The next three weeks are critical for the Steelers � that much is certain. What is also critical for the Steelers is to get off the snide of losing to teams they should beat but have no interest in.
This is a Steeler tradition.
Maybe it�s bad Karma or something but the Steelers always seem to lose the obscure games against "unusual" opponents. This year, they have lost to the Eagles and may even lose Sunday to the Giants.
It was Green Bay during our last Super Bowl year. It was Minnesota in a huge blowout in the early nineties at three Rivers where the Steelers turned the ball over some 7 times. It was Seattle during the 80s and a crushing, 35-0 lose to San Diego in the 70s. And who can forget the Jacksonville Jaguars upsetting the Steelers in their first ever game.
Teams that the Steelers don�t face much relatively speaking and/or they don�t have much hatred for give them all kinds of trouble at inopportune times of the year.
Why dies this happen?
Who cares? But the Giants could march all over the Steelers if they are not fired up to play this game. It is my fear that this will be the case. Much like the Eagles, the Giants rely on a good defense and a methodical offense.
In other words � a plain-Jane, vanilla team that could beat us bad.
The Giants running attack is solid � Dayne can pound the ball and Barber is one of the best scat-type backs in the league. If Gildon decides to drift to far inside and forgets about containment � it will be a long day for the Steelers.
Even though the Steelers are boasting a very good road record at 4-2 and the Giants are a mere 3-3 at home, this is not much of an edge.
Yet, even more impressive is the fact that the Steelers are 3-4 versus playoff bound teams with three of those loses coming in the waning seconds � one in overtime. The Giants, on the other hand, have only beaten one playoff bound team � the Eagles twice.
This sort of tough competition through out the year should have this prepared the Steelers to avoid the bad Karma that has plagued them in the past.
If it has not, well, have you heard the Super Mario is making a comeback�?
Still, it has been an exciting campaign for Pittsburgh and � with a win Sunday � there record against playoff bound teams will be pretty good at 4-4.
Perhaps this will earn them the respect they seek. Hopefully this will be motivation enough.