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Author Topic: Week 08 - Oct. 26 vs. New York Giants  (Read 9051 times)
aj_law
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« on: Sep 08, 2008 at 15:05 »

:finger:  
« Last Edit: Oct 05, 2008 at 11:25 by Robotman » Logged

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DCSteelers
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 23:08 »

Lots of cover 2 for this game.  We need to bottle up Jacobs and be aware of Plax/Hixon on the corners.  Maybe the most balanced team we'll face this year.  Huge loss if Troy is out this game.  It's his type of game.

I'm not as worried about us on O, but it'll obviously be a stronger test for our O-line.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 23:24 »

Lots of cover 2 for this game.  We need to bottle up Jacobs and be aware of Plax/Hixon on the corners.  Maybe the most balanced team we'll face this year.  Huge loss if Troy is out this game.  It's his type of game.

I'm not as worried about us on O, but it'll obviously be a stronger test for our O-line.

If we only give up 2 sacks, I'll expect a win. 

We haven't seen a back like Jacobs yet, and I suspect this is the week Coughlin takes the wraps off him. 

I should think this game opens at even, or Giants giving a point or two.  Alot of NY money gonna want to play the Giants at a reasonable price.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 23:55 »

Gints have only given up 6 sacks plus can bring the pressure on defense.  2nd only to the men in black n gold in defensive sacks.  thank god this one is at home.

i will be pleased as punch if we only give up 2 sacks.

Is parker ready to roll this one or not?  wouldnt mind seeing MM get the call again.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 21, 2008 at 08:12 »

Definitely would be nice to have Troy in the middle.  I was thinking he'd play a key role in defending Plax.  Couple of good shots to bring out the alligator arms.

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 22, 2008 at 13:42 »

Very balanced team we face.  I think the Giants passing game can be a little uneven, but they run the ball well and have weapons all over the place.  8 rushing TDs, 9 passing.  6 of those rushing TDs from Jacobs.  I really think shutting down the run and forcing Eli to make errors is the short version of it.  Expect Jacobs to gouge us early, get shut down late.  But they also have Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw as nice COP backs.  Cinci held Jacobs to 35 on 14 carries, and Cleveland held him to 67 on 14; that's heartening.  On the flipside, when Jacobs has been held in check, Ward steps up big: 80 on 9 v. Cinci, and 101 on 10 v. Cleveland.  Lesson: if you want to play physical run D, you also need speed.  I think Timmons at the mack might key this.

They have five receivers in triple digit yardage:  Plax, 25-341-3; Steve Smith 26-254-0; Amani Toomer 20-238-1; Domenik Hixon 12-203-1; Derrick Ward 13-116-0.  Their depth will be problematic with McFadden out.  Ike should cover Plax: Deshea is just too small, I'm sorry, and Ike won't let Plax get past.  Townshend on Smith and Gay on Hixon sounds feasible.  I'm a little worried about that Hixon on Gay matchup, and our LBs on Ward.  I think those guys could wind up being the leading receivers, with one blown coverage by DT against Toomer for a TD thrown in.  It's going to depend on our ability to make things happen up front, with the DL clogging lanes and 92 and 56 bringing the edge heat.  Eli's only been sacked 6 times.  Hell, Ben gets sacked 6 times a quarter.

We're allowing 69.7 YPG on the ground, and the Giants 84.5.  That's 2nd and 5th best, respectively.  Through the air, we're allowing 158.7 YPG and the Giants 190.7, 1st and 11th.  Finally, we're allowing 14.9 PPG, 3rd best in the league, and the NYG are allowing 16.9, or 6th best.

All that tells me is that, even with some guys dinged up, our D has to step up and get it done, and they can.  But the Giants just as easily can shut us down.  Their pass D is going up against an offense that's been rather inconsistent, to be charitable.  I don't think we lose much with Moore taking the start, but the passing game has to be more assertive, and has to stake an early lead. 

Our OL has given the illusion of getting their shit together, but even without Strahan and Umenyiora, this will be a test.  Justin Tuck has 5 sacks on the season, and could tee off on Willie Colon, who too often gets burned by speed to the outside.  If Stapleton can handle Barry Cofield straight up, that might free Willie more in space.  I'd think Hartwig will primarily want to double on Fred Robbins, who also has 5 sacks on the year, as he tries to speed around Kemo.  Starks gets Kiwanuka, but I think he's up to it.  Get the TE in chipping against Tuck on the edge.

Their LBs (Antonio Pierce, Gerris Wilkerson) are hurting, so if we can open any running lanes at all, it could be a big day for Moore and whoever totes the rock.  But that's a big if.  I haven't been overly impressed by the run blocking of our guys all year.  Our best bet may be to try to isolate Moore on the outside for short passes, or kick him outside to match speed against the LBs. 

Their corners, Aaron Ross and Corey Webster, are OK, but I don't think they're exceptional.  I wouldn't know their safeties if they walked into a room with a T-shirt saying "I'm a safety for the New York Giants" emblazoned on it. 

The Football Outsiders site has all sorts of stat breakdowns.  They rank our pass D 5th best and rush D 3rd best for a 4th overall best D rating (based on down and distance).  But not adjusting for strength of opponent, we rank 1st.  The Giants, on the other hand, rank 15th, 13th, 13th, and 32nd in those same metrics.  Those are very ordinary numbers, and the league worst unadjusted D really surprises me.  Maybe they are too much a risk-reward team with that DL, and not much behind it, is my point here.

Which says to me if we come out and stake a deep claim down the field early, these guys will be huffing.  Think the '05 playoff run, THAT kind of agressive playcalling.  Nate's got the hot hand, but Santonio has been sorely under-used: get those two on blazing outs first snap of the game.  Then do whatever you can to have the plenitude of quick, blitz-negating plays that we've discussed especially since the Philly debacle, and get our playmakers on their LBs and DBs.  I would throw the ball 10 times to Miller for 8-15 yards up the gut.  When has that play really not worked this year?  I'd get Moore in on empty backfield plays as a receiver.  And when they were on their heels, I'd just feed old faithful, Mr. Jawbreaker hisself. 

Giants have 5 guys in triple-digit receiving, but we have 4:  Hines, 28-376-5; Holmes,  22-360-1;
Heath, 18-188-1, Nate, 15-225-2.  To recap:  Holmes > Plax; Ward > Smith; Washington < Toomer (by 13 yards); Miller < Hixon; and Ward > Moore, our next highest receiver, who has only 68 yards.  Giants are spreading the ball around better, but it is worth noting that Moore hasn't been an active component of this offense long, and is already making an impact.  We have as many weapons as the Giants, but whether it's QB checkdowns or called plays by the OC, we rely more on our primary playmakers.  With Moore and Nate having the hot hand, I think it would behoove us to use them more.

On STs, Hixon and Bradshaw are their return men, and we really have to watch these guys.  I have a bad feeling here, folks.  Our STs have been better than the last couple of years, but we've still seen some guys bring the ball out on us.   

The Giants have had issues with staking early leads.  Consider scores at halftime versus ending scores:  9.4, v. Washington - 16-7, 16-7; 9.14 @ St. Lou - 13-6, 41-13; 9.21 v. Cinci - 10-13; 26-23 (OT); 10.5 v. Seattle - 27-6, 44-6; 10.13 @ Cleve - 14-17; 14-35; 10.19 v. San Fran - 17-10; 29-17.  Of those, the only really impressive first half was versus the godawful Seahawks.  The Washington game, they got 16 and shut down.  They barely scraped by the Rams in the 1H.  They were losing to the Bengals 1H.  They were losing to the Browns 1H.  They barely were ahead of the Niners 1H.  Without recapping all our scores, the Steelers have been similarly unimpressive early in games, save the Texans opener. 

This is especially important, because one commonality of successful playoff teams is that they stake halftime leads.  If you examine playoff teams, they led at halftime 60, 70% of the time.  We may be used to coming back from a deficit due to the magic of Ben, but think about it: teams that need to make up ground have a smaller margin of error.  That's why, when we do start to open a lead in the 3Q of some games, you start to see our D players getting opportunistic: other teams have to resort to higher-risk plays.  The '05 playoff formula affirmed that beautifully: stake a lead, then grind it out with ball-control running and defense.  We may not have that ball-control running game, but if we can get the drop on the G-men, have them down 10 points at the half, I have no doubt Eli will piss away opportunities.

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 22, 2008 at 13:50 »

Oh, and by the way, the AFCN teams have matched up well versus the Giants.  I don't think they've really faced a great defense yet, and our offense is due to break out of its slump.  Two ways the dynamic could unfold: the slugfest, where defenses rule regardless of who has the ball, and 17-14 wins it; or the 2004 giant-killer games, where undefeated New England and Philly rolled into town around Halloween and were utterly demolished. 

Steelers need a signature game, they're at home, they've had a bye week.  I hope that adds up to the latter kind of game.

Somehow, though, I don't see us staking an easy 21-0 lead.  I see the first half being a grindfest, with a 10-7 kind of score, and then the Steelers opening it up, so I'll say 28-17 Steelers.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 23, 2008 at 08:40 »

Re: Football Outsiders' defense metrics.  The 32nd ranking for the Giants is not unadjusted defensive ranking (i.e., taking away strength of sched.), but rather it's variance.  They cleverly hid that fact by labeling the column as... Variance.  D'oh!

What that measures is inconsistency... Giants have had, in other words, the biggest swing of performance, from some pretty good defensive games (Rams) to horrid (Browns).  Variance is something to consider when looking at playoff teams, not sure how relevant it is at this point in the season. 

But it is certainly interesting that the Giants struggled most with two (crappy) AFCN teams.  Wait till they meet the real muscle...


BTW, guess which team has the least variance in the league?  Yep.  We're consistent, which is a good thing.  Houston is number two, which you have to read as "consistently bad."
« Last Edit: Oct 23, 2008 at 08:45 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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DCSteelers
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 24, 2008 at 13:04 »

How sucky things become in one day.  Holmes out for stupidity, Parker now out, Aaron Smith out?

I've been wanting to see more of Dallas Baker and Limas Sweed, but not in this game.
« Last Edit: Oct 24, 2008 at 13:06 by DCSteelers » Logged
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 24, 2008 at 13:15 »

Is Aaron a definite scratch?

What's going on?
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