Giants vs. Steelers analysis: Studs and Duds

Jeff Zelevansky

The Giants' uncanny knack of leaving points on the board while in the red zone, combined with the ongoing struggles of their franchise quarterback and poor special teams, contributed to the end of a four-game winning streak.

For the second consecutive week, the New York Giants were in position to win a game they had no business winning. A lucky break -- a matter of inches -- helped them escape Dallas and against the Pittsburgh Steelers they were the beneficiary of two blown calls in the first half.

Alas, the Giants' uncanny knack of leaving points on the board while in the red zone, combined with the ongoing struggles of their franchise quarterback and poor special teams, contributed to the end of a four-game winning streak. A 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium dropped the Giants to 6-3, but they remain in first place in the NFC East.

There are times when it's better to be lucky than good. On Sunday, however, the Giants just weren't very good.

STUDS
Mike Wallace:
Held without a catch well into the second half, Wallace's 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown was the beginning of the end for Giants. Wallace ran those 51 yards in roughly eight seconds to pull the Steelers within 20-17 and seize control of the game's momentum.

Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben overcame four sacks to throw for 216 yards on 21 of 30 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.

Isaac Redmond: Filled a void at running back created by injuries to rush for 147 yards and the winning touchdown with 4:02 remaining.

Justin Tuck: Recorded two of the Giants' four sacks.

Michael Boley: A game-high 10 tackles along with a 70-yard fumble return for a score, albeit on a wrong call that failed to enforce the Tuck Rule.

DUDS
Eli Manning:
Manning (10 of 24, 125 yards, INT, 41.1 rating) couldn't get anything going against the NFL's top-ranked pass defense.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Bottled up for 48 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Special Teams: Surrendered five kickoff returns for 173 yards (34.6 average) with a long of 68 and three punt returns for 76 yards (25.3 average) with a long of 63. Whoa boy.

TURNING POINT
Still leading 20-17 late in the game, the Giants stopped the Steelers on 3rd and 7 at the 14, which led one to believe that the Steelers would not try another fake field goal attempt; the first failed early in the fourth. However, rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley was called for an offsides penalty. Redman ran for eight yards on 3rd and 2 and two plays later scored the winning touchdown.

Visit Big Blue View for more Giants coverage.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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