Even though they were outplayed for three quarters for the most part, the New York Giants again on Sunday proved why a return trip to the big game in early February is not out of the question. Out scoring the Pittsburgh Steelers 12-0 in the fourth quarter, the Giants outlasted the Black and Gold, 21-14 to move to 6-1 on the season. The loss drops the Steelers to 5-2.
Pittsburgh took a 14-9 lead in the third quarter when Ben Roethlisberger hit Nate Washington for a 65-yard touchdown. They had other chances to build on that lead, but were shot down with turnovers and penalties that in the end were as big of a reason for ever for them losing to the Super Bowl Champs at home.
New York got a chip shot field goal from John Carney to make it 14-12 with 8:18 left to make it 14-12. Then on the next Steelers three-and-out, the punt was thrown over the head of Mitch Berger out of the end zone to tie the game at 14. Pro Bowl LB James Harrison was the long snapper on the punt due to an injury to regular long snapper Greg Warren.
Just over three minutes later the Giants drove down the field, and got a big play on 3rd-and-7 from the 50 when Eli Manning hit Steve Smith for 25 yards to the Pitt 25. Four plays later, Manning hit TE Kevin Boss for a two-yard score that made it 21-14 with 3:07 left.
The Steelers had two more chances in the final three minutes, but the Giants D-line took over, as they pressured Roethlisberger and recorded a sack and a pick to end the last Steelers threat and hold on for the seven-point win. The Steelers O-line was no match for the Giants, as Big Ben was sacked five times for minus 35 yards, while Manning was not sacked once.
Brandon Jacobs rushed for 47 yards on 18 carries, and Manning was 19-for-32 for 199 yards with one TD. Roethlisberger was 13-for-29 for 189 yards with one TD and four interceptions. Mewelde Moore, playing for an injured Willie Parker, had another solid day, going for 84 yards on 19 carries with a TD.
Both teams’ defenses dominated, as the Steelers were held to 10 first downs and 249 yards, and the Giants 282 yards and 15 first downs. In the end, it was the Giants toughness along with the fact that the Steelers were so outmanned due to injuries that did the AFC North leaders in.
The Giants are at home next week for a big NFC East showdown with the Cowboys at 4:15. The Steelers have another big game, next Monday night they are at Washington for the Redskins.