Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Post-Giants thoughts

The Steelers didn't necessarily need a signature victory at this point in the season, but they got one Sunday against the Giants.

By beating the defending Super Bowl champions on the road, the Steelers announced their presence with authority to the rest of the NFL.

The Steelers are a team to be reckoned with.

And the Steelers didn't just win this game; they dominated it.

Holding that offense to 182 total yards and 13 points is the kind of effort you can hang your hat on.

If not for some questionable defensive penalties - a pass interference on Keenan Lewis and a supposed helmet-to-helmet hit call on Ryan Clark in the end zone - the Steelers would have given up less than that.

More importantly, the Giants had three possessions in the fourth quarter and went three-and-out in all three.

@ Speaking of Keenan Lewis, he played yet another outstanding game.

Everyone has been talking about who the Steelers need to re-sign this offseason as they head into free agency.

Lewis might now be at the top of that list.

@ Apparently, since offensive coordinator Todd Haley simplified the runs and run blocking schemes, it doesn't matter who the Steelers put back there.

All Isaac Redman did Sunday was run for 147 yards and a score as the Steelers got their third consecutive 100-yard rushing game from a running back.

There's a good chance they go four-for-four next Monday night against Kansas City, which might be the worst team in the NFL.

@ Antonio Brown suffered a "minor" high ankle sprain and Chris Rainey suffered a rib injury.

Both should be held out of the game against the Chiefs.

Emmanuel Sanders did a fine job in the return game - and catching the ball - while Jerricho Cotchery showed why the Steelers resigned him in the offseason with some big catches as well.

@ The special teams return game was a big difference maker against the Giants.

@ I don't necessarily have a problem with Mike Tomlin's decision to run a trick play on a field goal attempt.

The Steelers work on that play all the time.

And with the way the defense was playing, why not go for the jugular there.

But it would have made more sense to run Redman in that situation. The Giants couldn't stop the run all day.


Anonymous said...

There's no defending that fake FG run. It looked as bad as it was.

Bummer that Brown and Rainey will be out next week. I guess we might not need them but after the Raiders/Titans the Steelers can't take anyone lightly.

Greg Mercer said...

did you think that Ben fumbled? i thought that was a horrible call.

good to see Wallace show up in a big way. hopefully, that TD will light a much needed fire under his ass.

kyle said...

Can we send this game to Seahawks fans to show them how you win a game despite poor officiating?

Mark said...

Someone made a slo-mo GIF of that incomplete pass. The ball does not shift in his hand at all. The hit messed up Ben's throwing motion, so his hand was twisting as it was going forward. And at the end of his passing motion, the ball was "sticking" to his glove, before it finally came loose (which is why it went into the ground 10 yards away).

That was not a fumble.

Patrick said...

its not going for the jugular if you're down by 3.

It would have been a real hoot if Suisham was injured on the play and they needed 3 to tie.

I really like the way these teamed played today, with big plays in all 3 phases.

I thought W. Johnson had a really nice game besides his dropped pass. But he had some great blocks and was owning his guy on the one kick return.

Either McClendon played more or he played much better when he did. Obviously Redman gets the gameball and Lewis is becoming a great corner.

KC is the definition of a trap game.

Eric T said...

I really like the way these teamed played today, with big plays in all 3 phases.

I agree with Patrick, Tomlin is really coaching this team up to peek at the right time. The improvement in each phase as the year goes just shows how good the coaching has been and that starts with the top. Good call Patrick.

Patrick said...

doesn't mean I don't like the way this guy puts his team in bad situations with bone headed calls. Today and Tenn are the blatant ones. They could have played their hearts out and lost this game because of that call. But since they won, no one cares about that.

It also continues the trend of playing up and down to competition. Would anyone be surprised if they let KC hang around next week? That starts at the top too.

Eric T said...

I would be. They have been really good this at home. But KC does get an extra 4days to prepare. But like you said, Tomlin does have a knack of getting his team to rise to the occasion. The bigger the challenge better he has them prepared.

Patrick said...

my frustration comes from the fact the Steelers can lose to a team like Ten (who got destroyed today) and then play like they did today.

This is a talented team, so I don't see that as rising to the occasion. Its more like falling on their face to lesser opponents. We should be expecting them to play the Giants and the Chiefs like the way they did today. The standard is the standard right?

We'll see what happens next week.

Eric T said...

You're talking about a road game on a very short week in which they lost 2 starting OL and had a punt blocked? They lost on a fg at th buzzer despite that. I think the 54 yarder at the end was a poor choice, but I don't see that as playing down to competition I guess.

Road games in the NFL can be tough if all goes well. When the def is missing its best player and then we drop 2 OL, things can turn quickly. They battle thru the adversity and had a chance to win.

I never understood the expectation of blowouts in the NFL. Teams are filled with professionals and so much of a game can come down to little things that can make a 10 point victory a 3 point loss. Demanding perfection will always leave you wanting.

Steelers need/should to win next week and stay healthy doing it. If that happens, I won't care about the margin or how it happened. I don't care about style points.

I guess we differ there.

Lance said...

And that my friends is why Mr. Rooney wanted to run the ball more and why Bruce is in Indy...Lewis is starting to look really good back there at he couldn't beat Willie Gay out last year? The secondary is starting to look like a strength, I have been pretty impressed with the 2 back up safeties and Cortez Allen. Bottom line the seven up from are getting healthier each week and it makes the D-backs jobs a lot easier. The 2 back up linemen (Foster-Adams) are looking good and getting valuable reps. The O-line looks to be a strength without DeCastro-it's going to be exciting to see how good they can get, heck we have had 3 100 yard rushers in a row and with different backs at that-very impressive, even special teams is coming along, if this team is healthy in January, they could go far...not a lot of holes in this team when are healthy. My game ball goes to Todd Haley, his game planning, play calling, in game adjustments have been excellent. I know some question the fake field goal, but why not? Eli could not do anything against the D, especially at that end of the field, and it will have D's taking notice for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

I wanted them to go for it there, but use your offense and running back who rarely loses yards, not the stupid kicker on some straight out of college Les Miles fancyness.

marc said...

lewis is playing better at times, but not enough, imo. the deep PI was a legit call and a bad play by him. the stiff arm he ate wasn't impressive either. but he did have some nice break-ups as well.

overall, i felt the whole team played with the most intensity we've seen this season. it was impressive.

i hope rainey is ok. looked painful and he's definitely a threat to be reckoned with in the return game.

i didn't mind not kicking the FG. but the fake was poor. put your best foot forward there and go with redman or BR to make a play.

also, i will tell you exactly why that fumble call on BR is incorrect. because if someone would have caught the ball in the air it would have been considered an interception or a reception by the offense. that officiating crew was as bad as they come.

Dale Lolley said...

The other guys are getting paid too, Marc. In case you missed it, Hakeem Nicks is pretty good. And I am now of the belief that the hardest position in sports to be successful at - notice I didn't say play - is defensive back. Rules are all against you.

marc said...

hey, i acknowledged he is getting better, didn't i? i just don't think he is as good as you do.

Anonymous said...

K Lewis is playing very well

he's been a big improvement over the other flunkies we started the last few years (GAY)

Dale Lolley said...

Lewis has played four outstanding games in a row. That's right, I said outstanding

Eric T said...

A lot of Lewis' struggles seemed more mental then physical. It's nice to see he is starting to figure it out. Hopefully he is able to sustain his level of play and continue to improve.

marc said...

would you agree with that dale? his biggest problems are mental?

Anonymous said...

It's just encouraging to see some young players stepping up. I'm looking at you Lewis and Adams.

Anonymous said...

Also Big Play Will Gay was not a bad player, he made some excellent plays as a Steeler. I feel like he got a bad rap because he got trucked by Adrian Peterson that one time.

I also agree Lewis is playing out of his mind right now, much improved. When was the last time the Steelers had a reliable corner opposite Taylor? 2005 era Bryant McFadden??

ibygeorge said...

I guess if you are practicing the fake punt in practice, you'll want to try it gametime. Last night when your RB is having a stellar game and the defense can't stop him, it's deceiving that your punter can run against them too. How about the punter stopping Saunders, a unusual night for the punters.

Anonymous said...

That should be fake field goal.

cmorholt said...

19mernedWI'm most impressed with Will Allen, who hasn't started a game since 2006.

Dale Lolley said...

Not saying they should have run the fake field goal, but it's not like they never practice it. The do all the time.

Ramana said...

The score should not have been as close as it was. The refs clearly helped the Giants every chance they had, thankfully the better team still won in the end.