By Paul Dottino
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A poor road record, a gimpy running back corps and a 10-point deficit after three quarters. Yet somehow, the Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to beat the Giants, 24-20, Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Coach Tom Coughlin always reminds his team to "finish," but they wasted a 20-10 lead by allowing two touchdown drives – the final one capped by Isaac Redman's 1-yard run with 4:02 left in the game.
Still, the Giants are 6-3 and are in very solid position to make a second-half playoff run – as long they clean up some of their inconsistencies in all three phases of the game.
Let's get to our review:
Offense-LT Will Beatty. It's hard to pick out a worthy recipient here. But the guy has played solid football since he was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 3. And, unofficially, he has yet to allow a sack since that time. As expected, the Steelers sent a variety of pressure packages at the Giants, but Beatty held up.
Defense-DE Osi Umenyiora. He was very active, finishing with seven tackles, and did a good job of trying to crash on plays down the line. He also came up with a strip-sack that LB Michael Boley returned for a 70-yard TD late in the second quarter.
Special teams-CB Michael Coe. The Giants had a field-goal block called as Shaun Suisham lined up for a 20-yard attempt with 10:41 left in the game, but holder Drew Butler flipped the ball to Suisham, who tried to run around the right end. Coe sniffed out the play and dropped him for a 1-yard loss that allowed the Giants to keep a 20-17 lead.
Offense-QB Eli Manning. Wow, he was not good and the numbers do not lie: 10-of-24 for 125 yards with an ill-advised first-quarter throw that became an Ike Taylor interception. Manning was pressure and lofted the ball for WR Victor Cruz, across the field and into double coverage. He just seems out of sync with receivers – passes that he used to throw on the money are falling incomplete. The 125 yards was Manning's lowest total in four years.
Defense-The unit. We're going to opt out again and ask the entire unit to run sprints because there were too many missed tackles and too many guys caught out of their lanes for the Giants to get the job done. They got hammered by Redman to the tune of 147 yards on 26 carries and allowed the Steelers to go 6-of-13 on third down.
Special teams-The unit. This entire unit can run sprints, too. How can you point a finger when the Steelers' return game included kickoff returns of 50 and 68 yards and a punt return of 63?
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