Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mannings Make The Best Faces: Steelers Win


The Giants come out throwing and Cruz gets them near midfield, but the defense puts the clamps on when the Giants go to the ground and Eli misses a throw on 3rd down. The Giants pin the Steelers back at the 2.

Redman bursts up the middle to give us a little breathing room. AB reels one in and gets us out to the 30.
The wheels come off when Adams gets rocked by Justin Tuck and Ben gets sacked on first down then Rainey fumbles a screen pass but thankfully the ball bounces out of bounds.

Keenan Lewis makes two pass deflections to force a 3-and-out. Lewis came into the game leading the team in PDs, he's really stepped up the last few weeks.

Redman gets us into 3rd and short then Ben does his Ben thing and finds Redman on a broken play to move the sticks. The drive stalls out when a blitzing corner knocks a pass down on 3rd down.

The Giants get Cruz on a linebacker in the slot and turn it into a big gain up the middle. Eli takes a shot down the sideline and Ike makes a leaping interception to produce the first turnover of the game.

Redman moves the sticks again with a big first down run. Ben takes a shot deep and Brown's feet get tied up with the corner and Brown limps off the field. Yikes. With Brown out, Cotchery makes a big catch on 3rd down to keep the drive alive.

Second Quarter

Will Johnson makes a catch out of the backfield to convert a 3rd down and get us into the red zone. Redman runs hard and gets down to the 10. Redman grinds it down inside the 5. Ben gets time in the pocket and hits Sanders in the back of the end zone for the score.

Points. Off. Turnovers.


Keenan gets called for a terrible pass interference call that gives the Giants the ball in the red zone. Horrible, horrible call, barely touched his shoulder, didn't turn him, great defensive play. Man. Bradshaw carries the Giants inside the 5. Ike drops an interception in the end zone and Clark levels Cruz right as the ball hits the ground. The flags come out. Clark hit Cruz in the shoulder with his shoulder. Another terrible call gives the Giants a free chance. Phil Simms even admits it was a bad call.

The Giants pound it in. Gift wrapped touchdown from the officials.


CCR brings the kickoff back across the 50 and we're in business. Redman gets another big run up the middle. The refs crap all over themselves again when Ben's arm is moving forward and the ball comes out and they call it a fumble and let the play continue. The Giants run it back and replay upholds the call.


Steelers 7, Refs 14, Giants 0

Apparently the NFL thought helping the Giants win would make everyone who lost something in the hurricane feel better.

The Steelers keep grinding on the ground but can't pick up a first down across midfield. Tomlin elects to go for it on 4th down and Redman converts. Ben gets sacked on 3rd down and that ends that. Adams got rocked by JPP.

Eli takes a shot deep. Big surprise, there's a flag. PI on Keenan. Two false start penalties on the Giants are their first penalties of the day. The defense holds and Tynes comes up short on a 51-yard field goal.

Ben takes over with 30 seconds left and guns one to Cotch down the slot who makes a great sliding catch to get us to the fringe of field goal range. Ben hits Heath down the seam to get it inside the 10 and the offense runs up and spikes it with 5 ticks left. Suisham barely squeezes it inside the left post.


Third Quarter

CCR brings the kickoff all the way back to the Giants 35, but the offense does nothing and Ben takes a sack on 3rd down when a throwaway would've given us a shot at a long field goal. Punt. That 3-and-out hurts.

The Giants take over inside their 10 but two runs and a big throw to the tight end down the seam get them out of trouble. The Giants work it into field goal range and Tynes connects to stretch the lead.


A penalty on the kick return gives us terrible starting field position and Ben makes a horrible decision to throw a ball to Wallace with triple coverage around him. The Giants pick it off and are sitting in the catbird's seat.

The refs screw up another call, giving Cruz a generous spot when he ran back behind the first down marker before being tackled. Tomlin challenges and it's actually overturned. The Giants move the sticks anyways with a run. A quick-hitter to Nicks gets them down to the goal line, but the defense stacks it up. Ike makes a big-time play to seal off the corner on an outside run. Big-time stop by the defense to hold the Giants to 3.


As if the Steelers don't need anything else to go wrong, Rainey gets injured on the kickoff return. Looked like ribs. Wallace finally makes an appearance with a diving catch across the 40. He takes a shot from the safety as he starts to get up and it's initially flagged, but Tom Coughlin complains that his team hasn't gotten enough calls this game, so the refs pick it up.

Fourth Quarter

Facing 3rd and 6 at midfield, Ben hit Wallace on a quick slant coming across the field, and we finally saw the elite speed we've been waiting for.
Wallace turned on the jets and absolutely blew by the entire Giants secondary, coming all the way across the field...
turning the corner...
...and scorching the Giants for a 51-yard touchdown.

As Tomlin once said, "visibly fast"


With the Steelers back in the game, the defense steps it up and blanks the Giants. Eli tries to roll out on 3rd down after Woodley collapses the pocket and Timmons brings him down for a sack.

And another one, because Mannings make the best faces:

With Rainey and Brown out, Manny Sanders gets a shot at punt returner, and springs through a hole, cuts it back across the field, and takes it all the way down to the 12.

Wow, what a return.

Ben hits Heath to put us in 3rd and 1, but Haley opts for a pass and Ben has to check it down to Redman who can't get to the sticks. On 4th and 1 right at the doorstep, Tomlin makes one of the worst decisions of his career and opts for a fake field goal, rather than tying the game. Seemed like Tomlin was trying to channel his inner Les Miles, because Butler (the holder) tossed the ball back over his head to Suisham, who had no blockers in front of him and got swarmed by the Giants.

Terrible call with a chance to tie the game. If you're going to go for it, let the offense do it, don't try a fake field goal.

Thankfully, the defense is up to snuff and absolutely shuts the Giants out again.

Ben goes to work hitting Heath to get the drive rolling and move us to the fringe of field goal range. Two plays later, Ben finds Cotch down the sideline for another first down to get us into the red zone. Redman plows for a few then Will Johnson drops one that hits him right in the hands on 2nd down. The Giants give us a gift by jumping offsides and Redman is able to not only convert the 3rd and short, but grind all the way down to the goal line. Two plays later, Redman pounds it in.


The Giants get the ball back with 4 minutes to go, and if you weren't thinking about Eli's penchant for 4th quarter comebacks, then you've been living under a rock. Eli misses Cruz then air mails a ball that almost gets picked off. Woodley storms around the corner on 3rd down and knocks the ball out of Eli's hand.
The Giants fall on it, but the sack/fumble is enough for force the 3rd straight 3-and-out for the defense. What a performance.

Mannings really do make the best faces.

With 2:52 left and the Giants still holding 3 timeouts, the Steelers needed two first downs to ice it. Batch started things off well, but Redman got greedy and tried to bounce one, bringing up 3rd and long with 2:40 to go. Ben takes a deep drop and guns one to an open Manny Sanders down the numbers who secures it for the first down and forces the Giants to use their last timeout.

Longest 30 seconds of the game while you played through all the scenarios in your head. You had to figure at worst 3 running plays and a punt would only leave the Giants with 30 seconds to march downfield and tie the game. Isaac Redman makes all that thinking irrelevant when he takes one right up the middle and rumbles past the sticks and all the way down inside the 30.


Victory Formation.


Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Isaac Redman
Defensive Game Ball: Ike Taylor

Honorable Mentions:
Emmanuel Sanders
Mike Wallace
Chris Rainey
Ben Roethlisberger
Maurkice Pouncey
Ramon Foster
Willie Colon
LaMarr Woodley
Keenan Lewis
Lawrence Timmons

Final Thoughts

  • All things told, this was a very typical Steelers victory. They overcame a seemingly impossible situation with terrible calls going against them and the other team holding a lead. They played dominating defense and Ben carried us to victory at the end.
  • What a game by the defense. We held Eli to 125 yards passing and the Giants on the whole to under 200 yards of total offense.
  • Keenan Lewis is really coming around the last month. He leads the team in passes defended and had another 4 in this game. He's breaking on balls and making solid tackles in the secondary.
  • Ike Taylor won AFC Defensive Player of the Week. He had an interception on a poorly underthrown ball, almost had another interception in the end zone and all around did a great job shutting down Victor Cruz.
  • Isaac Redman had a fantastic game in his home state of New Jersey. The interior of the O-line just dominated the Giants up front all game. 
  • Mike Adams can't handle elite rushers one-on-one. The two sacks he gave up came when he had to face Tuck & JPP on his own. He's doing a good job filling in at RT, but he needs help to handle the elite guys.
  • Hopefully Antonio Brown isn't out for too long with his ankle injury, the offense looked totally different without him in there.
  • Emmanuel Sanders had a huge game stepping up into the #2 role. Made some clutch catches and ripped off a great return that he almost took back to the house.
  • I could be wrong, but I think that's the first time Wallace has actually used his speed to take a routine slant route to the house. Most of his other long plays have been long passes. That was exactly the kind of play Wallace needs to make to be an elite receiver - take a routine play and turn it into six.
  • Man was the fake field goal call terrible. If you're going to go for it there, a fake field goal is probably the lowest-percentage call you can make. If Tomlin wanted to go for it, we'd been pounding the rock up the middle all game, so why not run the ball? Good thing the defense bailed us out again by coming up with a stop and a sack on the next series.
  • For the record, some tweets from Mike Pereira, former NFL VP of Officiating:

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