The Giants finished the first half of their season with two nail-bighters against their two divisional foes, the Redskins and the Cowboys. Despite the dramatic endings of both games, the Giants won them both and have comfortable lead in the NFC East with a 6-2 record. However, we hope the Giants aren’t comfortable with their lead, because they have a history of regressing in the second half of the season. Today the Giants will open the second half of their season against the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite their average record, the Steelers still have one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL, which is led by the best pass defense in the NFL through the first eight weeks. Eli Manning will need to be at top form if the Giants expect to win this game through the air.
When it comes to injuries, the Giants are still relatively lucky, they will likely have depth at the defensive tackle position for the first time this season with Bernard and Canty both suiting up, but three linebackers; Blackburn, Rivers, and Williams; are likely all going to sit this game out with injuries. Mark Herzlich will get the start in-place of the injured Chase Blackburn. While the Giants do have a few injuries to deal with, they should consider themselves fortunate by comparison to the Steelers. The Steelers will be without their play making safety Troy Polamalu, running back Rashard Mendenhall, tackle Marcus Gilbert, and LB Stevenson Sylvester. Palamalu being out of the game will make it easier for Eli and the Giants receivers.
Rich is unable to make the game preview this week, and because he always gives a prediction, we will follow suit and try to give his pessimistic prediction: Loss 17-31.