What a victory.
This was the game where our defense finally proved that it was back. Make no mistake, this Giants offense is not Washington or Cincinnati. This is a defending Super Bowl champion with an elite quarterback and a fully deserving 6-2 record putting up 29 points per game. The Steelers held them to 20 referee-assisted points (7 on a questionable turnover) and 182 yards of offense. The run defense is now for real - the Giants managed all of 68 yards rushing. Casey Hampton was being double-teamed again. The secondary was breaking up passes. This is the Steelers defense we are used to. Without Troy Polamalu. This really is starting to feel like the 2008 defense.
The offense is now beginning to impose its will on the opposing defense. This is not the Redskins or the Bengals that the Steelers were playing today. Although the Giants had some injuries, their line is probably the best in the league and the defense as a whole is worthy of a defending champion. We now have a 100+yd rusher for 3 straight games and TOP is over 35 minutes per game. This is now an intimidating offense.
Finally let's all acknowledge that the referees nearly handed this game to the Giants. They made 3 universally-acknowledged poor calls - as poor as any I've seen in 30+ years watching NFL football (the phantom PI, the "helmet hit" by Clark and the missed block in the back on Heath Miller). It's easy for any team to be deflated after this type of refereeing, and especially playing against the defending Super Bowl champions, in their house, in the circumstances following Sandy. But in a massive show of spirit, our Steelers overcame this, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter to win.
Much will be written this week about this game, and how it was won - the run game, controlling the clock, getting the ball back at the end of the game and running out the clock on the ground.
But I leave you with this. When the annals of this season are written, it will be said that this is the game where the identity of the 2012 Steelers was defined, where the tide was turned and where the march to victory began.