Stillers-Giants Post-mortem Report
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed the first three possessions. When I tuned in, the Giants were up 3-0. Shortly, the Giants had doubled their lead but, after watching just a few plays, it was evident to me that this game was "not as close as the scoreboard indicated."
Late in the second quarter though, there was a nano-sized shift in momentum. With the Steelers down 13-0 and facing fourth down at about the NY 40, Coach Cowher went for it. Although the offense failed to move the sticks, this was a good decision. Cowher showed some faith in his defense (God knows they'd given little cause) and the D did respond, forcing a 3 and out.
The Steelers drove 57 yards, aided by a 40 yard PI penalty, and Kris made his lonely field goal.
Now, the Steelers were within 10 and would receive the ball to start the second half. At this point, I thought Pitts. could make a game of it and, after the KO, they did move down the field. However, Shaw's whiff on a well-thrown ball forced the Steelers to go for 3. When K. Brown went wide left, whatever momentum the Steelers may have been generating left, too.
If Shaw makes the catch, maybe the Steelers score and (maybe) with the count 13-10, this is a different game. Maybe window glass will turn to diamonds. The Steelers lost this game on merit; they got their asses beat up on both sides of the ball. Every skill position player had to make every play every time just to keep this game close. The Giants DL defeated the Steelers OL; the Giants OL defeated the Steelers FR.7.
There is one key to this game. It is that the Giants could pressure the QB with a 4 man rush and the Steelers could not. Collins had all day to throw; Kordell gained that luxury in the 4th quarter.
Note that: Late in the game, Kordell moved the Steelers against the Giants prevent. What Collins faced all day was exactly as soft as any half-dumb prevent scheme could be. In their base, the Stillers DB pIay off; Kerry could take 1 to 3 step drops and have open WR anytime. By my count, the Stillers sent more than 4 rushers 3 times. Battles got home once; the other 2 plays brought some pressure. When Pitts. sent 4, they got pressure twice.
Of course, no discussion concerning the Steelers is complete until Kordell gets dissected. Here are some key points:
1. Kordell doesn't play defense. Today, with the exception of Earl Holmes, no Steeler played much defense.
2. Kordell threw for over 200 yards, about 80 yards in the 4th quarter when the Giants were playing soft. I counted 4 drops; 2 by Shaw were very costly. Kordell's production against the NYG prevent approximated Jeff George's when the Giants ate the Skins last week: 2 drives with 1 TD. Kordell's production against the Giants base D far exceeded what B. Johnson could muster in that game. Kordell threw well, generally made good decisions, made no impact runs.
3. The leadership factor, much touted in official sources and much desired here, was nowhere to be found. Not a lot of leadership anywhere, whether on the field or the sidelines. You can fry Washington for letting Toomer slip late; you can fry Scott for allowing Hilliard's catch and run but, you know, a man gets tired covering for 5-8 seconds play after play after play. The Steelers problems were up front today and that is where they have been all season.