Ben Roethlisberger receives an inordinate amount of credit weekly for his ability to stand tall in the pocket, take a hit, and deliver a strike downfield.
On Sunday, the Giants have to make that strength his downfall.
He’s been sacked 19 times and lost three fumbles. Some of that should be attributed to his offensive line’s mediocre play, but Big Ben deserves some blame too. In the game against Philadelphia, he struggled to recognize the pass rush and failed to get the ball out in time. As a result, he was sacked eight times by the Eagles' defense and fumbled twice.
This is where Mathias Kiwanuka comes in. He’s going to be coming in from Roethlisberger’s blind side. If Roethlisberger holds the ball too long, Kiwanuka has to be the guy that comes in from behind, pokes the ball out, and give the Giants defense the chance to fall on the ball.
With a sloppy field projected from Saturday’s rain and the physical nature both defenses present, it’s going to be a field position game. Turnovers will be paramount.
With the exception of a poor outing against Cleveland, Eli Manning has been effective in not giving the ball to the other team. He hasn’t lost a fumble this season and has thrown four interceptions, three in one game. This type of ball security is imperative if the Giants plan on winning on Sunday.
The Giants should also send the safeties and corners off the edge. The zone blitz may not be as effective, because Roethlisberger is usually patient enough to recognize defensive linemen dropping into coverage, so he won’t force it into that coverage. In order for the blitz to reach Roethlisberger, it can’t contain gimmicks. Just a straight blitz.
The Giants pass defense over the middle has looked like the Red Sea the last couple of games. The score didn’t reflect that in the 49ers game, as Michael Johnson came up with a couple of interceptions that prevented further scoring, but it was fully exposed against Cleveland.
Tom Coughlin and company did the right thing benching Aaron Ross during the 49ers game. He’s a good player, but he’s young and virtually every young corner back has their bumps early on in their career.
The thing that concerns me about the Giants secondary is that there is no veteran prescence starting. There’s a lot of young talent, but not staple that can hold them together. At least they have been activating Sam Madison of late, so he can go in the game on select occasions.
Enjoy this game Giants fans. Out of conference games against great opponents are the most exciting matchups of the year. 4:15, game of the week, it’s going to be a really fun game. The Steelers are a great opponent and the Giants match up very well against them. With the sloppy field and physical nature of both teams, hopefully there won’t be any major injuries.