The New York Giants arrived in Pittsburgh as one of the hottest teams in football. The Steelers just did everything in their power to put the fire out.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 289 yards, and the Pittsburgh defense clamped down tight on the Giants offense, as the Steelers earned a strong 24-14 victory Sunday.
The Steelers held possession for more than 34 minutes and outgained the Giants, 389-234. They controlled the tempo for nearly the entire game, stifling Eli Manning and a Giants offense that entered Week 13 sporting a six-game winning streak.
Manning succumbed to his very worst impulses for most of the contest, throwing two interceptions and consistently being forced into checkdown throws. The Giants had just two plays of 20 or more yards, and Manning needed 39 attempts to get to his 195 yards.
The Steelers offered a replay of one of Manning's lowlights:
Manning has thrown multiple interceptions in five games this season; the Giants have somehow managed a 3-2 record in those contests. He had four multi-interception games all of 2015.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com placed some blame on Manning and the rest on the Giants' woeful offensive line:
The Steelers, meanwhile, were far more well-oiled than their 21 points would suggest. Roethlisberger completed 24 of his 36 pass attempts and hit on two touchdowns, with Ladarius Green coming through with his best performance in a Steelers uniform. Green made six receptions for a team-high 110 yards and a touchdown.
As Barnwell noted, he also made a habit of beating Giants safety Landon Collins:
Green had been slow to make an impact after sitting out into November due to an injury, but he's made big plays each of the last two weeks. He had two receptions of 30-plus yards in the Steelers' Thanksgiving Day win over the Indianapolis Colts and seemingly became a Roethlisberger favorite against these Giants.
Antonio Brown added six receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, Brown did not incur a penalty for excessive celebration. The All-Pro wideout was hit with his third unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Colts, which led to the team addressing the matter behind the scenes.
Business was indeed boomin', as SportsCenter noted:
Brown has at least one touchdown in four of his last five games and has made at least five receptions in each of his last six.
Le'Veon Bell went over 100 yards for the third straight game, posting 118 yards on 29 carries. He added six receptions for 64 yards but did not score a touchdown for the first time in nearly a month. The Steelers have given Bell at least 23 carries in each of the last three games, and he's posted 35 or more touches in two of those contests.
Chad Johnson approves:
The Steelers' win keeps them in lockstep with the Baltimore Ravens, who earned a dominant 38-6 win over the Miami Dolphins earlier Sunday. With trips to Buffalo and Cincinnati each of the next two weeks, Pittsburgh could easily be riding a five-game winning streak for its matchup with the Ravens on Christmas Day.
The Giants remain the class of the NFC's wild-card race despite the loss. However, they host a streaking Dallas Cowboys team next week that has been rampaging through their schedule and will have an extra few days of rest.
Will Graves of the Associated Press provided video of Odell Beckham criticizing officials:
The Steelers provided quotes from Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin: