Postmortem: Giants Flatline in Loss to Steelers

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m afraid that’s all we have for you today…..

Efficiency and Vital Stats

The Giants only had 13 first downs yesterday and three of those were awarded via penalties. The Steelers had 21 first downs and only one via a penalty.

The Steelers were 6-13 on 3rd down (46%). The Giants went 2 for 10. Yuck.

The Steelers were 2-4 in the Red Zone. The Giants were only in the RZ twice, going 1-2.

Pittsburgh nearly doubled the Giants’ offensive output, 349 yards to 182. The Steelers had ten offensive plays of 12 yards or more. The Giants had only three.

The Giants lost the time of possession by a mile: The Steelers held the ball for over 35 minutes and ran 69 offensive plays to the Giants’ 48. Pittsburgh’s average gain per offensive play was 5.1 yards. The Giants’ was 3.8.

Field position…Pittsburgh’s average start-of-drive position was their own 38. The Giants average start was their own 26.

Facts and Figures

It must be November…Eli Manning’s 125-yards passing is the ninth-lowest output of his nine-year NFL career……..Eli’s October record is the best in NFL history (27-5) but his November record is horrendous. He’s now 13-17 lifetime in November. December isn’t much better (16-19). Manning’s passer rating  yesterday (41.1) was the eighth-lowest in his 129-game regular-season career.

Running aground….the Giants gained only 68 yards on 22 carries – a 3.1 YPC. They came into yesterday’s game averaging 114 yards per contest and 4.3 YPC.

Hakeem Nicks was targeted only four times and finished with one reception for 10 yards. Since he returned from an injured knee/foot four games ago, Nicks has only 13 receptions for 153 yards. Ouch.

Victor Cruz caught five of his 11 targets for 67 yards. He continues to be steady, taking hard hits and getting up off the deck and consistently fighting off double-coverage.

Not so special….the ST coverage had been having a strong season – until yesterday. Steelers’ KR Chris Rainey had 173 yards on five returns including a 68-yarder. PR Emmanuel Sanders had a 63-yard return, and might have scored if not for the efforts of Giants’ punter Steve Weatherford.

LB Michael Boley led the Giants’ defense with 10 combined tackles and a fumble return for a TD. DE Justin Tuck had a strong game with two sacks and a pass defended. JPP had eight tackles, including a sack. Corey Webster had an INT for the second game in a row.

Boley and safeties Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle played every defensive snap yesterday. OL James Brewer and DT Marvin Austin dressed, but did not play in the game.