Steelers @ Giants, Week 9
by Peter Damilatis | 2012/11/02
Mike Adams vs. Justin Tuck
Few positional groups have been as scrutinized over the past few seasons as the Steelers’ offensive line. We graded them with the second-worst Pass Blocking Efficiency in 2010, and they were still below-average last year. After first-round pick David DeCastro tore his MCL in the preseason, hopes for any improvement this year grew dim. However the unit has done well, partially thanks to their other top draft pick, Mike Adams. In two starts since right tackle Marcus Gilbert injured his ankle, the rookie out of Ohio State has allowed just four QB pressures on 76 pass-block snaps. He’s also earned a +1.7 run block grade over the past two weeks, as the Steelers had 25 rushes for 164 yards to his side.
Adams may face his toughest test yet this Sunday in Justin Tuck, depending on which version of the DE shows up. In 24 starts over the past two seasons, Tuck has earned a grade of -1.0 or worse in eight games, and a grade of +1.0 or better in six. After catching fire during the Giants’ playoff run last season, the veteran defensive end has been inconsistent again this season. He didn’t tally his first QB pressure until Week 3, and seven of his 17 pressures came in one game against the 49ers. However, his 9.0 Run Stop % is the fourth-highest mark among 4-3 DEs. If Tuck rediscovers his dominance, then he could overmatch the rookie. But if the veteran doesn’t bring his top game, Adams will continue his hot streak.