The Giants' 5-1 record was pretty sparkling, but skeptics are quick to point out their easy schedule thus far. Enter the Steelers this week, and many prognosticators (including the Vegas odds-makers) had the G-Men losing their second game of the year.
But the Giants held tough the entire game, using the same formula that propelled them to the Super Bowl last year. When playing elite teams, they played some smothering D and scored enough to get the job done. They didn't have to come back from a mountainous deficit, and they didn't blow out their opponent. The game was played the way it was expected: two top teams in a grueling battle.
True, the Giants' high-powered offense sputtered, but the Steelers do have the best D in the league (except, perhaps, for the Titans). They didn't manage a touchdown until the very end, and Eli Manning looked really bad multiple times. Plus, while Derrick Ward showed how valuable he is, Brandon Jacobs kept getting stuffed. He had only 47 yards on 18 rushes and was stopped twice on the goal line.
Their defense was tremendous, picking Big Ben off four times, and "forcing" a safety. Okay, the safety was more the result of a botched snap than a defensive play, but it was still pretty cool. They also put a lot of pressure on Roethlisberger, who was sacked five times.
I know the Steelers were without Santonio Holmes and Willie Parker, but Mewelde Moore and Nate Washington have been playing extremely well in their absences, and, in fact, were the players who scored the touchdowns for Pittsburgh.
I don't think the absence of Parker and Holmes take much away from the victory, especially since the defense did a great job containing Big Ben, who would've had a tough time throwing to any receiver.
All in all, a very solid win for the Giants, who proved they can play with the big boys. The offense could have been better, but considering the great defense they were up against, I'll give them a temporary reprieve. Let's just hope this game was a testament to the Steelers' great D and not an example of a flukish Giants' O.
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