What was once a strength, turned into a major weakness Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers punched huge holes in the Giants’ special teams coverages all afternoon.
While the Giants defense did everything they could to keep Big Ben & Co. quite, the Giants’ special teams seemed to do everything they could to reverse that very game plan. Although the Giants defense relinquished a 10-point lead and the game in the fourth quarter, it was the lack of special teams coverage that set the Steelers up for those scores all afternoon.
Pittsburgh’s’ kick returner Chris Rainey looked like Devin Hester in his prime, totaling 173 yards on five returns-that’s 36.3 yards per return. The Steelers seemed to start with great field position on every series, thanks to special teams plays of 68-yards, and 63-yards on kickoff and punt returns.
Although Pittsburgh didn’t always capitalize on their returns, it did help them win the battle of field position all afternoon.
On a day where Eli Manning needed all the help he could get amidst his offensive struggles, the special teams offered none of it. Even when Pittsburgh didn’t score, they were able to keep New York’s starting drives on the opposite side of the plus-yardage.
The 249-total return yards for the Steelers is a sharp contrast to the 100-yards amassed on the Giants’ kick returns. As for the punt returns, Reuben Randle and the Giants totaled not a single yard.
– written by Kyle McMorrow – Featured Columnist