Week 9: Pittsburgh Steelers At New York Giants
- QuarterbacksBen Roethlisberger is getting the job done once again and the Steelers are starting to find their rhythm. Since dropping a Week Six game at Tennessee, the Steelers have won two games in a row. Roethlisberger completed 24-of-33 passes for 222 yards and three TDs against the Redskins and is throwing the ball with velocity and confidence.Eli Manning is not coming off one of his best games, but he is still the quarterback you want with the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter. Manning’s always manages to keep his cool because he has come through in so many pressure situations. He reads defenses will and simply makes the right throw at the right time.
- OffenseThe Steelers have had several key injuries at the running back position, but Jonathan Dwyer has come through with back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts. That’s vintage Steelers football. That makes life a lot easier for tight end Heath Miller and speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace. The Steelers have an explosive quality to their offense when Wallace is playing well.The running game has been much better this year for the Giants than it was a year ago, but it has not been consistent. Ahmad Bradshaw had a 78-yard game against the Cowboys, but speedy rookie Andre Brown did not break any big runs in that game. Victor Cruz is the Giants’ No. 1 big-play receiver, but he did little against the Cowboys. Hakeem Nicks can step up and deliver for Manning.
- DefenseThe Steelers had one of their best defensive efforts against the Redskins. They closed down RGIII as well as any team in the league so far. While stopping Manning is difficult, he obviously doesn’t present the same challenge running the football as the Redskins rookie. Larry Foote had six tackles and a sack, while former Giant defensive back Will Allen added seven tackles.The Giants have to be concerned with their pass defense. While no team in the league can dial up the pass rush like the Giants, their secondary has been riddled in recent weeks. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 437 yards and found open receivers throughout the game. Strong safety Stevie Brown had two interceptions against the Cowboys and now has five for the season.
- Special TeamsThe Steelers are not usually going to win the battle on special teams, but placekicker Shaun Suisham made 3-of-3 field goal attempts against the Redskins. Punter Drew Butler averaged 50.7 yards on three punts against the SteelersLawrence Tynes is a kicker who has proved his ability to hit key field goals in big game. He proved it once again in the Week Eight victory over the Cowboys as he made 5-of-5 FG attempts, including the game winner late in the fourth quarter. Steve Weatherford averaged 47.8 yards on six punts against the Cowboys.
The Giants managed to come through with a win at Dallas when Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant’s hand landed on the end line after he hauled in what would have been the game-winning TD pass. Pittsburgh’s defense is starting to round into form while the Giants’ pass defense is quite vulnerable.