Giants vs. Steelers: 3 things to watch

Solving Dick LeBeau's complicated 3-4 defense will be key for the Giants.

The Giants have to somehow change their attention from Hurricane Sandy to a tough Steelers team this Sunday. Few teams have the mental toughness to do that, but Tom Coughlin’s bunch is one of them. No doubt they’ll be playing with the added emotion of an entire city behind them.

What to watch for …

1. Can the Giants corral Big Ben?

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is one of the toughest players to sack, mainly because at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he has freakish strength. But he’s also the best in the league at extending plays with his feet and using his legendary pump-fake. The Giants have struggled for most of the year at getting to the quarterback. They’ve tallied 21 sacks through eight games, but seven of those came in the last two weeks. If Big Blue can’t get to Big Ben, it could make for a long day for the home team.       

2. Footballs will be filling the sky

Neither Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning (36.65 attempts per game) nor Roethlisberger (38.2 attempts per game) are shy about putting up attempts, so look for the two to be key influences on the outcome of the game. This is especially true for Roethlisberger going against a Giants’ secondary that has been lit up on occasion this season. Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo threw for a jaw-dropping 437 yards last week against a secondary that has struggled with injuries. Starting corners Prince Amukamara and Corey Webster haven’t looked all that good this season, and the safeties — save for the red-hot Stevie Brown — haven’t been much better and are now battling injuries (Antrel Rolle, concussion and Kenny Phillips, knee).
    
3. Can the Giants’ struggling red-zone offense penetrate the 3-4 defense?

Steelers’ defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is basically the founding father of today’s exotic zone-blitz scheme. And while the Giants have faced the 3-4 front five times (including twice against the Cowboys), they haven’t seen anything like the looks the Steelers show. Pittsburgh is bound to blitz from any angle within the linebacker and secondary groups, especially in the red zone where space is limited and receivers can’t easily adjust their routes. Manning has seen lots of coverages in his career, but he rarely faces the Steelers’ defense — one that mixes man and zone coverages off its blitzing scheme better than anyone. He’ll need to be on the same wavelength as his wideouts if they’re to shake their red-zone doldrums and make Pittsburgh pay for their aggressiveness.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."