Monday, November 5, 2012

Giants Stifled by Steelers, Blow Late Lead

Sunday, November 4th 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Pittsburgh Steelers: 24 New York Giants: 20
Giants Stifled By Steelers, Blow Late Lead

The Giants were unable to send their fans home happy Sunday afternoon after another lackluster performance led to a 24-20 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  This was the third match-up between 2004 first round draft picks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger; with Roethlisberger taking a 2-1 lead in the series.  The loss ended the Giants four-game winning streak.
What is starting to become a troubling trend, Manning struggled for the third game in a row.   Manning completed only 10 of 24 passes for 125 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.  The interception was a killer, as the Manning threw into double coverage on Victor Cruz.  It was disappointing, as Manning had just completed a 26-yard pass to Cruz on the previous play.

Manning missed receivers all afternoon and just never got into a rhythm.  The Giants offensive line had some problems protecting Manning against the Steelers, as Manning got sacked twice and hit another five times.  This was also the first time in 27 games that the Giants were unable to score in the fourth quarter, ending what was the longest active streak in the NFL.
The Giants were unable to get anything resembling a run game going against the Steelers, whose defense was on point.  Ahmad Bradshaw managed only 48 yards on 15 carries and Andre Brown ran for only 20 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. 

For as poorly as the Giants run game was, the Steelers’ run game was great.  Isaac Redman ran all over the Giants defense to the tune of 147 yards on 26 carries and scored a touchdown.  Whenever the Steelers needed a play, they would hand the ball off to Redman and he would make it happen.  Redman continuously ran over Giant defenders and was hard to bring down all afternoon.
The Giants defense was able to contain Roethlisberger though, which was a point of emphasis coming into the game.  Roethlisberger is one of the toughest quarterbacks to get to the ground, routinely making plays because of avoided sacks and improvising.  The Giants got to Roethlisberger for four sacks and brought him down when they got to him.  Justin Tuck had two sacks, Osi Umenyiora had one of his patented strip sacks and Jason Pierre-Paul added one of his own.  Roethlisberger finished the game 21 of 30 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

One of Roethlisberger’s touchdowns was a backbreaker for the Giants, as it never should have occurred. Wide receiver Mike Wallace took a short pass 51 yards for a touchdown as he just out-ran the Giants defense, cutting across the field and up the sideline.  The score put the Steelers back in the game and the Giants were never able to recover, as they went three-and-out on every series the remainder of the game.
Next up for the Giants is a visit to Cincinnati to play against the Bengals as the Giants continue their trek through the AFC North.  The Giants could be getting some key players back for the game, as safety Kenny Phillips was close to playing this game against the Steelers and linebackers Chase Blackburn, Keith Rivers and Jacquian Williams will all have another week of recovery.

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