To be honest, I could give a rat’s brown about the handicapping of the Steelers vs the Cardinals. To me, it is all about listening to Phil Simms talk football. He does not talk down to the fans, he tells it like it is and either you get it or you don’t. Simms is the teacher and I (we, if you agree) am the student. He is constantly educating us on how football works, and boy do we get a steady dose of it in his chat with Francesa yesterday.
The advantage of listening to Phil Simms this weekend is that the Giants have played both teams. You learn more about the Giants when you hear about them tangentially. For instance, Simms talks about how the Steelers defense is lining up vs the Cardinals with 7 men in the box, and he adds that only two times this year did the Steelers not use 7 men to stop the run. (1) vs the Titans and (2) A LOT more “cheating” vs the Giants. Simms mentioned as an aside how the 2008 Giants were one of the best running teams he has ever seen.
What does not add up here?
Everyone would give their left brown for having one of the best running games ever. And yet we ground to a halt. It was all #17′s fault. Right, and I am the Easter Bunny.
Let’s rewind the tape for a moment and go back to the Giants-Steelers game. This was one of those nitpickers specials, where the team won 21-14 and yours truly was going browning nuts in the middle of the game, saying clearly that the Giants win DESPITE that meathead. So now, THREE MONTHS LATER, we get some perspective from Simms, how the Steelers were cheating and loading the box to stop the run, and how we saw a Steeler defense with 8 men (which is like any other team with NINE) making the Giants go to the air. And let’s remember, what else happened in this game? How about 5 trips to the red zone with 4 FGs?!!! And this game was WITH Burress. We FINALLY saw the play action to a wide open TE Boss in the end zone on the 6th trip in there.
And a remark about that word by Simms called “cheating.” What Simms did NOT say which I know he MEANT (to say) was that it was a Steelers defense that was there with 8 men in the box and there were 2 others with a half a step ready to make it TEN men in the box. They were playing to stop the run all day, especially in those red zone tight situations where the field was shortened and they could gamble and use their speed to recover quickly if they took a half step the wrong way. Play action punished the gamble because the half step cheaters became one and a half step VIOLATORS.
James Allen: There’s nothing wrong with Jacobs per se, but when the entire world knows you are handing it to Jacobs on 3rd or 4th and 1 and they stack 8 in the box and predictably stuff it, it shows they should mix it up a bit more in short yardage.
In the end they are probably going to win this game, and the 4th quarter will make most people forget the first three. Let’s hope the Giants and Gilbride look at the 4th quarter film and do more of that.
Here it is October, and we already know exactly who the enemy is. This may be a redundant story, but when we see it from more angles, with more corroboration, it simply solidifies what we know.