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Steelers escape New York despite odds stacked against them

They did the right thing in flying in for a road game on the day of the game. It was their only option since clearly Commissioner Roger Goodell had no intention of postponing this game. Even when the NBA and the New York City Marathon were being cancelled or postponed, the National Football League would not let a little thing like a hurricane stop them from playing.

So the Pittsburgh Steelers, rather than use up hotel rooms that could otherwise be used by citizens who were left homeless or powerless following the hurricane, flew to Newark Sunday morning and played the defending champion New York Giants the same day. The NFL had to approve of this move because the NFL rules stipulate that teams must arrive 24 hours prior to their game on the road. This is done in the name of player safety of course.

Rather than use it as an excuse, the Steelers with-stood horrendous officiating and horrendous coaching decisions to escape New York with a 24-20 win over the Giants. The Steelers came back from 20-10 down in the second half.

The Steelers were far from perfect and again have injury issues to deal with but this was truly a remarkable ‘team’ victory. There were questionable pass interference calls and a questionable ‘helmet-to-helmet’ call that basically gave the Giants their first touchdown but the Steelers stayed alive.

They would survive the always questionable ‘tuck rule’ gaffe by referee Bill Leavy which resulted in a touchdown and nevermind the blatant block in the back on Heath Miller besides. They would survive a horrible decision to fake a field goal on fourth and one inside the Giants’ five yard line trailing 20-17 and much of the bailing out came from the defense.

Much maligned by people like myself for going ‘soft’ at all the wrong times, Dick LeBeau cranked up the heat once the Steelers took the lead late in the game. Normally one to play it safe, LeBeau brought pressure and Eli Manning had no answer. The secondary was excellent most of the game and the pressure that this defense has lacked all season was finally there when it mattered most.

And then there’s Isaac Redman. Is he the starter? Is he injured? Will he even be active this week? Now all the sudden this guy is once again a star in a backfield filled with them. For the third straight week a Steelers’ running back topped the 100-yard mark and this time it was Redman as Jonathan Dwyer sat out with a leg injury.

Redman did exactly what you wanted him to as he started strong and finished even stronger as he totaled 147 yards on 26 carries and scored the all-important go ahead touchdown in the fourth. It’s becoming more and more obvious that you can plug Redman, Dwyer or Rashard Mendenhall in there and expect 100 yards or more from any of the three. This is a credit to both Todd Haley and O-Line coach Sean Kugler and obviously the men upfront.

There was a lot that didn’t go right for this team in MetLife Stadium but they overcame. Injuries to Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey could not keep the Steelers from getting a victory and yet another 4th-quarter comeback for Ben Roethlisberger. Sometimes you find yourself in the most adversity-filled times and I believe there’s no doubt this team found itself in the most difficult of circumstances.

 

 

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3 comments

  1. charles

    There was a hit on Eli Manning early in the game. It was a pass play but did not result in a sack. However his head was jolted back pretty rudely. Like Timmons hit on Sanchez in the Jets game (Sanchez was never cogent after that) Manning never seemed to get into sync in this game either. Like Clark’s hit on Cruz that seemed to take him out of the game, I think that the hit on Manning clearly affected his performance. Does anybody else see it this way?

  2. Marc Uhlmann

    Much appreciated Don. It was almost surreal watching the fourth quarter yesterday. Had to pinch myself to realize we had won the game!

  3. Don Geil

    Beautifully written. Nice recap of a tough win with so much adversity & drama.
    I wonder really how much the medical costs for all those heart attacks in Steel Nation must add up, after games like this one!

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