October 27, 2008

Wow, What A GIANT Mess...

It was a crisp afternoon in late October. The grass stood at attention in anticipation of what was billed as a potential Super Bowl preview. The Steelers came out of the corner swinging, shutting the Giants first drive down in just three plays. Then, they followed it up with a 4 play, 60 yard, TD scoring drive, sending what most of us fans thought was a message that this team was the real deal. That even with all of the injuries and other miscellaneous setbacks, they could thoroughly dominate the defending Super Bowl champs, a team that was on everyone's short list for Tampa in early February...

Going into the half, the Steelers trailed by just two points, despite the fact that they had turned the ball over in their own territory and allowed a semi-long punt return...both of which put the Giants well within striking range of the end zone. En route to the half way mark, they had made a courageous goal line stand on a 4th down run by 265 pounds of Brandon Jacobs torque. The defense looked strong, allowing just those three field goals despite the Giants having held the ball for just about 75% of the first half. It felt ok. It felt winnable. It felt like we were on the verge of an Offensive explosion.

They came out in the 2nd half and on the 2nd drive, Big Ben hit Nate Washington with a 65 yard bomb. One play, one score. And just like that, we were in control of the game, 14-9. From there, we struggled on Offense but were able to hold our lead going into the 4th quarter, having only allowed the Giants to gain 8 yards in the whole 3rd Quarter. And even though we didn't have much going in the way of Offense, we still felt confident.

But it proved to be all downhill from there. In the 4th Quarter, the Giants scored 12 unanswered points. The Steelers? Well, they snapped the ball out of the back of the end zone for a costly safety, and let the Giants walk 53 yards in 7 plays, culminating in the go-ahead TD with just three minutes left in the game. Then, with a chance to tie it up, Ben threw a pick on a deep pass intended for Limas Sweed, planting the final dagger in our hearts.

Yeah. That sucked. For the first time, I think I'm wishing I was writing the words - "Well, it wasn't pretty. But a win is a win." I am, however, NOT saying those words.

The story of this one, in a nutshell?
#1 - Turnovers. We committed four, they committed none.
#2 - Sacks. We got none, they got FIVE.
#3 - Offense FAIL!

For some reason, I'm just not feeling that funny this morning. Let's just go straight to the recap...

Things That Were Awesome...
1. Big Ben, 65 yds to the pride of Tiffin University, Mr. Nate Washington
2. Mewelde Moore's 35 yd TD run that put the first 7 on the board
3. Watching Plaxico Burress sit on the sidelines for the entire 1st quarter
5. Holding Brand Jacobs to just 47 yards

Things That Were NOT Awesome...
1. Mewelde Moore getting bent in half by Giants Corner, Aaron Ross (Kenny Phillips?)
2. This doesn't look like much fun either...

3. Chris Kemoeatu - Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards
4. Willie Colon - Holding, nullifying a potential 53 yd TD
5. The New Jersey Turnpike

Things The Browns Would've Done...
2. Big Ben - 45% comp. pct., 189 yards, 4 INTs
3. Mitch Berger's old ass leg getting injured
4. This guy...

5. Ryan Clark on the sidelines, sporting a sling

Oh, and another thing the Browns would've done...BEAT THE GIANTS! Because they eff'ing DID! We, on the other hand, did not. And whilst we were watching an awful 4th quarter Giants comeback, Cleveland had just beaten the Jaguars to move to 3-4. Earlier in the day, the Ravens had beaten the hapless Raiders, 29-10, to move to 4-3.

So as of this morning, with nine games left, the division looks like this...
1. Steelers (5-2)
2. Ravens (4-3)
3. Browns Gowns (3-4)
4. Bengals (0-10000)

One week from today we've got the 6-2 Redskins.

Boy, it was fun beating up on Cincinnati, wasn't it?

Thoughts, anyone?


domski43 said...

only the second loss of the season.

still undefeated within the AFC North (what really counts)

almost beat the giants w/out willie parker and santonio.

there is no way that this is a measuring stick game between eli and big ben. if it wasnt obvious before this game, then it is now, the giants offensive line is the best in the NFL. The steelers "unstoppable" pass rushers were unable to even make Eli feel uncomfortable in the pocket let alone sack him. On the other hand the pocket was collapsing around ben all day he held on to the ball too long, probably because the steelers receivers were unable to create separation (missing santonio means no double coverage). Lots of blame to go around offensively. As for the defense, they were on the field the entire game and held their own.

Christy said...

Don't forget that we were in that game until Bens 4th interception. He had a bad day....just like Eli had a bad day against the Browns.

The Giants had good field position all day and only had 1 TD, thanks to our awesome defense.

And of course, there's the injuries.

Simply put...I think we gave this game to the Giants.

Let's see what we can do once our guys heal up and we're headed down the home stretch.

One last thing...I don't care what anyone says....the Browns are still the Browns.

matt said...

You definitely don't want to be playing your "best" football this time of year, but to rely on your D to bail you out every game is what will hurt us later in the season.

Piss poor. Colon sucks.

I'm not excited about playing Washington next week.

tecmo said...

Yeah, F the NJ Turnpike. I drove the entire length of that from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Staten Island. I don't know how much of it you drove, but there was the stupidest traffic betwixt exits 7 and 8A. Like, really bad.\

My day yesterday? Wake up at 5 AM, drive nearly 6 hours from Pgh to S NJ. Unload massive amounts of furniture, then drive 3+ more hours (thanks to traffic), only to listen to the first 3 quarters on WFAN 660 (with the worst announcers evah) and see the game unfold in the 4th on tv.

And I threw my back out this weekend lifting half of a 1,000 pound upright piano. Not necessarily having the best time right now. A win would've helped. though.

marc said...

Ugly, our o line makes me sick, Kemo needs to stop having mental errors, and we need two O-tackles. I am so sick of seeing Ben on his back.

PSU game was awesome though.

tecmo said...

Marc - Yeah, I was getting real frustrated with Ben taking hits, but there's gotta be equal blame placed onthe O-Line as well. You can't allow your QB to get hit on nearly 50% of all passing dropbacks.

Cotter said...

domski ~ Completely agree on all counts. This cannot serve as a measuring stick between Eli and Ben, just as it can't serve as a measuring stick of the Steelers viability. It's pretty tough to beat a team like the Giants without your starting RB and one of your starting receivers, let alone when both your long snapper and starting Free Safety get hurt over the course of the game. It sucks to lose, but fortunately we could afford a loss at this point.

christy ~ 100% agree with you as well. Whether it was Ben's fault or the O lines fault or whoever, I can't remember too many times when a team won after throwing 4 picks and being plagued by injuries. And yeah, the Browns ARE still the Browns. It was pretty clear that the Jaguars are not a threat this year.

matt ~ All I'm going to say is - Kiwanuka, 3 sacks. Who was he going against? Willie. Colon.

tec ~ Yeah, I hit that shit (that's what she said) between 7 and 8A...if it wasn't for that stretch, I would've been home a good half hour earlier than I was. And wow, dude. 1,000 pound upright piano? You're a brave man. I hope your back feels better!

marc ~ Hell yeah! Thank God for PSU making it a decent weekend for football. But how about Terrell Pryor? He didn't look half bad, despite the fact that they couldn't score. I wish he'd have gone to PSU. He's a beast.

Brett said...

I think the story of this game is that injuries and mistakes finally caught up with the Steelers. Anyone who watched that game could very easily tell that the Steelers were probably the better team. However with all of the injuries that have plagued the team as well as stupid mistake that would be over come against a Cincy or a Cleveland they just ran out of gas. Hopefully before next week injuries will heal and the team will get more disciplined, because next week they face a team that is probably better than the Giants, plus it's on the road.

tiny350Z said...

Has anyone noticed how bad it smells on the turnpike right around perth amboy?? God. Awful.
Right before Silverback made the snap, my husband says, "I mean, how hard can it really be to be a long snapper?"

tecmo said...

Off topic...but did you secure 007?

And if you did...how many times did you already play it?

Cos I would've played it nonstop to cheer me up after that loss

tecmo said...

Tiny - Yes and Yes. I had to take Goethals Bridge to the BQE, since I wasn't trying to hit the traffic in the tunnels and didn't want to drive in Manhattan, and that smell kicked in right as I'm finishing up with the turnpike. Awful

Cotter said...

brett ~ Absolutely! Let's suffice it to say that if we see them again, at full strength, I think we win.

tinyz350 ~ You know, it's funny. My ex-girlfriend was from Lyndhurst, NJ, and I had never really driven the turnpike enough to notice it, but the first time I went to visit her at home during a break from College she said, and I quote, "you'll know you're at Exit 13 (which I know is after Perth Amboy, but still) when it starts to smell like shit." I, of course, thought this was an exaggeration. Negative. It really smells like Godzilla or some other really large creature took a dump right on the state of NJ. As tec said, awful.

tec ~ 007 secured! And unfortunately, I've yet to play a single game. I didn't get home until 11 last night. But tonight, all bets are off. Oddjob!

tiny350Z said...

Absolutely agreed to that awful smell. Thankfully, when I'm on the turnpike to visit my sister, I get off at the parkway and totally avoid the putrid odor.

Btw, if i have to hear one more person talk about how well the redskins did yesterday - I may punch someone...

Cotter said...

Tell 'em to savor it now. 'Cause we're comin' for 'em next Monday!

Anonymous said...

It didn't bother me so much that they lost. I had just driven 345 miles from Virginia, so I could get home and watch the game. This was after I was out until 2am drinking in Richmond. So, to say the least I was a little drained. But, I digress. It doesn't bother me so much that they lost, the next 5 out of 6 games on our schedule are brutal. We weren't going to win them all. It would have been nice, but unlikely. What really bothered me, is the proximity of Giants stadium to MY house. And now, for the next 4 years (unless we beat them in the superbowl) I'm going to have to hear crap about this from basically 70% of my friends and co workers. The other 30% are cool, aka steeler fans. The LOSS, no matter how ugly it was, I can live with. This other BS is the part that ticks me off. and don't get me worng, it was ugly. The offensive line KILLS me. Between the penalties and the overall perfromance, not good. I will say this though, Tomlin was really into the game yesterday. That's it, Im all done.