They blue it: Giant defense finally breaks in 4th quarter

Sam Spiegelman

What went wrong?

Isaac Redman gashed New York for 147 yards and the game-winning scramble into the end zone. For a while, the Giants stifled the running game, but somehow forgot how to do it in the fourth quarter.

After holding Pittsburgh to 3-8 on third down, the Steelers converted 3 of their final 5 attempts. The strong mix of run and pass threw New York off guard and rendered their rush ineffective.

Can the defense blame the offense? Eli Manning and Co. had three consecutive three-and-outs in the fourth quarter and held the ball for what felt like 3 minutes altogether. The defense was on the field too long, and consequently they relented 10 points, and obviously the game-winning touchdown.

Overview

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a clear-cut game-plan for the Giants: short, quick passes intertwined with a series of running plays right up the heart of the defense.

The Steelers stuck with the plan, counteracted the Giants’ pass rush and overcame costly turnovers  with a 10-point rally in the final quarter.

Here was a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game.

The tale of the game

Redman, filling in for the injured Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer, began his gashing of the Giants’ interior defense.

Still, the Giants forced numerous third-down situations, and for the most part won the battle.

That was until the second quarter, when Redman single-handedly outgained New York en route to a 7-0 lead.

Chapter 2: Big Ben hands it over

Ben Roethlisberger had an awkward fumble-rooski and an interception, which led to 10 New York Giants points. This set up a 17-7 Giants lead.

In the fourth quarter, however, the Giants’ fortune faded.

A big-play strike to Mike Wallace helped the Steelers cut the deficit to three. Then, the Pittsburgh defense was awoken, and the New York offense stalled.

Coinciding with the offense’s struggles, Big Blue’s D was unable to stop the Steelers’ mix of short passes and Redman. The result was a go-ahead touchdown run.

 

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