Sunday, November 04, 2012

Travel Day & Game Day in East Rutherford, N.J.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Clark's Tweet @RealRClark25
It's not only Game Day, it's Travel Day for the Steelers, whose plane touched down this morning at Newark.  Ryan Clark Tweeted this morning that he and Troy Polamalu were already at MetLife Stadium: "Chilling in the Locker room with my brother @tpolamalu!! Long time to chill but it will be worth the wait!"

Clark explained on his radio show earlier this week that he and Polamalus like to go to the stadium early, with the team trainers, ahead of the team bus.  It gives them time to relax, get organized and get acclimated.  Seems like a good idea.

Jersey Shore: The real reality show.
Later, it should be quite a scene at the stadium and an emotion-filled day for fans and players.  Some of the Giants' players and their families displaced by Hurricane Sandy had to stay at teammates' homes during the week.

As for the game itself, it's the marquee game of the day, of course, with the spotlight on franchise quarterbacks Eli Manning vs. Ben Roethlisberger.  The quarterbacks alone make this game worth watching, but there's much more.

We keep thinking how Dallas's excelllent tight end Jason Whitten caught 18 passes last Sunday for 158 yards. Eighteen!  It should be interesting to see how the Giants try to defend Heath Miller today.

We worry a bit about the Steelers' special teams (as always); the possible effectiveness of the running game with a not-100 percent Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall; and an exceptional front four on the Giants' defense that has 21 sacks and 16 interceptions.  The Steelers' takeaways on defense pale by comparison.

Other than that, the Steelers have a lot going for them today. Seriously.  The Giants' defense has surrendered a ton of big plays; the Steelers have shown all season that they can carry time-of-possession; and Mike Wallace is due for a big day.  We're cautiously optimistic, despite the home field advantage for the Giants and the inevitable wave of emotion and intensity given what happened in their backyard during the past seven days. It should be interesting.

Gameday Links to Read This Afternoon
  • In New Jersey, The Star-Ledger's Jorge Castillo highlights three key matchups from the Giants' point of view   The No. 1 concern is stopping Heath Miller. 
  • The Post-Gazette's Blog 'n Gold presents its lively Game Chat.

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