Polamalu accepts responsibility for Victor Cruz's touchdown against Giants

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

While the play goes down as an example of blown coverage, the result of a guess, according to Polamalu, having him healthy and guessing is better than having him injured doing anything.

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz made the play of the game in his team's 18-13 win over the Steelers in Saturday's preseason opener.

Taking a seam route 57 yards for the game's only offensive touchdown, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu spoke to Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette about the play, summarizing his actions simply.

"I was guessing," Polamalu told Bouchette.

The Giants were facing third and long, and when you have outstanding receivers and a great quarterback, putting that kind of pressure on a defense will result in positive plays here and there. Cruz and quarterback Eli Manning have burned more than their fair share of secondaries with their aggressive mentality. The Steelers' secondary won't be the last they beat like that.

Bouchette's larger point, though, is the positive aspect of the play, which is Polamalu was in a position to be guessing at all.

His calf isn't bothering him, and while that play is an example of what not to do (Polamalu also said it's a correctable mistake), the preseason isn't a bad time to guess.

Being healthy enough to make such guesses is ultimately more important.

He made another guess, of sorts, earlier in the game. After the Giants blocked a punt, recovering it at Pittsburgh's 5-yard line, the Steelers' first team goal line defense lined up. Polamalu was off the left tackle, trailing Cruz, who motioned in tight. As Polamalu often does, he recognized they were going to try to block him with the diminutive receiver, so Polamalu burst off the snap, inside Cruz and right into the lane of the running back.

Ziggy Hood got off his block and into the backfield quickly, forcing David Wilson back to the left. Cornerback Ike Taylor forced him to cut upfield, right into Hood. The play went for no gain.

Cruz would later get even, and the Giants would take the game, but ultimately, the fact Polamalu is on the field will merit more plays like the first goal line run (the Steelers forced incomplete passes on the next two plays, and just a field goal) than the deep pass to Cruz.

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