Eli Manning, New York Giants fail huge test against Pittsburgh Steelers (Highlights) 1
Dec 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) catches a touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning and his New York Giants were frustrated all day against Ben Roethlisberger‘s Pittsburgh Steelers in Pennsylvania.

  • New York Giants 14 (8-4)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 24 (7-5)
  • NFL, Final, Box Score
  • Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Finally, the New York Football Giants were afforded the opportunity to showcase what they could do against a solid NFL team. In this case, it was Ben Roethlisberger’s 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers on the slate while in a hostile environment in Western Pennsylvania.

Coincidentally, this trip represented a homecoming for head coach Ben McAdoo (Homer City, PA). Interestingly enough, the term Homer City played a real symbolism in Sunday’s test for the Giants as the Steelers — much to the dismay of many Big Blue fans — received the better end of the whistle.

Pittsburgh was nicknamed Homer City on this day in the Steelers 24-14 victory.

After the complaining was all but done, onlookers understood New York had its chances. No penalty or rough call can be blamed on this one. It starts with their leader, Eli Manning.

Down by an uneasy 5-0 score early, Manning had his Giants in prime position to take a lead. He was hot and the offense was humming. Eli then proceeded to now see Lawrence Timmons sliding on the underneath coverage and was picked in the redzone:

From that point on New York was chasing points.

Manning was pedestrian all game (195 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT, 25-39). His offensive line didn’t help matters either. Ereck Flowers couldn’t handle whoever was on his side and the unit struggled mightily against a Pitt front-seven that was ready to go from the first snap. 

Speaking of complaining, Odell Beckham Jr. couldn’t stop. Granted, Pittsburgh’s average secondary was fortunate in many cases, but OBJ simply barked at the officials entirely too much. His final line of 79 yards on eight grabs didn’t make too much an impact.

While the Giants defense fought hard, the excellence they expected out of itself didn’t happen. First and foremost, it started with Ben Roethlisberger hardly facing any pressure. Olivier Vernon collected two sacks but not much else happened in the trenches defensively for Steve Spagnuolo’s group.

Big Ben finished with 289 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception on 24-of-35 from the field. His favorite target, Antonio Brown, was spectacular, yet again (54 YDS, 6 REC, 1 TD). He opened the TD scoring on the day with this beautiful back endzone grab:

Le’Veon Bell went for 118 yards on 29 carries without scoring. He did fumble in the third quarter that provided the Giants with plenty of hope, but the offense failed to convert.

The real test that came New York’s way today turned out to be a learning experience. While he already knew, he now completely understands his offensive line is pretty terrible. The redzone inefficiency of the Giants offense ultimately doomed them in this one (1-3 including a turnover).

At 8-4, and with the NFC East title seemingly out of reach, they’ll turn their attention to the Dallas Cowboys who they’ll host at MetLife Stadium next week.

Game Notes:

After Brown’s TD catch, OBJ received plenty of attention for all the wrong reasons. He smiled and then quickly retracted the smile after his friend caught the game’s first TD:

Rookie Eli Apple came away with a fumble recovery and his first career interception in this one.

Landon Collins, again, played well, but found himself as toast on this Ladarius Green wheel route that ended in six:

The early 5-0 lead came thanks to a Flowers hold in the endzone that resulted in a safety.

Rashad Jennings caught a TD pass on a well-executed screen play that got the Giants on the board:

Sterling Shepard added on a garbage time TD with 26 seconds remaining.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com