Giants 21

(6-1, 2-1 away)

Steelers 14

(5-2, 2-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, October 26, 2008

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA 

1 2 3 4 T
NYG 3 6 0 1221
PIT 7 0 7 014

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 199 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: M. Moore (PIT) - 19 CAR, 84 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: N. Washington (PIT) - 1 REC, 65 YDS, 1 TD

Game bounces New York's way as Big Ben, Steelers cough up win to Giants

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers, stretched thin by injuries and their own mistakes, repeatedly kept the New York Giants out of their end zone. A game the Steelers were controlling turned dramatically when they couldn't stay out of that end zone themselves.

Eli Manning threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss with 3:11 remaining for the Giants' only touchdown after they tied it several minutes before on a bizarre safety.

Good With the Bad

Although he threw four interceptions, Ben Roethlisberger's 189 passing yards Sunday put him ahead of Steelers quarterback Neil O'Donnell for third on the franchise's career passing yards list.
Terry Bradshaw1970-8327,989
Kordell Stewart1995-200213,328
Ben Roethlisberger2004-0813,025
Neil O'Donnell1990-9512,867

Emergency snapper James Harrison snapped the ball out of the end zone to give New York the pivotal two points, and the Giants rallied to beat Pittsburgh for a 21-14 victory Sunday in a matchup of division leaders.

The resilient Steelers (5-2), playing with backups all over the field, tried to make up for Ben Roethlisberger's four interceptions and five sacks by turning two big-play scores into a 14-12 lead they preserved with a goal-line stand midway through the fourth quarter.

The Super Bowl champion Giants (6-1) tied it with 6:48 remaining when Pro Bowl linebacker Harrison, playing center due to long snapper Greg Warren's torn anterior cruciate ligament, centered the ball over punter Mitch Berger's head.

"Nobody has two long snappers on their team; what you have are emergency snappers," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "James Harrison is regarded as the lead candidate. We got some snaps on the sideline and we felt comfortable.... We just weren't able to get it done. That was the first game I have been involved in that we didn't have a snapper."

Giants coach Tom Coughlin knew Pittsburgh was without a snapper, saying, "That's why we brought the pressure. I don't know if it disturbed them, but the snap was high."

The snapping predicament came shortly after the Steelers, already playing without injured left tackle Marvel Smith, left guard Kendall Simmons, running back Willie Parker and cornerback Bryant McFadden and suspended wide receiver Santonio Holmes, lost safety Ryan Clark (dislocated right shoulder) during the physical game.

"I was nervous about snapping for the first time in a game," Harrison said. "But my feeling was that even if I shot it over his head, we still had a chance to stop them."

John Carney kicked four field goals for New York, hitting from 26, 35, 25 and 24 -- an indication of how many times the Giants threatened but couldn't get into the end zone against the NFL's top-ranked defense until Boss scored.

"You want situations where they kind of have you in a corner and you have to come out swinging," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. "Obviously, we responded pretty well. ... Guys really understand what it takes to win in situations like this."

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Manning, held in check most of the game while going 19-of-32 for 199 yards, finally took advantage of the tiring and depleted Steelers defense by finding Steve Smith for 25 yards to the 25 on the decisive drive.

Brandon Jacobs followed with an 8-yard run, and Manning hit Plaxico Burress for 8 yards ahead of Derrick Ward's 7-yard run. The TD pass to Boss came on a second-and-2 play.

"Things weren't going well at times and it's easy to get frustrated, but we didn't," Manning said. "We hung in there tough and found a way to win. Getting frustrated is not going to fix anything. Sometimes you've got to take the field goals and hope that the defense will keep playing tough."

The Steelers had won their previous nine home games against NFC teams, and Roethlisberger (13-of-29, 189 yards) had been 13-3 against the conference, but Pittsburgh couldn't hold on despite getting two big-play touchdowns from backups.

Mewelde Moore, gaining 84 yards for the injured Parker, scored on a 32-yard run on Pittsburgh's fourth play from scrimmage in the first quarter. Roethlisberger later found Nate Washington for 65 yards -- the backup receiver's third touchdown in three games -- and a 14-9 lead on Pittsburgh's first play of the second half.

"But it's disappointing, and it starts with me," Roethlisberger said.

New York dominated the time of possession in the first half, yet managed only two Carney field goals during a stretch in which it began successive drives at Pittsburgh's 42-, 19- and 29-yard lines.

"They're maybe the best defense in football right now," Burress said. "I have a lot of respect for those guys, we all do. We kind of knew it was going to be a slugfest."

Game notes

The crowd of 64,991 was the largest for a Steelers regular-season home game. ... Giants CB Kevin Dockery injured his back late in the second quarter and did not return. ... There were only six officials, rather than the normal seven, due to head linesman John Schleyer's illness. ... The Giants hadn't played in Pittsburgh since winning there in 1991, when they also were the reigning Super Bowl champions. ... The Steelers were denied only their second 6-1 start in 30 years. The other was in 2004. ... Burress, the former Steelers receiver, was held out of the first quarter for missing a therapy session. He practiced Friday and didn't think the therapy for his sore neck was needed.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1412
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6756
Total Yards282249
Yards per play4.24.4
Total Drives1312
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-60-0
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

pitTD11:22Mewelde Moore, 32 yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 60 yds, 1:27
nygFG4:43John Carney 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 57 yds, 6:36
nygFG10:33John Carney 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 0:57
nygFG3:34John Carney 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 22 yds, 4:23
pitTD10:10Nate Washington, 65 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 65 yds, 0:00
nygFG8:21John Carney 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 62 yds, 5:42
nygSF7:21(Punt formation) M.Berger Aborted. J.Harrison FUMBLES at PIT 0, ball out of bounds in End Zone, SAFETY.
Drive info: 4 plays, -30 yds, 1:30
nygTD3:11Kevin Boss, 2 yd pass from Eli Manning (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 53 yds, 3:41