Friday, November 2, 2012

Looking ahead to the Steelers

First a few interesting notes about Giants injuries:

Blackburn is out of practice with a hamstring and they can take a little while to heal. He may not be ready so it looks like Herzlich will get a start this week against the Steelers. It might be a good match up since the Steelers have a very good TE in Heath Miller who Big Ben will undoubtedly target after Witten's big game last week against Giants secondary. Herzlich is more athletic and might do a better job in pass coverage. Of course the MLB comes off the field when Giants go to nickel coverage and the Steelers play a lot of 3-WR looks, so Herzlich may not get as much ice time as we think.

In a slightly surprising move, Diehl has reclaimed his starting RT job and Locklear is moving to the bench. Locklear has been playing fairly well, though certainly not great. But Diehl was not playing well at all, IMO when he was healthy. The OL has been going pretty well, I don't know why the Giants coaches would try to fix what ain't broken.

Kenny Phillips has been practicing fully this week and may be ready to come back. Rolle is still not practicing with his concussion symptoms but also may be ready to play by Sunday. This means that Stevie Brown may make his way back to the bench. It makes perfect sense: why shouldn't the Giants bench the best secondary player they've had this year. (???) Will Hill might come back soon also, this is the last week of his suspension. I really think with the emergence of Brown that Tyler Sash's roster spot might be in jeopardy, although with the way Reese's draft picks get protected, it might be Tryon that goes instead.

Steelers can't get a hotel for their players because of lack of hotel space due to hurricane Katrina, er I mean Sandy, so they're flying in Sunday morning. (If NBA commish David Stern can do it, so can I.)  I don't know what the big fuss is; business people do this all the time..... fly in to a city in the morning, have their meetings and fly back at night.

Giants need their WRs to play better than they have last two weeks. Cowboys DBs got away with a lot of holding last week, but still the Giants WRs have to win their one on one battles to give Eli some targets to throw to. It will be interesting to see if the league tries to copy the tactic that the Cowboys used against the Giants WRs. We'll see starting this Sunday. To defeat that tactic, Giants have to get a good release off the line and take some shots deep. This has been hard to do with Nicks somewhat limited;the hope is that he will get healthier week by week. Giants also need to use their TE in the middle of the field to attack the S position and open things up for the WRs. With Polamalu out this is particularly important. Pascoe appears injured so we may get a first real sighting of rookie TE Adrien Robinson, who has only been dressed for games two weeks this year and has seen the field for only a few snaps. 

Steelers have a very good offense and their QB, always a very good player, is playing particularly well this year, apparently adapting well to the new OC's offense. This will be a real test for Giants defense. Steelers defense is ranked high statistically, so the Steelers should be a real tough match up, with both a proficient offense and a strong defense. However, they are 4-3 in a weaker AFC conference for a reason. For one thing, defensive statistics can be misleading, because they are so dependent on the overall flow of the game. We'll have to see how they do Sunday.

One holdover note from the Cowboys game: Canty played really well and the Giants defense badly missed him when he was out - I forgot how good he really was.  He will be very important against the Steelers that have some questions about their interior OL. We all expected Marvin Austin to be a star and he has been barely seen, with Markus Kuhn getting in on the regular DL rotation and Austin hardly playing. When Bernard comes back and the Giants have Canty, Joseph, Bernard and Kuhn, Austin's role will diminish even more.


Gablowo said...

UGH. Ugly, ugly game.

wolfman said...

very sage analysis