The Pittsburgh Steelers took on the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon in New Jersey and thanks to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, their travel plans had to be scrapped. Mike Tomlin’s crew flew into town the morning of the game and after a quick detour to a hotel for a meal, they went to the stadium.
No one could have faulted the Steelers if they rolled over for the defending champions. Obviously many of the Giants players have been dealing with the aftermath of Sandy all week, but at they were playing in their home stadium in front of a super-charged crowd ready to pull them over the finish line if they ran out of energy.
On top of the raucous 80,000 fans, the Giants also had plenty of help from the officials throughout the game. A phantom “blow to the head” flag that led to a New York touchdown was followed up with a fumble by Ben Roethlisberger returned for a touchdown, despite replays showing it could have been an incomplete pass.
Instead of giving in to everything going against them, the Steelers buckled down behind the running of Isaac Redman and a solid defense to pick up 24-20 victory.
Now as they move onto next week and a Monday Night Football showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Steelers will find their role reversed. With the Chiefs coming into town riding an ugly five-game losing streak along with calls for both the head coach and general manager to be fired, the Steelers will be expected to win this one going away.
Could all of this be good news for the Chiefs? After such an emotional win, Pittsburgh could be setup for a huge letdown. If the Giants had won Sunday afternoon, you’d see a Steelers team playing with a different sort of intensity on Monday night with sitting two games behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.