Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants Preseason Week 1 Recap and Analysis
The preseason kicked off Saturday for the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Mixed results.
Two of the most storied franchises in the NFL kicked off their preseason schedule on Friday night when the Pittsburgh Steeler took on the New York Giants at Heinz Field.
The game started off with the Steelers looking to establish the run against the injury-laden defensive line of the Giants and it began to work when Larod Stevens-Howling came in and began gashing the Giants for several impressive gains. Ben Roethlisberger was at the controls of Todd Haley’s offense to start out and like 2012, the passing attack consisted of many underneath routes and short throws as Roethlisberger only threw downfield one time which was incomplete. The Steelers revamped offensive line looked strong on running plays, but allowed Roethlisberger to get smacked a few times including a monster sack from new Giant Cullen Jenkins.
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On the defensive side of the ball Giants’ rookie Demontre Moore announced his presence early with a blocked punt and a tackle for a loss as well as a hit on Roethlisberger. The Giant’s linebackers looked shaky though and they were unable to hit the running back’s of the Steelers until 4 yards down the field. The Giants' offense got a golden opportunity after a blocked punt put them on the 5 yard line, but after a run for no yards by David Wilson, Eli Manning threw two incomplete passes in a row and had to settle for a field goal. After the Steelers drive stalled near the redzone for only three points, the Giants took over again and after second year receiver Reuben Randle juked out a few Steelers defenders for a first down, Eli Manning threw a rainbow over the middle to Victor Cruz for a 57 yard touchdown. The Giants running game didn’t start to show any punch until Andre Brown hit the field and broke off several good runs before fumbling on a toss play.
After the starters came out, the game got a bit ugly as the Steelers started committing penalties and had one turnover where quarterback Landry Jones couldn’t complete a simple handoff and fumbled the ball for a safety. Things were ugly on both sides though as the Giants had a snap go way over rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib’s head and into the endzone for where the Steelers recovered it for a touchdown.
Some rookies that really stood out include Steelers wide receiver Marquis Wheaton whose speed was impressive despite only having one catch. Jarvis Jones also contributed for the Steelers with a big fumble recovery. For the Giants, Michael Cox looked awfully good running the ball and with his massive frame and speed, he could end up pushing Andre Brown for some playing time this season. Demontre Moore was the star of the show for the Giants rookies though as the 20 year old showed incredible explosiveness from the defensive end spot.
Final score-New York 18- Pittsburgh Steelers-15
Injury Report- Justin Tuck, Hakeem Nicks and Justin Pugh all were kept out of the game for various injuries and that allowed Demontre Moore and Reuben Randle to step into the spotlight for the Giants. The Steelers were without rookie running back Le’veon Bell who figures to be the starter and that led Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer to take the load of the carries although Larod Stevens-Howling was the only one who really impressed.