10-22-2008, 08:47 AM
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Steelers vs. Giants - A lesson in physics
Prepare for battle gentlemen.
Line keeping Giants on run
PITTSBURGH - Physics teachers everywhere should make Sunday's game between the Steelers and New York Giants a must-watch event for their students.
It will be a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
The Giants (5-1) bring the NFL's best rushing attack to Heinz Field Sunday to face the top-rated defense of the Steelers (5-1).
The defending Super Bowl champion Giants, who average 169.7 rushing yards per game and an amazing 5.7 per carry, don't just do it with one ball carrier. They've got a three-pronged rushing attack that drains the life out of a defense.
Battering ram Brandon Jacobs is the leader and ranks seventh in the league with 516 yards on 96 attempts. The 6-4, 265-pound back is bigger than most linebackers and has six touchdowns.
Backup Derrick Ward is a shifty runner who has 337 yards on just 47 carries (7.2 yards per carry).
And third-down back Ahmad Bradshaw has 146 yards on 26 carries, a 5.7-yard average.
Pittsburgh's defense is second in the NFL against the run, allowing only 69.7 yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry.
As with all rushing attacks, things start for the Giants with their offensive line.
"This group is spectacular. It's fun to watch," said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. "It would be more fun to watch if we weren't playing them this week. ... I think they're not only the best line in football, but best line I've seen in quite some time."
The Steelers will get a boost on defense this week as Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton is expected to return after missing the last four games with a groin injury. Strong safety Troy Polamalu also is expected to play despite suffering a concussion in Sunday's 38-10 victory at Cincinnati.
"That decision's very easy," Tomlin said about Polamalu's status. "We do what the doctors tell us to do. The tests are favorable and we'll continue to test him throughout the week."
The Steelers need all of their run-stoppers to slow the Giants, who have and NFL-best 11 runs of 20 or more yards.
The Steelers are the only team in the league that has not allowed a run of 20 yards this season.
Pittsburgh will have to get to Jacobs before he gets going, otherwise it could be troublesome bringing him down in the secondary.
"A lot of times, he's long-striding through holes three yards into the line of scrimmage," said Tomlin. "Then you've got a problem."
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer
If I could be like that,
what would I do,
What would I do..."
~ 3 Doors Down