Sunday, August 22, 2010

Empire State Of Mind: Steelers Win


Leading into the game, the big news was Big Ben getting his first playing time of the preaseason.

Steelers fans let out a groan when they discovered Scott Green was the official. In case you forgot, Green was responsible for the debacle that was the 11-10 game against the Chargers in '08 and other games of questionable infamy.

The Giants were minus their top 2 QBs, Eli Manning (the second best QB of the '04 draft) and Jim Sorgi (perpetual backup to a Manning), so Rhett Bomar got to play the whole game.

Superman started the game with a solid kickoff.

The most exciting thing that happened on the first drive was Hakeem Nicks and Ike Taylor mixing it up with a little fisticuffs. Both players were ejected from the game. This is okay in the preseason and obviously players are fired up, but they'll need to be more composed when the regular season rolls around. Willie Gay jumps a pass on 3rd down but can't come up with the pick.

Ben's first pass is a solid play-action pass out to Heath Miller. They go back to the well again, emptying out the backfield and Ben hits Heath again with pressure in his face.
The Steelers try a reverse, but Justin Tuck blows it up in the backfield for a huge loss. Ben has to dump it down to Raise Some on 3rd and 21 and it's punt time.

Bomar gets blasted by Timmons on first down, but gets it out to Mario Manningham who makes some moves and picks up a first down. The defense shuts it down after that. Potsie breaks up a run in the backfield then Aaron Smith breaks through the middle and pulls down Bomar for a good 3rd down sack.

Arians keeps trying to run misdirection plays and Osi Umenyiora blows it up in the backfield. Ben tries to go downfield on second down and underthrows Mike Wallace, dropping the ball right into the breadbasket of the cornerback. Justin Tuck was all up in Ben's business, which forced Ben to try to make a play on the run.

Two penalties set the Giants next drive back, and it's punt time once again.

Isaac Redman and Raise Some get things rolling across the 40 then Ben dances around and finds Matt Spaeth to move inside the Giants 40. Raise Some rips another good run up the gut behind some good blocking from the O-line.

Second Quarter

Redman picks up the first down, but the offense gets set back again on another blown up stretch play. A holding call on Flozell momentarily knocks the Steelers out of field goal range, but Ben rolls out and fires one to Heath to get us back inside the 30. On 3rd down, it's EL YEAH time son. Bigtime 3rd down conversion. The offense can't cash in inside the 10, but Jeff Reed gets us on the board.


Bomar loads it up and goes down the field for Steve Smith who makes a fantastic catch. The refs are in preseason mode too, not calling Smith down by contact or noticing his foot touching down out of bounds, allowing Smith to get up and take off down the field. They have a conference and sort it out, putting the ball back where Smith caught the ball and was downed. Bomar moves the Giants inside the 10 with a nice pass on 3rd down to move the chains. Ahmad Bradshaw bounces one to the outside and beats B-Mac to the corner for the score. Gotta seal down that corner.


Lord Byron comes in to lead the troops, and runs the motif offense to perfection: run-run-pass-punt.

Sepulveda booms a 54-yarder but the coverage breaks down. Thankfully, Superman is there. He fights off a blocker and makes a great tackle along the sidelines to prevent a touchdown.

Larry Foote lays the smackdown on 3rd down, forcing a throwaway.

The drive looks like it's going to suffer the same fate as the last, when Mike Wallace appears on the scene. He makes a great catch on 3rd down to move the sticks. On the next play, Leftwich becomes the first quarterback in Steelers history not to underthrow Mike Wallace. The Giants defense heads back to the sidelines to nurse their burn wounds.


The Giants start moving the ball but Bomar makes a poor throw that Manningham can't get both hands on and it lands right in Joe Burnett's hands for a huge turnover. Burnett brings it back across the 50, giving the Steelers a chance to make things happen with 53 seconds left in the half.

Mewelde Moore takes a draw play down inside the 30 to put the Steelers in field goal range and the Steelers take their first timeout. Byron does his best Dennis Dixon impression and puts together a little shake and bake to move the ball down to the 10. El Yeah makes a great diving catch at the 2 and Lord Byron tries to run the sneak to catch the Giants offguard. They don't quite get in and have to use their last timeout with 15 seconds left. They try a fade pass for Randle El but he can't quite come down with it. Rather than bringing out the field goal unit or put a fullback in or use Isaac Redman, they try to run on 3rd down with Mewelde Moore and come up empty. Absolutely terrible situational football in the red zone.

Third Quarter

Dennis the Menace comes out to lead the troops in the second half. Dixon makes to excellent throws across the middle--the first to Arnaz Battle on a crossing route and the second to Emmanuel Sanders on a deep post between the safeties. Sanders gets the call on a bubble screen and takes it down inside the 25. A few plays later, Redman takes one up the gut and takes on two safeties, plowing them over on his way to the end zone.


The Giants get called for a wedge block on the return, setting them back inside the 10. Will Allen absolutely demolishes a receiver on a bubble screen on 3rd down, forcing a punt.

Pouncey throws a great block in the middle allowing Justin Vincent to gash the Giants up the middle for 18 yards to get close to midfield. The offense keeps rolling as Dixon makes a solid throw to Sanders on a come-back route. Dixon makes something out of nothing on a broken play and takes it down the sidelines, just stepping out of bounds inside the 10. At the goalline, recent signee Dwayne Wright powers it into the end zone for the score.


The Giants get the ball back and start picking their way down the field, aided by a roughing the passer call on Ziggy Hood on 3rd down. Bomar slings a nice pass between 2 defenders to Moss for a first down and to move the ball into the red zone.

Fourth Quarter

Coming out of the break, the Giants keep it on the ground, with Bomar scrambling inside the 10 then Aaron Brown shouldering the load. Nick Eason is an absolute monster on the goal line and blows up a run at the goal line. The KDKA crew forgets who they're being paid by, and says something that we thought we wouldn't hear until September: "That wasn't a good play, unless you're a Steelers fan." Two penalties on the Steelers at the goal line give the Giants an infinite number of chances, and Andre Brown eventually gets in on a questionable call where he might have fumbled. Tomlin challenges the call, but Scott Green still has no idea what's going on. Ruling on the field stands.


Justin Vincent makes a nice run on 2nd down to get to 3rd and short but can't move the chains on 3rd down. Punt.

The KDKA crew starts shutting it down with 10 minutes to go in the game and talking about the starters while the Giants slowly march down the field. Stevenson Sylvester, rookie out of Utah, who has one of the best names on the team, comes untouched through the line and smothers Bomar to force the Giants into a field goal.


With the game within one possession and just under 6 minutes to play, you want to see the Steelers can put together a time-consuming drive to put the game on ice. However, they go 3-and-out, giving the Giants a chance to tie the game. Superman makes a great kick that Cruz fumbles and it bounces out inside the 1.

The Giants pick up a few on a run, Bomar overthrows a wide open receiver on 2nd down, then narrowly avoids taking a safety on 3rd down. Punt. Great stand by the defense.

Dwayne Wright comes in and plays the role of hammer, pounding the ball into the middle of the defense and picking up first downs. With just over a minute to play, DTM seals the deal by picking up a first down on 3rd and 7 with his feet.

Victory formation.


Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Mike Wallace
Defensive Game Ball: Joe Burnett

Honorable Mentions:
Dwayne Wright
Heath Miller
Dennis Dixon
Byron Leftwich
Isaac Redman
Keyaron Fox
Aaron Smith
Larry Foote
Daniel Sepulveda

Mr. Yuck Sticker of the Game

We took waaay too many penalties tonight. Most of them were post-snap penalties such as holding, roughing the passer, and personal fouls. I know that some things (holding in particular) are going to happen. You want to se your team have an edge, but Ike getting thrown out of the game on the second play showed a lack of discipline. There is a fine line between playing nasty and losing control. No matter what gets said or done out there, they need to remain composed and not take back-breaking penalties, especially ones that keep drives alive for the other team.

Final Thoughts
  • Love seeing the tight ends getting involved in the passing game.
  • Sanders and Brown are legit. Wow, these guys are going to be good.
  • The O-line had a better game, but they still are allowing a lot of pressure.
  • Hopefully Pouncey and Hartwig didn't get hurt too bad. Pouncey came back from his injury, but Hartwig didn't.
  • For those of you that have been reading us for a while, you'll know that we're history buffs. Even though the Scorched Earth policy is illegal under the Geneva conventions, they may have to grant a special exemption for Mike Wallace.
  • O-line got a good push in the running game, but there are still questions in the passing game.
  • Way too many penalties taken tonight.
  • Joe Burnett played a heck of a game tonight. He made some good plays in coverage and came down with the interception.
  • Pretty solid game by the defense overall.
  • With the Steelers moving to 2-0 in the preseason, we get to bust out our favorite preseason statistic. Look for it coming this week.

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