More Giant Steps Needed for K.C.

Mike Prisuta believes the Steelers need to step on the pedal for their upcoming stretch of AFC opponents. That and plenty of juicy notes from the streets of New Jersey.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – With the exception of a fake-field goal call that only Les Miles could love, the Steelers' 24-20 triumph over the New York Football Giants was about as complete an effort as they've been able to unleash since last season's signature victory over New England.

But merely beating last season's champions doesn't signify that this season's Steelers are of championship-caliber vintage after all.

To establish that, they're going to have to first beat Kansas City, and then Baltimore at least once in a three-week span, and Cleveland at Cleveland in between those two showdowns with the Ravens.

Mashing Kansas City a week from tonight would seem a mere afterthought after the systematic dismantling of Eli Manning, but Willie Colon knows that's the type of approach that got these Steelers in trouble in the first place.

"Kansas City's not going to lay down for us just because we're the Steelers," Colon insisted. "I think we learned that lesson with Oakland and Tennessee. Just because the Steelers show up doesn't mean they're just going to bow out.

"We have to bring it to every team we play."

They really do. Anyone who is convinced otherwise is fooling themselves.

* The player of the game was Isaac Redman, but the play of the game was Mike Wallace's 51-yard, catch-and-run touchdown that brought the Steelers to within 20-17 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Wallace had 2 catches for 15 yards at the time. But he was also biding his time rather than brooding or stewing or otherwise responding unprofessionally to what hadn't been happening to that point.

"What's crazy is Ben (Roethlisberger) told me that before the game, ‘let the game come to you,'" Wallace said. "If I don't get involved kind of early I get impatient and get a little antsy.

"I just tried to stay focused. I dropped one early but I just gotta stay focused and overcome it."

The follow-up question was obvious:

Does that show some personal growth for you as a player, Mike?

"I think so," he said.

Me, too.

* That's 1-0 now trying the up-and-back thing on the road, which might impact the travel plans for Cleveland on Nov. 24/25.

"We'll see," Brett Keisel allowed. "We have some superstitious cats in here that, you know, are talking about that, so we'll see what happens."

On a more serious note, Keisel explained what the circumstances of the Steelers' travel plans and what had happened in the New York-New Jersey area and the Giants' status as defending champs meant in terms of the challenge that needed to be answered:

"Everyone knew coming into this game this was going to be a great game. I mean, these guys are the defending world champs. You know what type of team they have because they've been to the top, just like we have. So you understand what type of game it's going to be and you prepare. And regardless if you fly in the day of or the day before you have to come in and play.

"Flying in (Sunday), the day of the game, and going out and playing a tough team that's fighting for all of New York, we knew it was going to be a tough challenge; I'm just proud. Everyone played tough and everyone there at the end fulfilled their job and that's what it takes. Everyone just doing their job, we're pretty good."

* The Giants had allowed a boatload of passing yards in their previous effort against the Dallas Cowboys. But before you can attack that suspect New York secondary down the field you have to first hold off that relentless New York front four.

The Steelers' offensive game-planners opted for a different approach – attack the linebackers.

Their 158 rushing yards and 4.5 yards-per-carry average validated the plan.

"We knew that if we handled the first level and got to the second level they don't really fit well at the linebacker position," Max Starks said. "We realized, ‘Hey, you move the first level and get somebody on the second level, Isaac will make something happen."

What will Todd Haley think of next?

* The last word goes to – who else? – Colon:

"We gotta step it up. We gotta put our foot on the pedal and we gotta go."


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