Steelers-Giants: Injuries Catch Up with the Steelers

Charlie CoxCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2008

Pittsburgh, PA-How many red-zone stands can a defense make? The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense held up the Giants' powerful offense the entire game—four times from inside the 10-yard line, and even on a 3rd-and-goal and 4th-and-goal.

Yet, the limit was set after James Harrison's high snap to punter Mitch Berger that led to a safety and a Giants' red-zone TD.

Pittsburgh entered the game plagued with injuries: RB Willie Parker, LT Marvel Smith, RB Rashard Mendenhall, and CB Bryant McFadden. FS Ryan Clark and LS Greg Warren went down and left later in the game, resulting in two costly plays, and Mitch Berger suffered a pulled hamstring, yet stayed in.

The Steelers also suffered a loss at WR; Santonio Holmes received a one-game team suspension from getting caught with marijuana.

Pittsburgh began the game strong, limiting the Giants to a first-possession field goal and scoring on their first drive, a 32-yard run by Mewelde Moore.

The defense continued to hold up, despite the advantageous field position granted to the Giants, giving John Carney a field day of four field goals.

The Steelers went into the half down 9-7 in a highly anticipated game that quickly became a defensive struggle.

After a third quarter, 70-yard TD strike from Ben Roethlisberger to Nate Washington, the Steelers regained the lead 14-9.

The Steelers stopped the Giants yet again, resulting in John Carney's fourth field goal of the night, narrowing the score to 14-12.

The Steelers went three-and-out on their next possession and were forced to find a replacement long snapper after the starter, Greg Warren, injured his knee. James Harrison, the defensive stud, was ordered to long snap, and delivered the ball over the head of the punter, Mitch Berger, and out of the end zone for a safety.

Berger had to saftey punt, giving the Giants' field position from their own 49. Eli Manning, who had been quiet the whole game, threw his first downfield pass of the night to Amani Toomer, who made a diving catch inside the Steelers' 10-yard line. Tyrone Carter, playing for the injured Ryan Clark, closed just too soon, allowing Toomer to make the reception.

Manning hooked up with TE Kevin Boss two plays later for the go-ahead score, 21-14.

The Steelers failed to convert on two drives, leading to their second loss of the season and the Giants' sixth win. Both teams are atop their division.


Game Notes

The Steelers are suffering inactive pains. Both starters Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes were inactive for the day, both of whom could have made game-changing plays. Nate Washington and Mewelde Moore both filled in quite well, with a touchdown each.

Limas Sweed got his first NFL reception and totaled two on the night for just under 20 yards.

Hines Ward had a drawl game of only a couple receptions and just over 30 yards. His bounty was not fulfilled.

Ryan Clark, Greg Warren, and Mitch Berger were all injured in the game. Berger was the only to stay in. Status on all is unknown as of now.


Author's Opinion

The game should have been an easy win for the Steelers. Despite having no sacks or interceptions, they defensively dominated. The offense started strong both halves, but seemed to digress and let up. Roethlisberger's four interceptions didn't help, and neither did the safety, which ultimately was the game-changing play.

The Giants' offense was very quiet and slow developing, metaphorically like a monotone of play. Through mistakes, the Steelers beat themselves and have no one else to blame. It should have been an easy win, and the schedule doesn't get any easier.

The Roethlisberger-Manning argument shall be skewed in the eyes of the biased this game. Roethlisberger, in my opinion, and yes I am a Steeler fan, is still the better of the two. He commands poise and is a leader and playmaker.

Manning, once again in my opinion, is overrated and is given too much credit. He lucked out in the Super Bowl run by being granted with an amazing defense. Roethlisberger is the better quarterback and will prove to be in the long run.