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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Kick and Punt Coverage Was Simply Not Good Enough
Excerpt: "One glaring statistic Sunday in the Giants’ 24-20 loss to the Steelers was the yards given up in the return game.
Punter Steve Weatherford made an excellent touchdown-saving stop of a long punt return by Emmanuel Sanders, but other than that, the coverage teams struggled all day.
“Covering kicks and punts the way we did was terrible, was awful,” coach Tom Coughlin said.
Kick returner Chris Rainey amassed 173 yards on five kick returns — an average of 36.3 yards per return — with a long of 68 yards, to start the second half. Sanders recorded a 63-yard punt return in which it looked like he would take it to the house, if Weatherford did not speed over to stop him.
Sanders’ return gave his team a prime opportunity at the Giants’ 12-yard line in the fourth quarter, though the Steelers did not take advantage of the opportunity, failing to move the ball in three downs and trying a fake field-goal attempt, which Michael Coe stopped by tackling kicker Shaun Suisham." Read more...
Giants' Defense Unable To Control Steelers' Running Back Isaac Redman
Excerpt: "It is a repeated sequence the Giants defense will encounter and agonize through in film sessions throughout the coming week.
Isaac Redman, the Steelers’ third-string running back, would barge into a scrum of bodies at the line of scrimmage. Giants jerseys would then swarm to him, sure to take down the ball carrier.
Only Redman would routinely emerge from the rummage after a couple seconds, his legs still churning, for a few extra yards. He would bounce off arm tackles, stiff arm others, juke when need be for one, two, three yards at a time to chip away at a first down and relieve pressure on the offense with steady dose of third-and-shorts.
“It was not a complicated affair,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “The ball was just going straight up in there.”The second-effort gains grew steadily as he entered the second level of the Giants defense with increasing ease as the game wore on, and the Giants defense wore down.
By the conclusion of the Steelers’ 24-20 victory, Redman’s stat line read 26 rushes for 147 yards and the game-winning one-yard touchdown with 4:02 remaining. It was Redman’s first career 100-yard performance in the regular season." Read more...
What Happened To Eli Manning And The Giants' Passing Game?
Excerpt: "Well, on the bright side, Eli Manning won’t have to answer those pesky questions about being the league’s MVP for a while.
He was so bad in this 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, you worried that Giants fans might forget what team they were watching and start chanting for Tim Tebow.
We kid, of course. Manning has cemented his place among the elite quarterbacks in the league, a debate ended last season with a parade through the Canyon of Heroes. He’ll bounce back, probably sooner than later.
Still, it’s hard not to watch the last couple weeks and wonder what happened to the passing game that was ripping apart the league early in the season. The man in charge certainly is.
“We’ve got to get him back on track,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He’s our guy, (and) we’ve got to get him back to the way he was playing a couple weeks ago and do it in a hurry.”
Those are strong words from a coach whose team is still 6-3 and atop the NFC East, and they’re not unwarranted. Manning’s numbers Sunday were downright Sanchezesque. He was 10-for-24 for 125 yards — his lowest total since 119 in a meaningless game to end the 2008 season — with an interception.
It’s not just one game that concerns Coughlin, either. His quarterback rating has dropped each of the last five weeks, from 103.3 in a laugher over the Browns to 41.1 Sunday. The yards per pass play Sunday, as high as 10 during the season, bottomed out at 5.21 against the Pittsburgh defense." Read more...
Giants' Bid To Uplift Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Region With Win Over the Steelers Failed
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck posed the question on his Twitter feed, asking the world what he could do after the disaster: “How should I help the victims of Sandy?” he wanted to know.
And the responses came quickly, from across the region. “Win Sunday,” read one. “Attack the field and show to the WORLD that we can overcome anything!” read another.
“Just win big for us on Sunday,” read one more. “Everything else will work itself out.”
But sports, like super storms, don’t always have happy endings. The Giants were playing for their region yesterday, but they looked like they had spent the week cleaning debris from their basements." Read more...
Giants, In Post-Hurricane Sandy Effort, Fall To Steelers 24 - 20, Ending Four Game Winning Streak
Excerpt: "The Giants had hoped to uplift a hurricane-ravaged region today, doing what they could through sports to provide a few hours of reprieve to those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.
Many of the Giants themselves displaced by the storm, homes flooded or without power, rallied to face a tough Steelers team — but in the end, they could not deliver the win they had hoped to give their wounded community.
The Steelers completed their day trip to New Jersey with a 24-20 win, while the Giants lost for the first time since Sept. 30 at Philadelphia, a performance that left some questions about what’s wrong with their offense.
The Steelers made more big plays at the end of the game, while the Giants offense’s recent struggles continued its slow pace. Isaac Redman’s one-yard touchdown gave the Steelers the lead late in the fourth quarter, and the Giants could not respond.
The game started off slowly, but the Steelers broke the stalemate first, spurred by Ike Taylor’s interception of Eli Manning on a pass to Victor Cruz. The Steelers put together a nice drive from there, started off by a 17-yard run by Isaac Redman.
They converted two third downs, and Ben Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders alone in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown." Read more...
Roger Goodell, Giants Host First Responders At MetLife Stadium For Steelers' Game
Excerpt: "Forgive Dan Jackson, a lieutenant in the Brigantine Fire Department, if he was a bit weary while standing on the field of MetLife Stadium this afternoon.
Jackson had reported for duty last Sunday night and worked straight through Thursday morning, sleeping a total of three hours in that three-and-a-half day period when Hurricane Sandy hit and devastated his community on the New Jersey coast. Water levels in Brigantine rose as high as chin level, and the fire department rescued more than 100 residents from their homes.
Jackson was back at work Saturday at 8 a.m., working a 24-hour shift.
That kind of service was what the NFL and the Giants planned to salute before today's Giants-Steelers game, inviting 100 first responders from the metropolitan area.
"It’s hard to imagine what they go through. Many of them didn’t sleep all week, dealing with this constant stress, dealing with people that are obviously going through some very difficult periods of their life," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on the field before the game. "It’s remarkable we have people like this. So many of these folks are volunteers, and to see that, it really gives new meaning to hero to me."
There was some public debate about the NFL and the Giants moving forward with this game, while relief and recovery efforts continue on in this area. But Goodell spoke with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday, who assured him that holding the game as scheduled at MetLife Stadium would not divert needed resources.
"I sure didn’t hear that here. And I didn’t hear it out in the parking lot," Goodell said, when asked about some suggesting the game should have been postponed. "In fact exactly the opposite, is that, 'We needed this. We wanted to be here, we want to be able to get away from everywhere we’ve been dealing with all week for a little while.' " Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Eli Manning Fails To Play Hero
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin was distraught that the Giants let down all the good people in the tri-state area who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy and were counting on the Super Bowl champs to provide an enjoyable three-hour diversion from their problems.PHOTOS: GIANTS LET PITTSBURGH STEEL ONE, 24-20
There was no Mike Pi***a tear-jerker moment for the Giants as there was in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Mets in the first post-9/11 game played in New York in 2001, no 80-yard touchdown pass in the final minute from Eli Manningwho was forced to evacuate his family from their Hoboken apartment, or game-saving sack from Mathias Kiwanuka, whose Hoboken townhouse eight blocks from Manning was overrun by foul-smelling sewage and forced his family into a hotel.
The Giants blew a 20-10 late third quarter lead to the Steelers and lost 24-20. They have been so accustomed to Manning providing fourth quarter magic and bailing them out, but they went three-and-out on all three of their fourth quarter possessions as they were outscored 14-0.Eli Manning Struggles And Giants Fall To Steelers On Late TD By Isaac Redman
Manning may have two Super Bowls MVPs, but he is now in a big-time slump that has reached four games even though the Giants were able to win three of them.
“We’ve got to get him back on track,” Coughlin said. “He is our guy and we have to get him back playing the way he was a couple of weeks ago. And we have to do it in a hurry.”
Manning was 10-for-24 for just 125 yards with a nearly invisible 41.1 QB rating against Pittsburgh, his fewest yards since throwing for 123 against the Eagles in the second game after Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg late in the 2008 season. That’s not counting the 119 yards he had in the final regular season game in ’08 when he played only the first half of a meaningless game." Read more...
Excerpt: "At the end of a very long and depressing week, the Giants were on the verge of finally giving their battered fan base a reason to smile. They had a big lead entering the fourth quarter – a quarter they’ve owned over the last few seasons.
Giants' Know League Is Catching On To Passing Game
This time, though, they just couldn’t hang on.
They blew a 10-point lead over the final 15 minutes on an emotional day at the Meadowlands, and lost a heart-breaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-20. It wasn’t over until Isaac Redman’s two-yard touchdown run with 4:02 remaining – not nearly enough time for Eli Manning and a Giants’ offense that was out of synch all day long.
The loss hurt for many reasons, including the stakes that had been set by the destruction caused in the area by Hurricane Sandy early last week. The Giants (6-3) had hoped to do more than just give their fans a three-hour break from the cold, darkness and despair around them. When Justin Tuck asked fans what the Giants could do to help them out, he said they all told him they wanted a Giants win." Read more...
Excerpt: "A few weeks ago, maybe it would have been a touchdown, capped with a salsa dance. But this time, Victor Cruzwound up on the MetLife Stadium turf.
Giants' Linebacker Michael Boley Says "Poor Tackling" Allowed Steelers' Running Back Isaac Redman To Break Looose
Midway through the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Steelers, Cruz maneuvered across the end zone on third-and-goal from the 2. The Giants receiver was open for a moment, and Eli Manning, flushed from the pocket, scrambled towards him and threw a dart.
But there was no catch - Cruz was crushed by Steelers safety Ryan Clark and crumpled to the ground.
Cruz said later that he “just had the wind knocked out of me,” and he was fine. But he wasn’t fine with the play of the Steelers corners.
For a second straight week, he accused an opponent of holding him, and he pointed to that for his latest frustrating performance.
“Dallas just grabbed and held a lot at the line (in Week 8),” Cruz said. “And this team, that’s kind of what they’re known for. Every team’s gonna do it, and every team that can do it will.”
That was just the most scathing theory for the recent frustrations of the Giants’ vaunted passing attack - a unit that began the season carrying the offense has struggled to get in sync over the last three games.
Sunday’s season-worst performance - Manning passed for just 125 yards, his lowest total since 2008 - included the struggles of Cruz (67 yards) and Nicks (one catch) who are considered one of the best 1-2 punches in the NFL.
“Offensively, we just gotta get it going again,” Nicks said. “Personally I feel like we’ve been lacking a little bit on offense.” Read more...
Excerpt: "Michael Boley knew it was coming. The Giants linebacker said he knew the Steelers would “come in here and try to establish the run.”SITE LINK
THE NEW YORK POST
Manning Vanishes as Steelers End Giants' 4 Game Winning Streak
What he didn’t know was that his defense would miss tackle after tackle on third-string tailback Isaac Redman, allowing the unheralded back to rush for 147 yards and a score in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Steelers at MetLife Stadium.
“Poor tackling,” Boley said. “We just didn’t stop it.”
For the second time in three weeks, an opponent exposed the Giants’ greatest defensive flaw: An inability to stop the run. Redman entered the game averaging 2.5 yards per carry, but averaged 5.7 yards per tote against Big Blue.
It had nothing to do with the scheme, either, said defensive end Osi Umenyiora. The Giants simply didn’t tackle.
“We missed tackles, that’s what happened,” he said. “People were in their gaps and where they were supposed to be; we were in the right position to make plays. We just didn’t make them. It’s unfortunate.” Read more...
Excerpt: "This has been a long time coming for the Giants, who have been leaving little hints and displaying various signs that all is not well, despite their winning ways.
It all caught up with them Sunday. There was a will but there was not a way. They believed they would provide about three hours of relief for those dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but instead they spent the better part of three hours showing the flaws they have gotten away with in previous weeks but not this time, as evidenced by a 24-20 loss to the Steelers and the end of a four-game winning streak.
“We’ve lost games around here where we’ve played really well and physically battled away and just got beat, but that wasn’t one of them,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said.
No, this wasn’t one of them. The Giants (6-3) actually weren’t playing all that well but still took a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter, despite another strangely off-kilter game from Eli Manning and a run defense that made Pittsburgh’s No. 3 running back, Isaac Redman (147 yards), look like the second coming of Franco Harris. Perhaps Coughlin’s desire to win this one for the storm-battered region would be enough.
“We wanted emotionally so badly to win the game for obvious reasons, for all our neighbors who are struggling and who need some type of inspiration,’’ Coughlin said. “Of course, we didn’t provide it for them.’’
The Steelers ensured there would be no feel-good story at MetLife Stadium, inhabited by thousands of their black-and-gold clad, Terrible Towel-waving fans. The Steelers flew in the day of the game — an extreme rarity in the NFL — so as not to displace hurricane refugees from their hoteland made the brief stay a profitable one. They scored the final 14 points of the game, getting a 51-yard catch and run-run-run by Mike Wallace on a short toss from Ben Roethlisberger and a 1-yard scoring plunge by Redman for the winning points, interspersed with a defense that turned Manning into just another quarterback without any answers.
To wit: The Giants had three offensive possessions in the fourth quarter and went three-and-out in all three — going meekly with series of minus-12, three and one yard." Read more...
Cruz, Nicks No Factor In Giants' Loss
Excerpt: "On a third-and-seven play yesterday during the Giants’ first drive of the second half, Eli Manning tried to hit Victor Cruz over the middle. But Manning led his receiver too far, and the ball smacked off Cruz’s outstretched hand, forcing the Giants to kick a field goal.
“A little bit,” Cruz said of having some miscommunication with Manning. “Just one or two miscues.”
Maybe just one or two miscues, but there were way more worrisome things than that when it came to both Cruz and fellow star wideout Hakeem Nicks. In the Giants’ 24-20 loss to the Steelers at MetLife Stadium, Cruz was targeted 11 times but caught just five passes for 67 yards.
Nicks’ game was even more alarming. The Giants’ No. 1 wideout was targeted only four times all afternoon, and he hauled in just one pass for 10 yards. Nicks never has been shut out in his four-season NFL career, but yesterday was close. It marked Nicks’ second-least productive game, behind only his final game as a rookie when he caught one pass for minus-five yards against the Vikings.
Told that he didn’t appear to be targeted much yesterday, Nicks said, “It’s been like that, though, the last few weeks.” Read more...
Manning "Off" When Needed To Be Electric
Excerpt: "The power outage that drove Eli Manning from his flooded Hoboken digs to a Manhattan hotel followed him to MetLife Stadium yesterday.
There aren’t many Giants fans who would trade Elite Eli for Big Ben Roethlisberger ... except for yesterday.
When Eli Manning looked lost in the dark.
It was Steelers 24, Giants 20, when it ended because Manning could not find a way to overcome either himself or a horrific performance from Tom Coughlin’s special-teams coverage units (68-yard kickoff return, 63-yard punt return).
Manning — and all the Giants — so badly, so nobly, yearned to finish, their enduring mantra, as much for the devastated victims of Sandy as for themselves.
Except this turned out to be one of those rare occasions when you can’t spell F-U-T-I-L-E without an E, an L and an I.The football gods handed Manning one last chance not to make everything right, because that is impossible now, but one last chance to let the struggling survivors cling to some source of inspiration from a quarterback and a team that has given plenty to this area. He had 3:55 and three timeouts to navigate the 88 yards to Giants 27, Steelers 24.
Incomplete for Victor Cruz — and not even close.Incomplete for Martellus Bennett.Fumble following a sack by LaMarr Woodley that Kevin Boothe recovered.Manning never saw the ball again. It marked the second straight game Elite Eli had failed to throw a touchdown pass. His last one was the 77-yard bomb to Cruz that beat the Redskins." Read more...
Coughlin: Nothing Special
Excerpt: "The best thing the Giants did Sunday night on special teams was thwart a fake field goal try by the Steelers but that was about it, which is why coach Tom Coughlin said “covering punts and kicks the way we did was terrible, was awful’’ following their 24-20 loss at MetLife Stadium.
The battle for field position was tilted heavily toward the Steelers. Chris Rainey had kickoff returns of 50 and 68 yards and Emmanuel Sanders had a punt return of 63 yards.
“We know what we have to do every week, we’ve done it most weeks and we can’t take our foot off the pedal at all,’’ Mark Herzlich said of the breakdown in the return coverage. “You can’t let that become a factor in the game.’’
The lone bright spot on special teams came with 10:30 remaining, when instead of trying to tie the game at 20, the Steelers went for broke as they lined up for a 20-yard field goal. Holder Drew Butler flipped the ball over his shoulder to kicker Shaun Suisham, who needed 1 yard for a first down. He didn’t get it, as Michael Coe played his responsibility and dropped Suisham for a 1-yard loss.
“The call on that play was for me to be kind of a contain rusher, not so much going after the field goal block,’’ Coe said. “Usually I do come off the edge. I just did my job, really did nothing fancy.’’ Read more...
Big Blue Just Can't Get A Handle On Pitt
Excerpt: "The Giants didn’t allow Isaac Redman to beat them with speed, quickness or unexpected execution.
“Just poor tackling,” linebacker Michael Boley said. “That’s pretty much what it boils down to.”
Besides their own problems in the passing game, the Giants’ most alarming issue at MetLife Stadium last night regarded their run defense. Perry Fewell’s crew surrendered 158 yards on the ground in their 24-20 loss to the Steelers, with Redman accounting for 147 of them.
Not to mention Redman also scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“We missed tackles. That’s what happened,” Osi Umenyiora said of the run defense woes. “People were in their gaps, we were supposed to be where we were supposed to be, we were put in the right position to make plays. We just didn’t make them and it’s unfortunate.”
The Steelers were without running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer, who were both inactive, but the Giants still allowed Redman to devour their run defense anyway. Redman averaged 5.7 yards, and worse, the Giants gave up five runs to him of at least 11 yards — two for 11, one for 12, one for 17 and one for 28.
Asked if he could explain why the run defense was so bad, coach Tom Coughlin replied that he had to first see the film. But he tellingly said, “It was not a complicated affair,” and “The ball was just going straight up in there.”
The Giants’ run defense has hardly been sterling this year, as they entered yesterday tied for the NFL’s fifth-worst defensive ranking for average yards per carry (4.6). Yesterday they were gashed worse than that by Redman.
“I really can’t tell you what it is until we go back and watch film, but for whatever it was, he kept getting in the second level,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “We just have to do a better job as a unit.” Read more...
Excerpt: "A four game-winning streak came to an end yesterday for the Giants and tucked into their 24-20 loss to the Steelers is the complete vanishing of Eli Manning’s once-vaunted passing attack.
Manning this week was displaced from his Hoboken home by the Sandy super storm but his drop in efficiency has been weeks in the making. He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second straight game and the once-feared connection with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks has gone kaput.
The Giants led this game 20-10 after three quarters but they could not come close to finishing. The Steelers got their winning points with 4:02 left when Isaac Redman crashed in from a yard out, completing a 51-yard touchdown drive after Manning directed a feeble three-and-out. Manning was 10 for 24 for 125 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
There was never a last defensive stand. On third-and-9, Ben Roethlisberger hit Emmanuel Sanders – who abused rookie Jayron Hosley – for a 16-yard gain and that was that.
It was a far from a normal week for the Giants, who flew home from Dallas just ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Many players were without power, some (Eli Manning, Mathias Kiwanuka) were displaced from their families at their Hoboken apartments and almost all the Giants had to worry about finding gas for their cars and a warm bed to sleep in. The Steelers flew in the day of the game – unheard of in the NFL – because their team hotel was being used to house hurricane victims.
The Giants, despite not doing much of anything on offense, led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter when a seemingly-harmless short pass to Mike Wallace turned into a 51-yard catch and run-run-run for a touchdown to pull the Steelers within 20-17. When Manning was sacked by Lawrence Timmons for an 11-yard loss, the momentum had turned. It tilted way over to the Steelers when Sanders took off on a 63-yard punt return, prevented from scoring when Steve Weatherford ran him down on the Giants 12-yard line." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants' Notes: Rocky Return For David Diehl
Excerpt: "A rocky return
David Diehl returned to the starting lineup at right tackle for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 2. He did not fare well against Pittsburgh's speed up front.
Eli Manning was sacked twice in the fourth quarter by Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley, both of whom raced around the right side Diehl was manning in place of Sean Locklear.
Tom Coughlin defended Diehl after the game, insisting, "Yes, he was ready to go. He had, what, three weeks of playing the [jumbo] tight end, so we could watch and see how he was pushing and how strong he was."A start for Herzlich
MLB Mark Herzlich got his first start of the season and made eight tackles in place of Chase Blackburn, who missed the game with a hamstring injury.
"Well, we lost, so not very good," Herzlich said. "I think that for the most part, I was in the right spot for the plays. … But there's definitely some times where I could have played better."Taking a shot
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin knows he owes one to his players.Giants' Replay vs. Steelers
Rather than allow Shaun Suisham to try a 20-yard field goal that would have tied the game at 20 with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter, Tomlin called for a fake, and holder Drew Butler flipped the ball blindly over his head to Suisham, who was tackled for a 1-yard loss by alert Giants CB Michael Coe." Read more...
Excerpt: "Turning point
WR Mike Wallace took a quick slant from Ben Roethlisberger on a third-and-5 on the second play of the fourth quarter and turned it into a 51-yard touchdown to bring the Steelers within 20-17 as they began their rally from a 10-point deficit.
Star of the game
With running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer inactive, the Steelers’ Isaac Redman set career highs with 147 yards on 26 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown for the winning score with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter. He had 127 rushing yards on 50 carries this season entering the game.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ordered a fake field on fourth down and less than a yard to go early in the fourth quarter and the Steelers trailing, 20-17. Instead of attempting a 20-yarder, K Shaun Suisham was tackled by CB Michael Coe for a loss of one after taking an over-the-head flip from holder Drew Butler
Eli Manning’s underthrow to Victor Cruz was intercepted by CB Ike Taylor at the Steelers’ 38-yard line, leading to Roethlisberger’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders for a 7-0 lead with 12:09 left in the second quarter. … Giants CB Jayron Hosley was penalized for lining up in the neutral zone, negating a Giants’ third-down stop and Redman scored the winning touchdown three plays later.
Sanders could not believe he was tackled by Giants P Steve Weatherford on his 63-yard return to the Giants’ 12-yard line to set up the drive which ended with Suisham’s fake field goal. Sanders lay on his back in shock before slapping his hands on the turf. … The Steelers’ Chris Rainey averaged 34.6 yards on five kickoff returns with a long of 68 yards." Read more...
Giants Let One Slip Away As Steelers Rally For 24 - 20 Win
Excerpt: "The Pittsburgh Steelers tried to beat themselves before they beat the Giants.
Overcoming unusual sloppiness, the Steelers dominated the second half for a 24-20 victory Sunday as Isaac Redman rushed for 147 yards and the winning touchdown from 1 yard with 4:02 to go.
Temporary relief from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy was what Giant fans sought, and the Giants provided it for a while. But they couldn’t stop Redman, who had little relief with Pittsburgh’s other two main backs injured.
The Steelers (5-3) arrived in New Jersey hours before the game, which might have accounted for their carelessness. They had the fewest giveaways in the NFL entering the game, but were neglectful with the ball and in pass coverage; cornerback Keenan Lewis had 87 yards on two pass interference penalties. They wasted some great kick returns, too.It all
added up to a pleasant couple of hours for locals, who packed MetLife Stadium despite the difficulties caused by a lack of power in many homes, long gas lines and, of course, severe damage throughout the region.
But when Pittsburgh came on relentlessly, the one-quarter of the 80,991 seats occupied by Terrible Towel-waving Steelers faithful could celebrate an impressive comeback victory, coach Mike Tomlin’s 60th win. This is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL, although the teams have met only five times in 18 years. It had to feel weird for the Giants to have the ballpark rock when the visitors took charge.
The Giants (6-3) saw their four-game winning streak end. They seemed in control as Michael Boley sprinted 70 yards with a fumble recovery in the second quarter.
Ben Roethlisberger ****ed his arm to throw and defensive end Osi Umenyiora hit it. The ball came loose and while the quarterback signaled that his arm was coming forward, Boley sped down the right sideline for the score. Video replay upheld the touchdown for a 14-7 Giants lead.
The Steelers’ long day began with a plane ride to New Jersey, a short side trip to their team hotel — they couldn’t get enough rooms to stay in the area on Saturday night and needed a league travel waiver to arrive on game day — then on to the stadium. Outside, folks tailgated and tried to blunt some of the devastation from the week’s superstorm. As Giants fan Courtney Davis, whose town of Sea Bright was washed away by Hurricane Sandy, said in response to holding the game: “We need this.”
Pittsburgh needed to straighten itself out and did just in time.
Among the gaffes: a fake field goal from the Giants' 3 early in the fourth quarter on which kicker Shaun Suisham lost a yard. That wasted a 63-yard punt return by Sanders on his first such runback all season." Read more...
Giants' Football Game Brings Some Relied From Storm Damage
Excerpt: "Courtney Davis has no idea what her house looks like because her town of Sea Bright, N.J., was washed away by Superstorm Sandy.
Yet she was at the Meadowlands on Sunday for Steelers-Giants.
"We need this," Davis said. "We could really use this game and having a good time."
That was the prevailing outlook as fans tailgated outside MetLife Stadium. While the parking lots filled up and smoke rose from barbecues, people who lost power but not resolve found their way to a football game. And to each other.
"''I think there's a sense of release, to take your mind off it," said Tara Brewster of Staten Island, the New York City borough devastated by the hurricane and its aftermath. "If they changed this game to another day, I really wouldn't have been upset, but everyone is coming together. New York is the kind of city that handles everything."
Jim Turbek had 30 inches of water in his basement, even though he lives nowhere near the shore in Bellmore, N.Y., on Long Island. He was at the game with tickets purchased by his brother, Steven, who died two months ago.
"The water was coming in waves," Turbek recalled about a canal overflowing near his home. "We probably lost all our appliances, and my chimney fell in, too."
Turbek never considered missing the game. His brother was a big Steelers fan, so Turbek wore a Steelers cap and said he was "here because Steven would have come. It's good to get back into a routine."
He waited 75 minutes for gas to make sure he could get to the Meadowlands and then home, a distance of 45 miles each way.
Ryan Plaza was not impacted by the storm in his hometown of Sugarloaf, Pa., but he brought 15 gallons of gas to his cousin in New Jersey, then headed to the stadium. Standing nearby was Roger Daly ofNorwood
, N.J., who has had season tickets since the Giants played in Yankee Stadium; they moved to New Jersey in 1976. His search for gas led him to the U.S. Military Academy, and then even farther north." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Postgame Coach Tom Coughlin
"Coach Tom Coughlin on what went wrong in the Giants loss to the Steelers
COUGHLIN: That’s as disappointing a loss as we’ve had around here in a long time. I think. Not to be overly reactionary or emotional, but to play a very good football team like that, and to have two illegal procedure penalties take us out of field goal range in the first half and have a third down where we are offside creating a 4th-and-3 where they have to kick a field goal, and covering kicks and punts the way we did was terrible, was awful. Offensively, again, for a couple games in a row we didn’t play well. We didn’t appear to be very aggressive. We certainly didn’t have any first downs. I’m sure our time of possession was…They’ve been averaging 35 minutes time of possession coming in and I’m sure they got the same amount today. We didn’t tackle well, we didn’t stop the run well. They surprised me with some of the runs they called in situations you would expect them to be aggressive and throw. We didn’t make them pay obviously with that offside. We wanted emotionally so badly to win the game for obvious reasons, for all our neighbors who are struggling and who need some type of inspiration. Of course, we didn’t provide it for them. We didn’t play well and we are going to have to get this straightened around, some way, some form here, quickly obviously. That was not the kind of game we had planned to play.
Q: Were they more physical than you in the second half?
A: I don’t know what it was. I wouldn’t say that. We didn’t get anything done. Field position wasn’t great, but still, make your own, create your own.
Q: What do you see in the passing game that has made it go so south?
A: Yup, it has. Well, I don’t really know what to tell you there until I look at the tape. Obviously, there are circumstances where we were very much on the same page, very confident. And that’s not the case right now for whatever reason. Last week was not a good game for Victor (Cruz) and we didn’t get ourselves open. We put a lot of attention toward that today and we still didn’t get a whole lot of daylight. We will have to look at that.
Q: Did you see the fake field goal coming and did you think you would have more excitement following it?
A: I thought we had great energy. I thought we were as excited as could be coming off the sidelines greeting our players. We just didn’t do anything with ball again. We ran the ball for one yard. We tried to throw a go route. We didn’t do much with that. We came back with an obvious third down. Everybody in the world knew what was coming. We got a little bit of pressure, but it wasn’t anything we shouldn’t have been able to handle, but we didn’t. We didn’t, we got pressure and we completed it for a three- or four-yard gain.
Q: Do you believe that the team was distracted by the events of the week? You seem to understand how much emotion there was.
A: No. We did and we talked about. We tried to talk about it all week long. We tried to make sure everybody understood that. But we also talked about, when we got to work Wednesday afternoon, it was time to go to work. Has everyone in this part of the world been affected by this tragic storm? Yes. Yes, we have. But is that an excuse? No. We are professional football players. The game will go on. We anticipated that, we never thought about it any other way. We prepared ourselves accordingly. We worked hard to get everyone ready. I thought we had pretty good practices on Thursday and Friday. I thought we were excited about playing. I thought it was a good meeting last night, I thought their attention was outstanding. We came to the park today and we didn’t play as well as we wanted to play.
Q: This was the second straight game you had a lead and let a team come back.
A: We won the last one, okay? We won the last one. However you get them, you get them. The same thing today, we didn’t do anything offensively. We picked up a fumble and ran it back for a touchdown. And then when we were right there, we weren’t able to do anything. We were right there. I was very disappointed and we didn’t pull a lot of punches telling the players what we felt. We’ve lost games around here where we’ve played really well and physically battled away and just got beat, but that wasn’t one of them. And I’m not trying to take anything away from the Steelers.
Q: Can you explain the lack of a run defense?
A: No. Until I look at the tape, no. And it was not a complicated affair. The ball was just going straight up in there.
Q: Any sense as to how Herzlich fared?
A: Not really.
Q: Did you think Diehl was physically ready to play?
A: That’s so far from anything to do with anything that happened out there on the field. Yes, he was ready to go. He had, what, three weeks of playing the XO tight end so we could watch how he was pushing and how strong he was.
Q: What are you seeing in Eli’s play right now?
A: I’m sure he would come and tell you he didn’t play as well as he would have liked to play and that’s what we all feel. We’ve got to get him back on track. He is our guy and we have to get him back playing the way he was a couple of weeks ago. And we have to do it in a hurry. It’s just not Eli now. We’re struggling to get ourselves in position so it’s an automatic for the quarterback.
Q: How did they get so open in the pass game?
A: Well, I think the last one which cost us really dearly, because I had to take my last timeout after a first down. That was a pretty good move by a receiver to challenge a defender inside him and then slide outside and the ball was just thrown. The accuracy was good. The slant that they hit, my God, we had been defending it all day and doing a good job and all of a sudden a very speedy receiver comes out the other side. You have to give some credit to the opposition, who has a good football team.
Q: Are you concerned about an overall second-half swoon or just this one game?
A: I was asked that a couple of times last week and I am not a counter of where our record was then and when we had some struggles. I’m just looking at our team right now and what we can do to snap out of this and play better. There were times tonight when I thought our defense was playing outstanding, that they were the only thing we had keeping us competitively in the game. We had great stops after returns that were not enough. Not enough. And certainly that was obvious.
Q: Did you feel the emotion after the pregame ceremony with the first responders and military?
A: Definitely. In anticipation of us winning, I wanted everyone to realize that what we were trying to do, was to give them a few hours of enjoyment in a very, very difficult time. To let them know that we understood the mass difficulties that are facing our neighbors and that many, many people are fighting to survive, fighting to get their homes back, to get their families reunited and all those kinds of things in the aftermath of a tragic, tragic storm. That was the reason we did that. I hope the message came through we were trying, but we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do.
Q: When you see Eli struggle like that, what kind of changes do you think you should make?
A: Well, I’ll have to evaluate that by looking at the tape. I’m not going to stand here and give you a litany of that type of stuff right. We are not going to stop doing what we do. So we’ve got to just get going. People have got to play the way they are capable of playing. Look at where our big play production has been. Two weeks ago we were the number one big play team in the league. I mean it doesn’t make any sense."
Giants Fall To Steelers 24 - 20 In Ugly Offensive Performance
Excerpt: "The New York
Giants lose a sloppy contest to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24 to 20. The Giants came into the game with a lot to play for following Hurricane Sandy, which left New Jersey and New York
City a disaster. Although it didn't appear they were playing with too much emotion, in fact the offense came out flat. The Giants managed to be in control most of the game, mainly due to a big fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown by Michael Boley, but they would allow fourteen points in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for the Steelers.
The Giants failed to capitalize on opportunities that could have won them the game, instead it was the Steelers' offense that came up with the big plays when the Giants couldn't which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Like we always do, lets take a look at the good, the mixed, and the ugly from today's loss.
– The Giants front four kept pressure on Roethlisberger all game. The Giants big three Tuck, Pierre-Paul, and Umenyiora were all able to record at least one sack, though it didn't help keep the Steelers from making the big plays late in the game.
– Roethlisberger has been very cautious with the ball thus far this season throwing only three interceptions prior to today’s game. Webster forced his fourth interception of the year in the third quarter after pressure from the line.
– Steve had a couple booming punts but his biggest play came late in the game when Emmanuel Sanders broke loose on a punt return nearly scoring, but Weatherford was able to force him down at the eleven yard line. It turned out to be a huge play after the Steelers would fail to convert on a fake field goal attempt costing them a chance to put points on the board." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Steelers 24, Giants 20: Pittsburgh Overpowers Giants
Excerpt: "The New York Giants
are used to being part of fourth-quarter comebacks. Only, the Giants are used to coming out on the winning end of them. That did not happen Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers
erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Giants, 24-20, at MetLife Stadium.
Pittsburgh's comeback began with a 51-yard catch and run from Ben Roethlisberger
to Mike Wallace
, who caught a short pass and outraced several Giants' defenders to pull the Steelers within 20-17.
The Giants (6-3) got a temporary reprieve after Emmanel Sanders returned a punt 63 yards to the Giants 12, foiling a fake field goal attempt by Pittsburgh.
On the Steelers' next possession, however, Pittsburgh drove 51 yards in 10 plays, with Isaac Redman
scoring the winning touchdown from a yard out with 4:08 to play." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Giants Benefit From Two Shaky Calls From Refs
Excerpt: "Consecutive questionable calls in the NY Giants - Pittsburgh Steelers game directly led to points for the Giants in the first half of the Steelers' 24 - 20 win Sunday.
First up was a third-and-2 incomplete pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz in the clip above. Steelers'SITE LINK
safety Ryan Clark was called for a personal foul for a hit to the head on Cruz on the play. The replay clearly showed that Clark hit Cruz low. The hit also came before the ball hit the ground." Read more...
Giants' Need Eli Manning Comeback Fast
Excerpt: "On a raw night in Mobile, Ala., nine years back, Ben Roethlisberger
had briefly hurdled Eli Manning
on the New York Giants' draft board. Roethlisberger was quarterbacking Miami University to its 13th consecutive victory, a blowout of Louisville, when Giants' GM Ernie Accorsi checked his BlackBerry in the stands.
Roethlisberger had already thrown four touchdown passes in the first half when Accorsi received this short and sweet email from his boss, John Mara:
"We're taking him."
Giants officials would continue the debate in the coming months, and attend pre-draft workouts involving Roethlisberger and Manning. Both prospects delivered in their drills, but something about Eli stood out, a natural ability and athletic grace that nobody saw in big brother Peyton's game." Read more...
Special Teams Exposed In Loss To Steelers
Excerpt: "The Giants’ special teams unit sure got a workout in Sunday.
After being stout all season, the specials teams unit had its worst game of the year as Pittsburgh consistently had great — if not outstanding — returns during its 24-20 win. The Steelers averaged 34.6 yards per kickoff returns and 25.3 on their punt returns.
The shaky play in coverage overshadowed two great special team plays in the fourth quarter that kept Pittsburgh off the board.
“Special teams was not good and that’s something we take pride in,” linebacker Mark Herzlich said. “We just left gaps open and that’s something we haven’t done all season, and we have to play every single play. We can’t expect them to just fall down at the 20 because we’ve stopped them all season. They are going to fight back and try to find the seams and we have to stop them better than we did today.”
The Giants lost the field-position battle all day as Pittsburgh used its speed in open space to gash the Giants. On punt returns, the Steelers had plenty of time to get running, while the kickoffs were not deep enough to sail out of the end zone or make Pittsburgh take a knee.
On the opening drive of the second half, Pittsburgh’s Chris Rainey returned the kickoff 68 yards to the Giants’ 35-yard line. He had 163 return yards on the day. In the fourth quarter,Emmanuel Sanders returned a punt for 63 yards to give the Steelers position inside the red zone.
The Steelers had a combined 249 return yards and managed to have a 60-yard return on a punt and a kickoff. The Giants’ return game, meanwhile, had just four kick returns for a total of 100 yards and did not have a single punt return.
“I think a lot of guys feel let down because we know what we’re capable of and we played some great special teams units on other team and we were able to shut it down,” cornerback Michael Coe said. “We just gotta go out there and correct the mistakes.”
Isaac Redman Gains 147 yards, Late TD as Steelers End Giants' Wining Streak
Excerpt: "Sometimes, real life intrudes on the games we play. And sometimes, we need those games to get away from real life.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it brought to the Northeast, everyone on the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants understood that.
"There are so many bigger things going on around here that what we do is not as important as real life," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Sunday after throwing for two touchdowns in a 24-20 comeback victory. "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone else who are going through so much. There were so many emotions going on, I didn't know what to expect from it. But maybe we were able to take their minds off their problems just a little."
That's all the local fans sought: temporary relief, and the Giants (6-3) provided it for a while. But they couldn't stop Isaac Redman, who had little relief with Pittsburgh's other two main backs injured, yet rushed for a career-best 147 yards and the winning 1-yard TD with 4:02 to go.
Overcoming unusual sloppiness, the Steelers (5-3) dominated the second half. They did so after they arrived in New Jersey hours before the game, which might have accounted for their carelessness. They had the fewest giveaways in the NFL entering the game, but were neglectful with the ball and in pass coverage. Cornerback Keenan Lewis had 87 yards on two pass interference penalties. They wasted some great kick returns, too.
The Steelers' long day began with a plane ride to New Jersey, a short side trip to their team hotel -- they couldn't get enough rooms to stay in the area on Saturday night and needed a league travel waiver to arrive on game day -- then on to the stadium. Outside, folks tailgated and tried to blunt some of the devastation from the week's superstorm. As Giants fan Courtney Davis, whose town of Sea Bright was washed away by Hurricane Sandy, said in response to holding the game: "We need this."
"Coming in the day of the game was tough and we had to deal with that adversity," Redman said. "But the Giants had to deal with adversity all week. We just had to come in here and be ready to play." Read more...
Steelers Rally Past Giants
Excerpt: "Sometimes, real life intrudes on the games we play. And sometimes, we need those games to get away from real life.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and the destruction it brought to the Northeast, everyone on thePittsburgh Steelers
and New York Giants
"There are so many bigger things going on around here that what we do is not as important as real life," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
said Sunday after throwing for two touchdowns in a 24-20 comeback victory. "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone else who are going through so much. There were so many emotions going on, I didn't know what to expect from it. But maybe we were able to take their minds off their problems just a little."
That's all the local fans sought: temporary relief and the Giants (6-3) provided it for a while. But they couldn't stop Isaac Redman
, who had little relief with Pittsburgh's other two main backs injured, yet rushed for a career-best 147 yards and the winning 1-yard TD with 4:02 to go.
Overcoming unusual sloppiness, the Steelers (5-3) dominated the second half. They did so after they arrived in New Jersey hours before the game, which might have accounted for their carelessness. They had the fewest giveaways in the NFL entering the game, but were neglectful with the ball and in pass coverage; cornerback Keenan Lewis
had 87 yards on two pass interference penalties. They wasted some great kick returns, too." Read more...
Redman Sparks Steelers' Upset Over Giants
Excerpt: "Isaac Redman ran for 147 yards and the winning touchdown with 4:02 remaining Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied past the New York Giants, 24-20.
The Steelers (5-3) snapped New York's four-game winning streak by overcoming some uncharacteristic sloppiness and dominating the second half.
Temporary relief from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy was what New York's fans sought, and the Giants (6-3) provided it for a while. But they couldn't stop Redman or touchdowns of 51 yards for Mike Wallace and 4 yards for Emmanuel Sanders on passes from Ben Roethlisberger." Read more...