The Sports Daily > Ultimate NYG
Nitpickers Convention

1) Al Sharpton on Serby.

2) Joe Namath on the Jets.

3) Ultimatenyg for two years on doing it right. Rule #21 anyone? (and that was after 4 downs in a row with the penalty, not 3.)

4) Rule #8 and Rule #16 were discussed by one of the Ultimatenyg blog’s silent majority, Rob, a charter member of this blog from back when it was an email group of 15-20 Giants fans:

When the defense held Pitt on 4th down, we took over the ball with about two minutes left. One first down wins the game, and a play of 20 yards puts us in FG position.

Why not go for the throat and throw the ball on 1st down? The Steelers are expecting nothing but run. Line up for a run and throw the ball. Trust in Manning that if it isn’t there, he will take the sack and let the clock keep ticking and force the timeout ANYWAY. That is the perfect situation to cross up the defense. And you will have no better chance to succeed.

Instead, after a futile 3 and out, you see Gilbride on the sideline with Manning happy that they are leaving the game in the hands of our defense. Why do that? Why not try to get that next score or even that next first down and win?

That is being aggressive. That is playing to win. Don’t give them that last possession. The great coaches don’t let their opponents have extra chances. They play to win and not to lose.

As for the red zone, why not try a few of those plays with AB/Ward. Speed to the corner is deadly. Plus if you have to respect the corner, you can’t sell out to stack the middle. Let them have to gamble a little bit.

You make everything about you more potent when you are unpredictable. People are late getting to the point of attack, because they have to react instead of anticipate. The linebackers and safeties can’t cheat up because they don’t know if it is a run or pass and consequently, the first contact is a yard further behind the line, and there is more separation for a quality RB to make a cut.

Gilbride hinders the team. There is obviously something to lining up and punching someone in the mouth, but much like a fighter, there is a difference between a puncher and a boxer. A boxer can beat a puncher with strategy and technique. And it is much better to be a boxer and not always a puncher.

As for the Prevent Offense, granted Roethlisberger did not have the protection to “likely” pull off a miracle drive, but are you willing to take that chance? Would you feel the same way if Brees or Brady is back there? How many of you (the ones rolling their eyes for this being nitpicky) were there in the Meadowlands in October of 2003 when the Philadelphia Eagles had even LESS of a chance of winning the game than the Steelers (they had scored 7 points the whole game), and Fassel did the same thing, the RRRK. AND WE LOST!!! How? Because Brian Westbrook ran the punt back 84 yards (familiar distance? familiar punter?) for a TD. Game over. Bill Walsh never did the RRRK until the other team’s second string QB was in the game and it was completely over.

Re the boxer, The boxer does the play action to the TE and finds him WIDE OPEN because the Steelers are selling out with every possible body at the line of scrimmage. Maybe THIS is why we were going nuts at HALFTIME about the playcalling? Maybe if you tried the same playcall in Q1 or Q2 you’d have (a) one or two more TDs and (b) one or two LESS bodies selling out in future plays in that situation so that you’d score on the run. Sometimes a little less punching and little more boxing makes you a better puncher too.