Considering Opponent, Steelers D delivers best performance of season
The best thing for the Steelers in turning a four game losing streak that had their season on a downhill spiral to now a three game winning streak, has been the schedule and some “Luck”. What playing the Cleveland Browns in week 11 and the Indianapolis Colts last week without Andrew Luck was let this defense reset when they needed it the most.
Rookies and young players trending up came out of those two games with a new brand of confidence and suddenly the Steelers defense is looking like the unit from Weeks 1, 2, 4 & 5 where the Steelers allowed 16 points or less in all four games to start the season 4-1.
While the Giants came in with the 22nd ranked offense in the NFL, this was a critical test with Eli Manning at QB.
Pittsburgh rose to the occasion at every opportunity in a 24-14 win.
In the first half when the Giants were pressing to get in the end zone, Lawrence Timmons delivered a red-zone INT. The Steelers made three fourth down stops as the Giants were 0-3 on 4th down opportunities with the Steelers picking off Eli Manning on two 4th down throws, the other interception by Sean Davis, the first of his career.
The Steelers held the Giants to 234 total yards with 52 of those yards coming in the final minute of the game when the Giants had 5 play, 52 yard TD drive in the final minute of the game.
Eli Manning finished 24/39 for 195 yards with 2 TD’s – 2 Interceptions. Prior to that final drive at mop up time when the game was out of hand, he was 20/33 for 150 yards.
That is doing work by this D.
1. Lawrence Timmons | His red-zone INT that was returned for 58 yards was a major swing in the game as the Steelers turned the Timmons INT into a touchdown to jump out to an 11-0 lead. In the third quarter with a Giants 4th and 1 at the Steelers 3 yard line, Timmons provided key pressure on Manning leading to an incomplete pass and turnover on downs. Timmons game continues to trend upwards at the right time.
2. Ladarius Green | 6 Catches for 110 yards and 1 touchdown. With no deep passing threat at wide receiver, Green’s presence at the tight end position to stretch the field was a big development in this one. At times he was so wide open it looked like the Giants didn’t game plan for him. Green had a long catch of 37 yards and TD reception of 20 yards.
3. Le’Veon Bell | Had a costly turnover in the second half that got the Giants back in the game. Aside from the turnover, Bell was unstoppable. Rushed for 118 yards on 29 carries. Coming in Bell was averaging 142 total yards from scrimmage, he put up 182 today vs the Giants.
4. LB James Harrison – The James Harrison to the field and Jarvis Jones to the bench continues to pay huge dividends for the Steelers. Harrison drew a holding penalty in the end zone leading a safety, finishing with a sack, tackle for loss and 4 QB pressures. He was handful for the Giants to handle. Harrison has 5 sacks over his last five games.
5. Kicker Randy Bullock | Signed on Saturday afternoon, Bullock was 3-3 on field goals, including a 44 yarder.