Excerpt: "The story lines are well documented, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning were drafted in the 2004 NFL draft and have seen unparalleled success in the since they entered the league, winning a combined four Super Bowls and appearing in five. Both teams are historic franchises with well-respected ownership and terrific coaches, but these teams are not your fathers Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants.
These are big-play offenses and vulnerable defenses, and Sunday's game very likely will be a different game than the last time they meant when it took a safety for the Giants to get a victory over the Steelers in a low-scoring affair.
I'm back at the Beyond the Box Score this week though I'm combining it with my weekly Scouting Report this time. I first want to take a look back at the film before I see what the raw numbers say.
I went back and watched the Steelers game vs. the Bengals from Week 7 because the Bengals have some similarities to the Giants and the Giants also play the Bengals next week, so it was kind of a two birds with one stone thing. The Bengals run a 4-3 base defense, and like to rush four and drop seven into coverage while occasionally mixing in blitzes, and that is because they have a pretty good stable of pass rushers (the best one is defensive tackle Geno Atkins), the Bengals have a top wide receiver who requires double coverage, and they also have been having some issues at cornerback.
The first thing I noticed about the Steelers is that they are susceptible to the run game. On the Bengals' opening drive they marched the ball right down the field for a rushing touchdown, on the last five plays of the Bengals ran the ball right at the Steelers. Here are two of those final runs." Read more...