Third-string RB Isaac Redman embarrasses Giants' defense
It will surely be an uncomfortable time in the film room for the Giants' defense Monday, watching play after play in which Steelers running back Isaac Redman -- the third-string back for Pittsburgh, which was without Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer -- kept piling up yards after contact, plowing through arm tackles and Giants defenders all too often.
"That's something you know you have to do from the time you're 9 years old out on a football field," Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich said. "It's frustrating, and it's something you just have to have that extra effort. It's about effort and finishing the play longer than them and we didn't really do that."
Redman and the Steelers' offensive line did do that, and Redman's 147 rushing yards -- by far a career high for the fourth-year back, who had just 127 rushing yards total this season coming in -- were the difference in the Steelers' win.
Pittsburgh has been more of a pass-heavy team this season than in years past with coach Mike Tomlin at the helm and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, partly because of the rotating cast of backs and some tentative play from the offensive line. But they were pounding the ball Sunday, doing nothing fancy with Redman, and the Giants could not get a key stop, especially late.
"They didn't do anything we didn't see on film," linebacker Michael Boley said. "We knew they were going to come in here, try to establish the run, and we just didn't stop it. A lot of aspects of the game were not Giant football and obviously it showed."
Redman had 87 yards in the first half, even as the Giants' pass rush kept Roethlisberger in check. The tackling effort was better for much of the second half, but on third-and-2 from the Giants' 9, Redman bulled through for a huge 8-yard gain, then plowed in from the 1 for the go-ahead score with 4:02 remaining.
His 28-yard run just before the two-minute warning sealed the deal. The Giants were out of timeouts, so they were headed to defeat, but Redman getting through the first level of defenders yet again added further insult.
"It's unacceptable as a defense and we will clean it up," Antrel Rolle said. "He kept getting to the second level. We have to do a better job as a unit. You can't single out any unit -- defensive line, linebackers, secondary -- you can't single anyone out. It was a collective group effort."
And it will be a collective breakdown Monday of all the Giants' defensive failures to wrap up and bring down an opposing runner. This wasn't LeSean McCoy eluding defenders or Alfred Morris taking handoffs from an old-school option set designed to confuse. This was a 6-foot, 230-pound back barreling through "A" gaps, daring the Giants to bring him down.
"It was not a complicated affair," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "The ball was just going straight up in there."