Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Giants Team Grades: Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Final Score: Pittsburgh Steelers: 24 New York Giants: 20
Giants Team Grades

It was a lackluster performance for the Giants this past weekend against the Steelers, as they were unable to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball and the defense was unable to get timely stops, making for a 24-20 loss to a very good Steelers team. 

Passing Offense Grade: F

Since playing the San Francisco 49ers, the Giants passing attack has been ice cold.  Eli Manning is struggling and in the midst of a slump but couldn’t even conjure some of his late game magic against the Steelers. 

Manning completed 10 of 24 pass attempts for 125 yards, his lowest output since 2008 against the Minnesota Vikings when he threw for 124 yards but only in one half of play.  Manning also threw an interception and was off on multiple occasions deep to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Cruz had a decent game, catching five passes for 67 yards but Nicks only managed one catch for 10 yards.  The Giants need to get the passing game back on track and get Nicks more involved in the offense, as he is finally practicing fully and seems to be getting over early season injuries.

The offensive line also surrendered two sacks and Manning was hit another five times on top of that.

Rushing Offense Grade: D

If not for an Andre Brown one-yard touchdown rush, this grade would be an F as well.  Brown finished the game with seven carries for only 20 yards and his touchdown.

Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t fare much better, managing only 48 yards on 15 carries.  In total, the Giants only ran for 68 yards on 22 attempts.

The Giants need to get the run game back on track, especially with Manning struggling.  It would be beneficial to the team to get the run game on track so the Giants can control the tempo of the game but also help Manning, as the play action pass is one of the Giants biggest weapons.

Pass Defense Grade: C+

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t have great stats, but he did just enough to lead the Steelers to a win. Roethlisberger finished the game with 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.  Mike Wallace was held in check most of the game until he ripped off a debilitating 51-yard catch and run where he ran across the field and just ran past the whole Giants defense.

The Giants three-headed monster at defensive end did cause problems for the Steelers, as Justin Tuck had two sacks. Jason Pierre-Paul had one and Osi Umenyiora added one of his own.  Umenyiora’s sack caused a fumble, which led to a 70-yard return for a touchdown by Michael Boley.

Rush Defense Grade: F

For as poorly as the Giants ran the ball, the Steelers did it well.  Isaac Redman was unstoppable, running all over the Giants for 147 yards and a touchdown.  The Giants were unable to get stops in the run game when they needed, as Redman put the game away with his runs inside the red zone in the fourth quarter.

The Giants were without Chase Blackburn, Keith Rivers and Jacquian Williams, but they cannot use that as an excuse; the Giants rush defense needs to improve. 

Special Teams Grade: C-

Lawrence Tynes continued his strong season, passing 100 total points with a 50 and 23 yard make. But he did miss a 51 yarder short, giving the Steelers a chance to cut into the lead before halftime, which they took advantage of.  Instead of going into halftime up 17-7 or 14-7 at worse, the Steelers got downfield and went into halftime down 14-10.

The coverage teams struggled also, as Steve Weatherford saved an Emmanuel Sanders punt return for a touchdown and Chris Rainey returned a kickoff for 68-yards also.  The usually reliable Giant coverage teams were shaky Sunday.

Coach Grade: D

The Giants actually went into the fourth quarter winning 20-10, but the problems that were evident throughout the game prior continued and the Steelers kicked it into gear.  The offense got nothing going, while the Steelers were on point even with the bizarre travel schedule they had to endure with the effects of Super Storm Sandy. 

As for the Giants, the play calling and efficiency need to improve.  The Giants went two for 10 on third down and could not get stops on defense when they needed. 

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