field position and another took the Steelers out of the game. It would be at the final quarter, when the Giants would have a field goal and come up with a safety that would tie the game, then a touchdown to put them ahead in the end.
Given the season, it is fitting that one would wonder though if a black cat had crossed the path of the Steelers. Too many penalties straight in a row, that hurt their field position. A pulled hamstring by the punter Mitch Berger, a torn ACL to the longsnapper Greg Warren, a hit by Ryan Clark on Brandon Jacobs (or vice versa) that left Clark with a dislocated shoulder. Somehow it seemed just too surreal. A bad snap that tied the game, and the inability to get anything going on offense at the end would leave Steelers fans muttering unreal, and grumbling again at the offensive coordinator.