Giants Rumors & News
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The Giants and Steelers slugged it out in an old-fashioned, blue-collar, black-and-blue smackdown. And Big Blue smashmouthed their way to a 21-14 victory.

The Good 

The Giants defense pressured Ben Roethlisberger all game long. They sacked him five times. They knocked him down 16 times. They intercepted him four times. They deflected numerous passes. And they told him if he ever shows his face in Jersey, there’s more where that came from. They held Pittsburgh to 249 total yards. And just over half of those came on five plays. The Steelers went through the Giants like Swiss cheese on their first drive of the game, going 60 yards on four plays for a touchdown. And in the third quarter, Pittsburgh had a one-play scoring drive, converting on a 65-yard TD pass. That’s two scores on five plays, and a total of 125 yards. The rest of the game, the Giants D dominated.

Mathias Kiwanuka dropped Roethlisberger three times. And Justin Tuck and Dave Tollefson each had a sack. If the Pittsburgh QB weren’t so good at slipping away from defenders, they would have had more. James Butler, Bryan Kehl, Corey Webster and Kenny Phillips each intercepted a pass. Butler had a crunching hit that popped the ball loose into Kehl’s hands for his pick. Webster’s INT was on a fourth down, and he might have been better off just knocking the ball down for better field position. But after forcing only a few turnovers in their first five games, the D is becoming a turnover machine the last two weeks.

It wasn’t a great game for the offense, but they did enough to win. With all the Roethlisberger–Eli Manning hype coming into the game, it was Manning who won the head-to-head matchup. But mainly because he made fewer mistakes than his counterpart. And he put together one of his patented fourth-quarter, game-winning scoring drives. He had one confusing moment on that drive, though. After calling timeout on a fourth and one, he had to call another when he couldn’t get a play off, which is, of course, a delay of game penalty. That made the situation fourth and six. But as cool as always, he calmly tossed a 30-yard pass to Amani Toomer (who made a great diving catch), which set up the winning TD pass to Kevin Boss. In all, Manning went 19 for 32, 199 yards, one TD and no picks. The offensive line did a lot better job of protecting Manning than Pittsburgh’s did of looking out for their QB. No sacks allowed again. They’ve only let up six all season. Is there another unit in the NFL that’s better than they are? I doubt it. Derrick Ward and Boss were the surprising receiving leaders yesterday. Ward caught five passes for 43 yards, and Boss had his best day with four catches, 34 yards and a touchdown. Steve Smith caught three passes for 45 yards.

On the special teams side of things, John Carney was in the lineup again, and booted four field goals in four attempts (26, 35, 35 and 24 yards). Lawrence Tynes may be hanging out with Eddy Curry the rest of the season, racking up DNP-CD’s. Domenik Hixon returned a punt for 28 yards, setting up a field goal. And the special teams came up with a safety, though they just had to stand by and watch. Pittsburgh’s long snapper left the game with an injury and his replacement sailed a snap out of the end zone on a punt attempt for the two points.

The Bad 

The offense had great field position all day long, and made it into the red zone five times. But they could only scrape together one TD. They settled for three field goals and were stopped at the goal line on fourth down on the other possession. They even had a pathetic four-play, two-yard drive down there. And before kicking their first field goal, they went backwards in the red zone. It was looking like that would be their downfall, until the gift-from-God safety and Manning’s usual clutch game-winning drive. Madison Hedgecock, Mario Manningham and a few others dropped passes that were right in their hands. Manning’s 19 for 32 could have easily been 24 for 32. And Smith and Plaxico Burress each ran short routes on third down completions, which forced the team to punt.

The Giants didn’t get much going with their running game. They only rushed for 83 yards. Brandon Jacobs ran for 47 yards, while Ward had 37. They kept at it, though, which forced the Steelers to defend it so they couldn’t just sit back waiting for the pass on every play. And Jacobs had a nice block on Boss’s TD. That double timeout/delay of game was inexcusable. James Butler was completely lost on Pittsburgh’s second TD, a 65-yard pass play. But Aaron Ross broke his streak of getting burned for a touchdown pass in this game.

The Ugly 

Two words: Plaxico Burress. He was up to his old shenanigans, not showing up to get treatment for a neck injury on Saturday, so Tom Coughlin didn’t start him. Burress has a big problem with authority but he’s finding out week after week who the boss is. And it’s not him. His teammates are going to start turning on him if he continues to put the team at a disadvantage on the field. And he’s been fined so many times that he should just start fining himself every time he leaves his house. He’s a complete bonehead.

Next game: The Giants host the Cowboys on Sunday at 4:15.

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