Sunday afternoon in New York was a statement game for the Pittsburgh Steelers and behind a big fourth quarter from Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense, the Black and Gold erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and made a big statement by beating the Giants 24-20.
Much was made about the Steelers not arriving in New York until this afternoon, but the flight plans had very little impact on the game.
Much was also made about the quarterback battle between Roethlisberger and Eli Manning and after a third-quarter interception from Roethlisberger led to a Lawrence Tynes field goal and a 20-10 New York lead, Big Ben heated up.
Roethlisberger once again saved his best for the fourth quarter, completing 7-of-9 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown- a 51-yard catch and run by Mike Wallace to make it a 20-17 game.
After he got the Steelers’ offense rolling, Roethlisberger leaned on running back Isaac Redman, who filled in for the injured Jonathan Dwyer, carried the ball 26 times for 147 yards and the game winning touchdown with a little over four minutes left.
Big Ben finished the day an efficient 21-for-30 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His other touchdown came on a four-yard scoring pass to Emmanuel Sanders to give the Steelers a 7-0 second quarter lead.
The Giants answered right back to tie the game at seven with an Andre Brown one-yard touchdown run, capping off a drive that was kept going by two Steelers penalties: a 41-yard pass interference call on Keenan Lewis and a questionable unnecessary roughness call on safety Ryan Clark.
On the very next series, the Steelers allowed a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Giants’ linebacker Michael Boley. This was also a questionable call as well as replays showed Roethlisberger’s arm to be moving forward with the ball in it, but somehow the referee didn’t overturn his original call and the Steelers found themselves in a hole.
While dealing with some unusual sloppiness, Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense got their act in gear just in time as everything began clicking after the touchdown pass to Wallace. Part of the problems could have been that the Steelers were playing without Antonio Brown, who left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury.
However while the offense played a big role in the comeback, it was the Steelers’ defense that played a steady game throughout.
That defense allowed only one offensive touchdown on the day and held Manning to one of the worst games of his career (10 completions, 125 yards, one interception, 41.1 rating). In addition, the defense stepped up and made big plays in the fourth quarter when they had to, as the Giants got the ball three times in the fourth quarter and the Steelers’ defense forced them three-and-out each time. Pittsburgh held the G-Men to minus-18 yards in the quarter.