Week 9 Game Thread: New York Giants

Like most weeks, I have no idea what to expect.

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  • calig23

    After one quarter, the O-line looks shaky in pass protection, Redman has run the ball okay, Ike has a pick, and AB may have hurt his ankle.

  • calig23

    Also, using Redman on a delayed handoff seems kind of stupid.

  • Sarah

    Cripes I am late again!…. Hallooooo?

  • Sarah

    Touchdown Sanders! WTH is everybody??….

  • calig23

    TD, Sanders! Good job getting his feet down.

  • calig23

    That’s an awfully weak DPI call on Lewis

  • Sarah

    STrange – 0 comments until 3 secs ago….

  • calig23

    Gah! Ike almost had his second pick. Instead, he drops it and Ryan Clark goes head-hunting and gets flagged for a personal foul.

    • calig23

      They only showed 2 replays, but I’m not sure Clark should have been flagged for that hit.

      • calig23

        Third replay of the hit: Definitely a bad call. Doesn’t hit him in the head, doesn’t lead with the helmet.

  • calig23

    Apparently, the TD was actually suspect as well. So, iffy DPI call, blatantly bad personal foul call, and questionable TD call and the game is tied.

  • calig23

    Given that the ref is Bill Leavy, I guarantee that some sportswriter will reference Super Bowl XL and the Steelers getting their comeuppance or some stupid crap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    Officiating is horrible. Bring back the scabs!

  • calig23

    Awesome kick return by Rainey, and amazingly, no flag.

  • calig23

    That should be an incomplete pass, but with these refs, who the hell knows.

  • calig23

    Seriously!!!!!! This is a joke.

  • calig23

    Wallace with the dropsies again

  • calig23

    And another DPI on the Steelers. This one is more legit

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    Title for tomorrow’s Post-Gazette:
    ROBBED IN NEW YORK!

  • Cols714

    Wow. What an awfully officiated half, however they are only down 4. I think we win this in the 2nd half.

  • Steve

    Nice way to salvage the half. We get it back to start the 2nd half. We can move the ball on these guys. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing on offense, and…CUT THE EPHING DPIs!!!

  • calig23

    And another ST penalty. The Steelers have to be the most penalized team in the league on special teams this year

  • calig23

    Wallace!!

  • calig23

    And another ST penalty

  • calig23

    Sanders!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now take the lead guys!

  • calig23

    That was dumb.

    Just kick the FG!

    • djanyreason

      Couldn’t disagree more. There is no better situation to go for it than 4th and 1 on the 2.

      Don’t mind the playcall either – Heath just blocked the wrong guy

      • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

        It’s easy to criticize now, but I wouldn’t have called for the fake kick.
        If you’re going to go for it, line up and go for it. Especially in this situation, even if you get stopped short, you might pick up first down.
        Tomlin takes too many wild-ass gambles for my taste.

        • Sarah

          Agree. Awful call IMO not the least because it risks injury for the kicker. Tomlin’s had some clunkers this season.

  • calig23

    TD, Redman!!!!!!!!

  • calig23

    For once, its a ST penalty on the other team

  • calig23

    Things back to normal; Steelers flagged on the Giants’ punt.

  • calig23

    Big first down catch by Sanders there

  • calig23

    Redman has been a beast today

  • calig23

    Well that was a damn good win. Despite all the shaky officiating and their own screw ups, they pulled that one out on the road against a quality team. Let’s hope they don’t let down next week against a truly horrible Chiefs team.

    • David

      True. This could be a springboard for us the rest of the way. On the other hand, a loss to the Chefs means we’re still a 8-8 team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    Wow! Even the refs couldn’t take the game away from the Steelers today.
    Excellent job, Mr. Redman. Truly excellent!

  • David

    Call me Master of the Obvious, but…The Biggest Win of the Season.
    Could this win propel us to the Division, the Playoffs, then, well, you know?

  • David

    Cols, this one’s for you:
    Brown could NOT have scored that TD. Wallace atoned for any and all his drops with that amazing TD.

    Good Lord, I was so giddy during this game, even when down, I knew we were going to win. You know why? The way our D played.

    • Cols714

      Ha. I was actually thinking of commenting on this exact thing. That was awesome. Although Brown is pretty awesome too.

      • Sarah

        Y’know much has been yapped about in local radio re the new “dink n dunk” O and how MW has been pouting cos there’s fewer home-run balls in his direction….I don’t see how he’s not almost as scary in just the type of short route we saw there…get him in an open space on a slant or whatever and let the guy run. .Assuming he’s not double covered or whatever. Seriously it doesn’t have to be a long reception. Just a long run after.

    • Rob D

      That’s the nature of Mr. Wallace. He goes off and its a TD with a vapour trail in his wake. HAS to be intimidating to a D knowing that loaded gun is sitting there..

      I felt really bad for him after that drop as I could hear the mob sharpening their pitchforks and lighting the torches in advance of their storming of Wallace Castle…lol

      Hope AB is not out for long…he’s THE key cog in this passing offense other than Ben.

  • David

    OK, comments on injuries:
    Rainey’s looked bad–internal organs or maybe ribs.
    Brown, if it’s an ankle, will he miss 4 games like Pouncey did last year?
    Giants, mentally, b/c you had every opportunity to win this game, by us, the refs, the replay officials, but didn’t. (OK, just had to throw that in there–back at you, Tuck!)

  • Cols714

    Great game by the Steelers. Take away a very questionable, that is wrong, PI call on Lewis on one TD drive and a weird Ben fumble and the Steelers win going away.

    OL, especially the interior where they’ve been terrible the last few years, played well.

  • MRav

    Things that stood out to me:

    The o-line seemed to wear down the pash rush and weathered the storm until that fourth quarter when they began mauling the giants. Once again, I love Haley’s efficient offense which yields massive…

    TOP, even though our D was on the field for most of the third, we once again enjoyed a large lead in time of possession. This really keeps our d fresh and as I pointed out above, lets us wear the opposing team down.

    MW is faaaaaast…

    But I think AB is more important IN THIS OFFENSE. To me it seemed like with Heath having to help so much in pass pro, Ben really missed AB’s intermediate route running when going through his reads. Manny, MW, and the running game really stepped up big.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    A really nice and important win, on many levels. The D gave up almost nothing to a good O and the O looks creative and efficient. Cut down the ST penalties, and that’s a top unit, too.

    Looking forward, with only 3 road games (at Browns, Ravens and Cowboys) in our final 8, we could be in good shape if we can be at least somewhat healthy.

    • Rob D

      This was possibly the best called game for Lebeau since that NE masterpiece last year..Awesome 4th quarter and if not for those questionable calls in the first half (joke PI on Keenan, bogus PF against Clark in endzone)..they’d look even better in the stats. Could care less…

      I have them at 11 wins now since I believed they’d lose to Washington and the Giants. I really think Baltimore is running on fumes..we are going to catch them.

      The O-line got better as the game went on and the D just suffocated them in the 4th. WE can run. We know we can pass and we’ll likely get better at doing that as we go along. ST’s may have lost the quicksilver Rainey and that really pisses me off since that unit needs all the help it can get.

      • David

        And don’t forget about that clip on Miller during the Giants’ runback.
        And even Mike Pereira said Ben’s fumble wasn’t a fumble.

        • Rob D

          Not a fan of conspiracy theorists (otherwise known as Seahag fans, but I digress) but you just have to believe the officials were influenced by all the hoopla around this game including Hurricane Sandy and Goodell honouring the first responders.

          I still don’t get how Ben”s incomplete pass turned into a fumble. Simms said that you have to have complete grip or control of the ball or some such thing. NeVER heard of that..All i know is the hand has to be going forward with the ball in it..that’s it. Maybe its just one of those rules they pull out every once in a while like the tuck rule from the halcyon days of Knute Rockne…crap..have no idea anymore.

          • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

            Phil Simms is a total, complete ditz. He has a head full of balloon juice. He stumbles through his thoughts as if he were tumbling down a hill. First he criticized the call for all the correct reasons, then he starts his cowardly backtracking, claiming the call was proper–after it was explained to him by the officials.

            Phil Simms: Clueless and gutless is one convenient package.

          • Sarah

            The local guys said it was because Ben was trying “not” to pass it that it became a fumble. ???

          • Rob D

            lol…thanks Randy..that was fun..

  • Cols714

    For the last few years I have been saying that the Steelers largest OL weakness is the interior OL. However this is no longer the case. Colon, after sucking for the first few weeks has become a pretty good run blocker. Both Legursky and Pouncey have proven to be good at center and Ramon Foster is having his best season.

    I think that the interior OL is now a plus for this team. It’s certainly allowing them to run the ball like they want to.

    What a weird season though. Losses to the Titans and Raiders, but wins against the Redskins, Giants, and Eagles. Maybe the team just needed a few weeks to get it together.

    I think that Keenan Lewis should be re-signed. Like right now.

    • David

      Agreed. The weak link is Adams, but give him time (and help–did you see the triple team on JPP yesterday?). And Foster is greatly improved. Case in point: earlier in the season, we consistently (I think) ran to the left thru the A gap (Colon/Pouncey), but the last two games, both the A and B gap.

      • Rob D

        Adams shows all the characteristics of an actual NFL level talent “learning the ropes”. But he shows his pedigree every week in that he improves and rarely makes the same mistake twice. Yesterday he got schooled by Tuck..once. Rest of the game he was really good, and yes, he got help from the TE on some plays. I’m very excited at his talent level. Those two picks..DeCastro and Adams are going to be paying dividends for a decade if they stay healthy.

        STeelers seem to have shored up two areas many of us have been bitching about for years..O-line and DB (Cortez Allen, Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown with Golden on the way IMO) I hope the D’s resurgence isn’t a mirage, but its possible some of you were right about guys like Keisel..he may have been hurt early cause you are starting to see a better Brett in recent games.

        • Cols714

          Oh yeah, I forget about the DL which has been playing well lately. That’s the thing about the Steelers way of playing 3-4 DL, you only notice it when it when it is bad. It’s been quite good lately.

          • EasyLikeSundayMorning

            In terms of the DL: every time I pay attention to Hampton or Keisel, they seem to be doing something good or holding their gap. Every time I pay attention to Hood, he seems to be getting hosed. But yesterday’s game may give a clue as to how to help Ziggy. On one play, he jumped up and slapped an offensive ball carrier on the head. Maybe he things he’s playing one-hand touch! Someone needs to tell him and that could make all the difference…

  • djanyreason

    The Steelers now have more net-points than the Ravens, despite having played one fewer game.

    That is all.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    QOTD:  After 8 games, which Steelers do you think has performed above or below expectations?  

    Here are my thoughts (and I’ll somewhat arbitrarily include guys in below if they’ve missed more time than expected but ignore guys on IR):

    Above: Ben on third down, Suisham, Foote, Keenan Lewis, Hampton, Dwyer, Starks, Foster, Heath, Will Johnson

    Below: Ben on first down, Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Mendenhall, Hood, Heyward, all the backup LBs

    The “below” category doesn’t include much on O but includes more than half of our starting and a chunk of the D bench.  Hopefully they’ll be healthier and play better down the stretch.  The last two weeks have been steps in the right direction for the D.

    As for Ben, his production on first down and on third down has had a pretty large split:  http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6770/situational.  I haven’t been able to track down a list to compare his with other QBs by down, but spot checking some of the other top QBs suggests he has the largest such split so far this year.

    • Cols714

      I’m OK with your above list. On the below list how do you have Timmons there? He’s been a beast since the first two games of the season. And Mendenhall? In the only game where he was healthy enough to play he was awesome.

      I really think you need to reconsider moving those guys up to above.

      Probably the two guys who have been above and beyond are Keenan Lewis and Ramon Foster. Just two guys haveing pretty great years.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        I put Mendy below because he’s missed more time than expected, so he’s contributed less than expected even though he played well when he played. He and Troy were the reasons for my “somewhat arbitrarily” parenthetical comment.

        As for Juan… hmm, he seems to show bursts but often disappear. I only remember one beast game from him. I got NFL Rewind, so I’ll watch him more closely if I get a chance to go back to past games.

    • David

      Above: Suisham (kicking, not running), Brown, Sanders, Lewis, Heath, Dwyer, Redman, Colon
      Below: D-line, Ike, ST coverage, Silverback, Heyward, Hood

  • Cols714

    One more quick comment. The Steelers tackles held up OK versus the crazy Giants DL. Those ends are really good and I”m actually pretty happy with the way the Steelers OT handled them.

    And Ben did get sacked 4 times which sucks but is understandable against that DL on the road. The key is that when Ben gets hit or pressured he doesn’t turn into a scared ball of mushy QB the way other QBs (ahem, Tom Brady) do against a DL like that. Just another reason why I love Big Ben so much.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    A lot of attention has been paid to the fumble, but this might not have been one of the 5 worst calls in the game (just perhaps the most obvious and consequential). Ben’s arm was hit before he started moving it forward (like Troy’s strip of Flacco a few years ago) and the ball started moving in his hand.  I thought at the time and still think Ben still had possession of the ball, but that’s a judgment call; the ref had a different judgment than I (and Pereira) did, but that’s why it is a judgment call.

    However, the spot Tomlin had to challenge, the first DPI on Lewis, redefining Cruz’s ribs as part of his head, the non-clip on Heath… there wasn’t much to assess on those plays, and other than the clip, they were standard plays with clear sight lines… so those were just very bad calls.  

    As for Clark’s hit: I propose the league send him a check for $50k.  Seems about fair.

    • David

      Interestingly, Matt Pappas over at SteelerAddicts.com says Clark’s phantom penalty helped us, where it had Cruz hearing footsteps on every pass coming his way. Also Silverback had a similar claim vs. the Deadskins on all their drops.

  • hoffstra323

    So Rob D you still think the Steelers aren’t going to the playoffs? Like I said a while back get Steve Mclendon on the field. In his limited time he steps up and makes another big play. He hit manning and caused the interception. “gotta give Ike credit for catching the ball” ” He did drop another pick later on though” yes the officials were terrible, what is so funny to me is that even after the refs fudged it up so bad they gave them a touchdown on the run and still he was not in. Also even if ben was trying to hold on to the ball, call the game by the rules don’t assume you know what Ben’s intentions were. Stick to the rules, not your own opinion. Welcome back Steelers football, all this passing all the time nonsense is over and we are back to the run game which is the true recipe for success. Big ups to Mike Adams and the rest of the O-line. Wait till we get Gilbert and Decastro back for depth. Prep for the best Steelers Offense you have ever seen. Rashard Mendenhall has never been behind a good Steelers line, I cant wait to see what he can do with some room.

    • Rob D

      They have seemingly found the fountain of youth. Totally suprised at the turnaround..but obviously very pleasantly surprised. How Colon and Foster went from actual teaching a course each snap in OG crap-ology to playing at a high level is a mystery. I expected Colon to have an adjustment period but he was completely flummoxed on any kind of stunt thrown at him early. Now he looks like a road grading demon. Have to give his position coach and Haley big ups…they’ve done an unreal job.
      McClendon is OK but Hampton is another guy who looks like he played himself into shape and is now doing the things that had him attending Pro Bowls.

      I don’t think they are going to go to the run game EVERY game. Haley will adapt to what they are facing. If that means putting the ball up 30+ times, he’ll do it. But you never stop running until the prove they can stop you. Yesterday, they ran it down the Giants throat and many came inside right up the gut of their D. BEautiful thing to watch.

      I have them at 11 wins now..originally figured around 9 wins but they have won both the Giants and REdskins tilts which I didn’t think they do. Can you imagine if they win both Ravens games? I am giddy after this win like I haven’t been for quite some time. Keenan Lewis, Isaac Redman and Co. look like they’ve caught a trade wind and are off and sailing towards the playoffss..or so we hope..Should be a fun ride.

  • Cols714

    Also, maybe Adams should be the starting RT for the rest of the year. He looks good over there. Yeah, he was beaten a couple of times yesterday, but that Giants DL is for real. Keep him there and have Gilbert be the #1 backup T, moving to LT next year. This OL really has me excited for the rest of the year.

    Now if only Haley would call some pass plays that are longer than 5 yards. I’m kind of tired of seeing the quick passes.

  • Steve

    Was this the Steelers’ first Podcastic win this season? I do hope so.

  • MRav

    Something that just came to mind…I’d be interested to rewatch the game and chart what percentage of snaps Heath spent in pass pro. A very quiet game for him this week and I’m wondering if that was by design to have him help neutralize the edge rush. I think that’s been a big reason he’s been so productive this year, as he’s been able to spend more time running routes and less time chipping rushers.

    • Rob D

      Saw him lined up on the right side quite a bit..I think he was helping Adams more this game. He’s having an amazing year..best I’ve seen him block and catch.

  • MRav

    So I was just arguing with my brother that I don’t believe that Troy is the most important player on our D and then I took it a step further and argued that I think he’s also more expendable than Ryan Clark. To me, Troy adds a demension to our defense that I think is unrivaled throughout the league, but I don’t feel he is a necessary part of our defense functioning properly. To me, there is an insane drop off in talent replacing Troy, but replacing Ryan is more than that, it’s something that could possibly break our defense.

    • Steve

      Ryan…..damn, that name sounds familiar. Can’t quite piece together why.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    QOTD: Where else do you guys prefer to post? What’s your other favorite site to visit and comment during games? I only ask because, if this site goes down permanently, I’d hate to lose track of my favorite Steelers’ fans.

    • Intropy

      During a game, football outsiders.com. Other times there and steelersdepot.com.

    • MRav

      I’ll read steelersdepot from time to time as they’re good about updating injury news but the writing their is so subpar compared to this blog. It’s very poorly done and very self-indulgent writing by Dave.

      • MRav

        And as I hit post I realized I used their vs there. Facepalm.

        • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

          MRav,
          That’s funny. I do stuff like that a million times a day–and I used to work as an editor. But you know you can edit your remarks, don’t you? Just click the word “edit” under your post.

    • Cols714

      That’s a great question. While I don’t mind Steelersdepot, most of their stuff I don’t care about. I don’ need 20 injury updates during the week and the nonstop worry about cap space.

      So really I don’t know. I guess if we all migrated over to Steelers depot we could make an impact and just continue to comment there. Elsewhere, Behindthesteelcurtain has gotten much better, but commenting during the games sucks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

        I had visited SteelersDepot daily, but last spring during the draft I sent them an admittedly snide, but not in any other way impolite, post about their silly, senseless hectoring for the Steelers to choose tight end Coby Fleener as their number one pick, who, as you probably know, eventually went to the Colts.

        After the Steelers took DeCastro, I mocked their pathetic mock, and in return they shut off my access to their site.

        I wasn’t allowed access again for several weeks, which I thought was a bit Roger Goodell-like in terms of over-reaction and punishment, not that I cared much.

        I now check the site a couple times a week for news updates, at which they are very good, but otherwise I have not commented there since I was locked out.

        • Cols714

          That’s really funny. I was similarly banned after I mocked their repeated posts about Mike Wallace holding out through the season or being traded.

          Eventually I also returned and sometimes comment, but there isn’t much good discussion over there.

  • MRav

    What are you guys looking for during tomorrow’s game? I think for me I’m looking at a few battles:

    First, I’m looking for the offensive line to continue its resurgence and physical style of play. That includes Max vs Hali.

    Suffocating D: I want to see the D take advantage of a dysfunctional offense. I really want to see KC struggle. Our D has played very well these last few games, but I want to see absolute dominance.

    Long ball: While I don’t miss the deep throws that Bruce called last year, I’m wondering if Todd will let Mike run a little more thus game with AB out and also if he looks to run up the score against KC.

    • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

      Max will have his hands full (literally and figuratively) with Hali tomorrow night, and I fully expect Ben to get whacked a couple times.

      I don’t really care if the Steelers go vertical. As we saw last week, Mike Wallace can make a big vertical play while catching an 7-yard pass in the slot.

      More importantly, I want to see the Steelers find in a solid, continual rhythm on offense, mixing runs with play/action. I really hope for another solid game from the O-line (with no injuries, thank you). That’s my number one wish tomorrow night.

      Other than a win, of course.

      That said, I badly want to see more improvement from Woodley and Harrison, as well as stout defensive line play throughout. Knock on wood, but I’m relatively satisfied with the efforts of our cornerbacks and safeties.

      Lastly, I don’t expect anything spectacular from Foote and Timmons, but good, basic, mistake-free football would help me breathe easier.