New York Giants Set To Battle Pittsburgh Steelers

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IOctober 22, 2008

We will call this game the cliche bowl, for all intents and purposes, because the experts are going to deem this a possible Super Bowl preview. This game matches the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2004 draft in Eli Manning with the No. 3 quarterback taken in that same draft, Ben Roethlisberger.

Depeding on this game, some analysts will say, "Oh, the Giants should've gone with Roethlisberger or the Steelers should've traded up for Manning."

The Giants and Steelers both come into this game with the possibility to get after the quarterback. Justin Tuck and Fred Robbins have each had two games in which they have gotten two sacks each. For the Steelers, OLB James Harrison will come into this game looking to turn the edge as the rush LB in their 3-4 scheme. 

The Steelers this year have had struggled on the offensive line. Max Starks, who was once thought to be a star, has now been benched. Willie Colon has been playing consistently for the Steelers while anchoring down the right side of the line.

The loss of Alan Faneca has really plagued the Steelers' pass protection of Ben Roethlisberger, who tends to hold on to the ball for too long. This could spell a monster day for Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and the most underrated defensive tackle in the NFL: Fred Robbins.

Big Blue, as well as the Steelers, both want to run the football. The Steelers have lost Rashard Mendenhall for the season but have been able to run it effectively, even with Mewelde Moore as the featured back. Willie Parker is questionable for this game and could provide a spark for the Steelers, should he play.

The Giants come in with all three running back (Jacobs, Bradshaw and Ward) averaging over 5.4 yards per carry. 

Overall, this game should be a highly physical game in the trenches. The long-term forecast calls for temperatures in the mid 40s, with windy and rainy conditions. This game should be a real throwback, smash-mouth game. The game can be seen at 4 PM ET, which finally means that a Giants fan on the West Coast can sleep late!

Plaxico Burress returns to the Steelers for the first time since the 2004 season, the year before the Steelers got one for the thumb in winning Super XL. This should be an emotional homecoming for Burress, who played the first five years of his career in the Steel City.

My prediction: Giants 17, Steelers 15