The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Giants 24-20 Sunday at MetLife Stadium and are now 5-3 on the season. Below are the players, or group of players, that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game.
Isaac Redman – If 147 yards rushing on 26 carries to go along with the game winning touchdown can\’t get a player in the winner section, I don\’t know what can. Redman had help from the offensive line, but his bullish running style resulted in several yards after first contact. It should be noted that 109 of his rushing yards came on 1st down. Redman showed no ill-effects of the ankle injury that sidelined him the last two games.
Defense – The entire defense played great and they held the Giants offense to 125 yards passing and 68 yards rushing. In crunch time they forced three straight three and outs on the Giants last three possessions. They recorded a turnover, two sacks, and was able to get at least some pressure on Eli Manning in the game. The domination would have been to another degree had they referees not changed the game in the second quarter.
Return Team – Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Sanders produced 249 hidden yards via kickoff and punt returns and the lone offensive return penalty on Leonard Pope was very forgivable. The offense didn\’t take advantage of the hidden yardage, but at least the field stay flipped because of them.
Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery came off of the bench after Antonio Brown left injured and recorded four catches for 50 yards. Three of his catches moved the chains and he had several nice blocks that helped the running game out.
Mike Wallace – Sure he had a drop in this game, but his catch and run outside for a touchdown was a huge turning point in the game. There are not many wide receivers in the league that score on that play, but he did. Speed kills and he continues to show that he is not a one-trick pony.
Bill Leavy Crew – If this needs any explanation, then you didn\’t see the game. The phantom pass interference call on Keenan Lewis was horrible and they followed up later in the drive with a bogus helmet-to-helmet penalty on Ryan Clark for his shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Victor Cruz in the end zone. The fumble by Ben Roethlisberger should have at the very least resulted with Giants having possession deep in the Steelers end after they missed a block in the back on the return. The play should have been ruled incomplete under the “tuck rule” and the Giants basically had 14 points thanks to them.
Mike Adams – Adams allowed two sacks of Roethlisberger and he was beaten badly on both of them. That is enough for him to land here despite some pretty good run blocking.
Mike Tomlin – The fake field goal call on the road in lieu of a chip shot that would have tied the game is inexcusable. Even had the play worked, I would have questioned the call. Luckily the defense bailed him out.