STEELERS 24, GIANTS 20
Steelers’ record: 5-3
One year ago: 6-2
Series record (including playoffs): Giants lead, 46-30-3
To Coach Mike Tomlin, the prospect of traveling to play the defending champion New York Giants: “That is varsity football, as we say in our business.” For the Steelers, varsity football would provide them with a measuring stick at the midway point of their schedule, but it also was a difficult way to stay one-game behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
It didn’t look like much at the time, but a dump-off pass to
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
With one minute left in the first half, the Giants held a 14-7 lead over the Steelers, and to that point they had managed 86 yards of offense. To that point,
WHAT WENT RIGHT
After forcing the Giants to punt on their opening possession and taking over at their 2-yard line, the Steelers opened in a two-tight-end, two-running-back set.
On the first play of each of the Giants’ opening two offensive possessions, Eli Manning tried to get the ball to WR Hakeem Nicks. On both occasions, Keenan Lewis broke up the passes. Two plays later, Lewis broke up his third pass – on a third-and-5 – and the Giants punted for the second time.
The cornerbacks continued to play solid football into the Giants’ third offensive series. With
On the Steelers’ first touchdown drive, which was set up by Ike Taylor’s interception, Isaac Redman carried six times for 34 yards on a drive that covered 58 yards on 11 plays. The touchdown came on a pass from
On his first three kickoff returns of the game,
After the Ben Roethlisberger interception gave the Giants the ball at the Pittsburgh 33-yard line, the Steelers defense stiffened by allowing 28 yards on nine plays to force a Lawrence Tynes field goal that made the score, 20-10.
It was a third-and-5 at the Pittsburgh 49-yard line when Ben Roethlisberger dumped the ball over the middle to Mike Wallace, who caught the ball about 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage and out-flanked the Giants defense and got down the left sideline for a 51-ytard touchdown that made the score, 20-17.
On the Giants’ possession following Wallace’s touchdown,
After the failed fake field goal, the defense pitched a three-and-out, with
WHAT WENT WRONG
On a first-and-10 from the 30-yard line on the Steelers’ first series, Justin Tuck beat
The Steelers got robbed of at least 7 yards on the Giants second punt. Apparently not paying attention to where the ball went out of bounds, side judge Keith Parham spotted it at the 22-yard line when it should have been closer to the 29-yard line.
The Giants tied the game, 7-7, 2:51 after the Steelers had taken the lead, and they got more than a little help from the striped shirts in doing so. Keenan Lewis was flagged for a 41-yard pass interference penalty to get the Giants into Steelers territory. Then on a third-and-goal at the 2-yard line, Ike Taylor broke up a pass for Victor Cruz, but Ryan Clark was flagged for an after-the-play hit to the head, which gave the Giants a first down at the 1-yard line. Former NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira, now an analyst for FOX, said the hit was neither late nor illegal.
A couple of plays into the ensuing possession, Osi Umenyiora was credited with a sack/strip of Ben Roethlisberger that Michael Boley scooped up and returned 70 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 Giants lead. Again, from Mike Pereria, “(Referee Bill) Leavy felt ball was loose after contact by Osi. Very tight play. I think he still had control. In my opinion it was an incomplete pass.”
The Giants recorded three sacks in the first half – one each for Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul – and rookie Mike Adams was victimized on two of them.
The interception Roethlisberger threw to Corey Webster was forced into coverage on a ball intended for Mike Wallace.
With 14 minutes left in the game, each team had been penalized five times. The Steelers’ five penalties were assessed 109 yards; the Giants’ five were assessed 25 yards.
On a fourth down situation where they needed less than a yard from the Giants 3-yard line, Mike Tomlin opted for a fake field goal, with holder