The New York Giants lose a sloppy contest to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20. The Giants came into the game with a lot to play for following Hurricane Sandy, which left New Jersey and New York City a disaster. Although it didn't appear they were playing with too much emotion, in fact the offense came out flat. The Giants managed to be in control most of the game, mainly due to a big fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown by Michael Boley, but they would allow fourteen points in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for the Steelers.
The Giants failed to capitalize on opportunities that could have won them the game, instead it was the Steelers' offense that came up with the big plays when the Giants couldn't which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Like we always do, lets take a look at the good, the mixed, and the ugly from today's loss.
Pass rush – The Giants front four kept pressure on Roethlisberger all game. The Giants big three Tuck, Pierre-Paul, and Umenyiora were all able to record at least one sack, though it didn't help keep the Steelers from making the big plays late in the game.
Corey Webster – Roethlisberger has been very cautious with the ball thus far this season throwing only three interceptions prior to today’s game. Webster forced his fourth interception of the year in the third quarter after pressure from the line.
Steve Weatherford – Steve had a couple booming punts but his biggest play came late in the game when Emmanuel Sanders broke loose on a punt return nearly scoring, but Weatherford was able to force him down at the eleven yard line. It turned out to be a huge play after the Steelers would fail to convert on a fake field goal attempt costing them a chance to put points on the board.
O-line – Eli faced pressure all game from a blitz happy Steelers’ defense which the Giants’ O-line failed to pick up the majority of the time. Eli was forced to throw the ball before he wanted to, throwing the timing between he and his receivers off.
Rushing attack - The Giants running backs would combine for only 68 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers' defense was able to contain the running game early helping the defense concentrate on stopping the pass. Bradshaw would finish with only 48 yards while Andre Brown gained only twenty yards, though he did have one touchdown.
Special teams – Kick-off coverage was terrible all game. Kick returner Chris Rainey consistently gave the Steelers great starting field position on several big run backs. The punt coverage allowed Emmanuel Sanders to break free on a return which gave the Steelers the ball at the Giants’ eleven yard line.
Eli Manning – It’s not often we find Manning in this category, but he had a very uncharacteristic game. He made a poor decision early in the first quarter, throwing an interception intended for Cruz despite double coverage. Manning finished the game with only 10 completions on 24 attempts for 125 yards and one interception. Eli and his receivers lacked chemistry as there appeared to be confusion on several passes.
Rush defense – The gut of the defense was tested all game by the rushing attack of the Steelers. On first and second down Pittsburgh was able to get quality chunks of yards on the ground between the tackles. Isaac Redman was able to accrue 100 yards before the fourth quarter even began and would finish with 147 yards and one touchdown on the day. Furthermore, the defense failed to get a stop at the end of the fourth quarter despite knowing the Steelers were only trying to run the clock out, keeping the offense from a last minute chance to steal the game.
Jayron Hosley – The rookie had a crucial offsides penalty that allowed the Steelers a second shot on third down, which they took advantage of. The Steelers would go on to punch it in giving them a four point lead with about four minutes left.
With so much to play for, it was extremely disappointing to see the intensity the Giants came out with. The Giants were able to come up with some good defensive plays early but the offense wasn't able to add to it, making the lead difficult to hold onto in the fourth quarter. The Giants had the support of it's city behind them, yet were still unable to come away with the win.
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