Super Genius prediction: Steelers, 24-21. Final score: Steelers, 24-20. Just a microcosm of what life is like when your tested IQ is 166.
Statistically, it’s easy to see why the Steelers won.
The New York Giants gained just 182 total yards and had the ball for just 24:45. Eli Manning had a nightmare (41.1 passer rating). Isaac Redman rushed for 147 yards. Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t perfect, but had ice water running through his veins when it mattered. Mike Wallace’s 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown came out of nowhere. Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Sanders helped via big returns.
The dink and dunk offense manufactured a fourth-quarter comeback. The defense finished. The Steelers proved a lot on both sides of the ball.
But three things happened I still don’t understand:
*The personal foul on Ryan Clark was a borderline call. Clark’s hit was a bit late. It wasn’t high. The question is: WHY DID HE DO IT? That hit was unnecessary, and Clark does it all the time. It gave the Giants 7 points instead of 3. What’s the upside? What motivates Clark? And how did Victor Cruz get bruised ribs from a blow to the head? (Clark, BTW, is Steelers' defensive MVP so far this season.)
*I disagree with the call on Ben’s fumble. Explain it a million times and show a million replays, and I still think it’s wrong. The ball was in Ben’s hand. His arm was moving forward. Oh, his grip was loose? That’s why it’s a fumble? That opens a lot of doors. Every time a QB doesn’t have maximum control of the ball when he throws a pass, it can be interpreted as a fumble. Or maybe the NFL just wanted New York to win.
*If the Steelers had lost, Mike Tomlin would have been CRUCIFIED for his fourth-quarter fake field-goal attempt. Kick for the tie, or go for the touchdown behind Ben’s arm or Redman’s legs. Don’t flip the ball to your skinny-ass kicker. The Steelers were POUNDING the Giants physically. Why resort to trickery?
Given those factors, I can’t believe the Steelers won. But win they did. If you can generate momentum in a sport that takes a week off between games, the Steelers did. It was a triumph of the will. The Giants tried to punch with the Steelers and got KO’d.
On Fox, Terry Bradshaw described a zigzagging run by Miami’s Reggie Bush thusly: “Like he was chasing that bucket of chicken.” Uh-oh. Terry may get KO’d, too.