"The terrible towel is poised to strike as are the Steelers." - Myron Cope
This week the Road Warriors, Big Blue, the G-Men, Big Blue Wrecking Crew, and most importantly the New York Football Giants hit the road once again to one of the NFL's most hostile cities and without a doubt, one of the loudest fan bases, in Pittsburgh. It should be added that they are a very good team this year, despite so many injuries. (gulp) But not to worry fellow Giants fans, we must still have faith in the team. The loss in Cleveland was indeed bad, but remember, the 1985 Chicago Bears lost to Miami on Monday Night Football too. The team was due for a slip up, and thankfully, it didn't happen last year!
Aaron Ross has been burned by receivers ever since I told everybody to get used to him because he will be a star. Now he has the challenge of Hines Ward, one of the best receivers in the league. This is a big test for Mr. Ross. I hope he passes, he's becoming one of my favorites. Speaking of players fast becoming favorites, Michael Johnson. It may not have been widely publicized (is anything the Giants do?) but the guy had 2 picks last week. JT O'Sullivan isnt exactly making it seem like Montana-Young-Garcia-O'Sullivan but the two picks are indeed a big step in the right direction for the kid. I hope he continues his good success, because Santonio Holmes is a pretty good deep threat!
Up front on the defensive line, you may not have noticed it, but captain and emotional leader Antonio Pierce was out. Not to worry! The Giants defense has much depth! Brian Kehl, Danny Clark, and Chase Blackburn all stepped up. Its looking like Pierce will be back this week, to even further improve a D-line that includes Justin Tuck, a fast emerging star. I dont know if the rest of the league took notice, but he had a forced fumble which led to a safety on Sunday. He continues to emerge as a superstar, and I imagine, he will haunt Rothlesberger (I'm not from Pittsburgh, I dont know how to spell it!) all day.
To the offensive side of the ball, a certain receiver who is slipping in my favorite player rankings is returning to where his career began this week. Now, while that receiver has had the bulk of his success with the Giants, I hope the classy fans in Pittsburgh realize that this guy was a great player for them and give him an ovation he deserves because he doesnt deserve one from the Giants fans at the Stadium every week. Plax, you need to step up. We cant rely on Dominik Hixon and Amani Toomer every week. We need the clutch receiver ( thinking about the 11 catches in the Green Bay game last year warms my heart) that helped us win last year. You cant rely on one season of your career for the rest of it.
Speaking of players who seem to rely on one season lets talk about Mr. Eli Manning. The guy's last two weeks have been like my GPA: fairly average with flashes of brilliance (sans flashes of brilliance). I want him to have a good day this Sunday. I realize Troy Polomalu is playing but he is injured and may not be fully recovered. Take advantage of that. Go right at them. If they do that, the Giants will be 6-1.
The run game: a little bit of an off week for E-W-F. Earth had a good game with 2 scores, but the Wind was barely strong, and there was no Fire! I dont know much about the Steelers, but I know they have a good run defense. The way to break up a run defense is throw stuff they haven't seen at them. The three headed monster is something very few teams have seen in years. IF its clicking on all cylinders, it will be a good day there too.
Our O-line is dominating! Eli hasn't been sacked yet this year (or maybe he was, but I dont remember it!). Bill Parcells used to call the Giants O line of the 80's "Club 13" because one game in San Francisco where the line was so bad the team only had 13 yards on the ground, but outside of that they had very few bad games. O'Hara, Diehl, Snee, McKenzee, and Seubert are the new Club 13. This is the best Giants O line in years. It will be a battle against the dominating Pittsburgh D-line. Good defense, usually beats good offense however. We will see.
No prediction. I'm superstitious again. Yes, Knicks season is starting.