Sunday, November 04, 2012

Back in Business

A great team win for the Steelers on Sunday.  In New Jersey.  Over the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Who blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.  The Steelers are back in the playoff race.

Stellar individual performances, too many to enumerate, led the way: Isaac Redman, Emmanuel Sanders, Ben Roethlisberger, Keenan Lewis, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel, the offensive line and the entire defense.

Photo credit: Getty Images, via Newsday
The defense allowed just 182 net yards.  The secondary was terrific, and the front seven held the Giants to just 68 net yards rushing.  The Steelers also limited the Giants to just two third-down conversions (of 10 attempts).  Eli Manning's quarterback rating was just 41.1, for what that's worth -- 10 for 24 passing, 125 yards, one interception and no touchdowns.

On offense, the O-line played extremely well against an exceptionally good Giants defensive line. The guards, Ramon Foster and Willie Colon, were mobile, fierce and physical, especially in run-blocking.  Max Starks was solid as ever, and although rookie Mike Adams had his hands full with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Co., he did okay, all things considered.

Controlling the Clock
Another encouraging trend continued on Sunday: The Steelers controlled time of possession by more than 11 minutes (35:15 to 24:44 for the Giants).  And when the offense needed a lightning strike, Mike Wallace bolted 51 yards for the touchdown that put the Steelers right back in the game.

The Steelers overcame worrisome in-game injuries (Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey) and flagrantly wrong penalties called on Keenan Lewis (phantom 41-yard pass interference), Ryan Clark (phantom head-to-head contact) and non-calls on Big Ben's fumble and the block in the back on the return.

Photo credit: Getty Images, via Newsday
All in all, a great team win on the road, and Joey Porter's Pit Bulls are glad they played the game after all.  Our misgivings were misplaced.  We were wrong.  The stadium appeared full, and everybody seemed happy to be there.

Maybe the Steelers ought to fly in the day of the game for road trips from now on.

Next up: The Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field, 8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 12.

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