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Two Game Changers From Sunday Loss to New York

There is plenty of blame to go around for yesterday’s 21-14 loss to the Giants. From an O-line that couldn’t pass block, to a defense that played well but gave up some big fourth quarter plays, there was just not enough to bail the Steelers out and walk away with their fourth straight win and a 6-1 record.

Looking back, there were two key plays that come to mind that in the end doomed this football team. Agree or not, these are the two plays that in my mind, changed that game and did in the team.

1. The Steelers are up 14-9, and have the ball at the Steelers 47 and are driving. On a 1st-and-10, they take a shot downfield and Ben Roethlisberger connects with Nate Washington on a perfect pass and catch that results in a 53-yard Steelers TD. However, the play comes back as Willie Colon is called for holding. Four plays later, the Steelers punt. Colon doesn’t hold, and it’s 21-9 and the Steelers likely ride to a win.

2. The other play that I thought turned the game was the muffed snap on the punt that tied the game. While by that point the Giants clearly had the momentum, the Steelers at least still had a lead then, and if Mitch Berger is able to at least get the ball to the 50, the Steelers have a shot with their defense to come out and make a play. Instead, the Greg Warren injury was huge, in that it made James Harrison fill in as the back-up long snapper, and the ball sailed over Berger’s head and out of the end zone for two points that tied the game at 14.

So while there were other plays that cost this team a victory, those two pop in my head as two key plays that in the end, allowed the G-Men to walk out of Hinez Field with a victory.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. Joe d

    October 27, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    The pass blocking was not that bad. Either the coverage was good or the recievers were not getting open due to lack of expierience. Ben has to release the ball sooner. He holds it way too long. The Giants should have only had 2 sacks. I also think the pass on 4th down that Eli threw was a key play.

  2. Jeffrey Lindsay

    October 28, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Hi I saw the game and I thought the loss was due to the QB tossing 4 ints. and that the 3rd downs were 1 for 10 and that the 4th downs were 0 for 4 the qb had plenty of guys to throw to besides having santonio holmes sitting on the bench for his dumb mistake getting caught with marijuana the defense did their jobs the offense gave it to the giants

  3. moparsteel

    October 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    maybe if the steelers had gone for a feild goal instead of tring to go for it on 4th down they might of gotten some momentem back with a 17-9 lead

  4. Collin

    October 28, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    They almost had to go for it on that 4th down because Greg Warren had already been injured. Nobody could reliably get the ball back to the holder for the try. It would have been really interesting had they been able to score a touchdown on the last drive though. It most likely would have led to a 2 point try for the win.

  5. Rob

    October 29, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I thought the defense played a phenomenal game. Keeping the Giants, that have a good passing game and a great running game, out of the end zone on 5 of 6 trips into the red zone, can’t be applauded enough. Also, there is not another QB in the league–including Peyton Manning AND Tom Brady— that I would rather have when a play breaks down, that Roethlisberger. He gets a lot of sh%^&%& for holding the ball too long or taking sacks but he MAKES things happen a lot more than he causes problems. He should get more credit. Most games he has passer ratings over 100 and I think he gets every drop of production that the offense has to give most games. Give him some props.

  6. Jay Sabo

    October 30, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I agree with Rob. And, although Ben does hold onto the ball a lot, he (1) seems to flourish better when he calls his own plays in lieu of the jughead O-coordinator we have and (2) does pretty well considering…What would Peyton or Tom do if they had to run around as much as Ben?!? I agree with the arguments that Ben holds onto the ball to a point but c’mon, this is by far our best QB since Bradshaw (and maybe even better—who knows at this point?) and we’re going to stinking split hairs over his holding onto the ball when our only high round offensive lineman draft pick, Kendall Simmons, sucks and has underachieved most of his career! When will management put good lineman around Ben so that he CAN hold onto the ball like Tom or Peyton. I do realize, in light of my own comments, that there is more synergy in pass protection than I alluded to but it STARTS with the O-line and trickles down from there. We need better players on that line plain and simple and then we can worry about addressing Arians (which needs to be addressed btw) and holding the ball too long!

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