Big Blue’s rush defense didn’t perform well as they allowed the backup to gash them for 147 yards and a touchdown in the 24-20 loss. Redman, starting with Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer inactive, averaged 5.8 yards per carry and consistently picked up that extra yard.
“We missed tackles, that’s what happened,” Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. “People were in their gaps, we were where we were supposed to be, we were in the right position to make plays and we didn’t make them. It’s unfortunate.”
While Giants head coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged the Steelers called some runs in some spots when they expected a pass, the head coach said it was “not a complicated effort” when it came to Pittsburgh’s rushing attack. Redman is a north-south runner and the team rarely swung him to the outside, but he consistently found that way to get the extra yard he needed.
"It was poor tackling," linebacker Michael Boley said. "It's pretty much what it boils down to. We harp on tackling all the time. Point of contact, driving guys back and we didn't do that today."
In the fourth quarter, the Giants couldn’t make key stops on Redman runs that swung the game. With the Giants up 20-17 late in the fourth, Redman ran for eight yards on a 3rd-and-1 at the Giants' 9-yard line that set up his eventual one-yard touchdown to give the Steelers a lead they never relinquished. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Redman went for 28 yards to seal the game.
“It was the extra effort plays by Redman,” middle linebacker Mark Herzlich said. “He would bounce off a couple of tackles and get north and south quickly and I think that’s where we have to do a better job of more guys getting to the ball, more guys staying in their gap to just kind of play that play longer.”
While the Giants have only allowed four 100-yard rushers this season after Sunday, they entered the game among the bottom half of the league in rush defense and didn’t help themselves Sunday. In two of their last three games, they’ve had troubles stopping the run, and it’s a problem they say they have to correct.
“That’s something we definitely have to fix,” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. “Once we get back to the film and figure out what the problem is and see why things keep occurring, we have to go back and make some minor adjustments and get that run game stopped. Teams that are successful running the ball are going to be successful as an offensive unit. That’s something we have to clean up.”