Steelers Versus Giants Second Half Recap & Notes
The New York Giants received the ball to start the second half, which began with a first down pass from Curtis Painter to Jerrel Jernigan past Robert Golden, who was playing in the slot. Giants receiver Kris Adams suffered what appeared to be a serious lower leg injury a play later and had to be carted off the field. It was later announced that he suffered a lower leg fracture.
DaMon Cromartie-Smith continued his strong play on defense—despite the lapse on special teams—cutting through a hole for a run stop after just a yard on second down, but Ramses Barden was able to convert in front of Josh Victorian for the first. On the next third down, however, Brian Rolle was able to register the sack to force a punt.
Landry Jones entered the game ahead of John Parker Wilson to start the third quarter, starting at his own four after wide receiver David Gilreath irresponsibly fielded a punt close to the goal line and fellow receiver Justin Brown was flagged for holding. On the first snap of his pro career, he collided with back Baron Batch on a handoff in the end zone, which resulted in a fumble. Jones was able to cover the ball, but the play still resulted in a safety.
Jernigan set the Giants up with good field position on the subsequent safety kick. Kion Wilson made a tackle in the backfield for a three-yard loss on the first play after, however, and Adrian Robinson was able to get the pressure to force a throwaway on third down to force the punt.
Jones’ first pass was a high floater to former college teammate Justin Brown for eight yards, who made a nice effort to come down with it, saving his quarterback some face in the process. Two carries by Batch only netted a yard, however, with guard Chris Hubbard getting bested on the third down play, and the Steelers were forced to punt.
The Giants went three and out on the next drive, assisted by a pass breakup by Isaiah Green on the first play. Gilreath, however, had the punt bounce right off of his chest and onto the ground, which Giants safety Tyler Sash recovered at the Steelers 29.
Undrafted rookie Brian Arnfelt helped prevent any major damage, however, by making two shoe-string tackles on second and third down to force a 38-yard field goal try, which was missed by kicker Josh Brown.
Once again, Justin Brown helped bail out his former college teammate by pulling down a ball that could have been intercepted, or at least broken up, and taking it for a first down. However, Jones could not connect with receiver Derek Moye on third and two.
Jarvis Jones helped end the next drive by the Giants after beating a blocker to make an open field tackle on third and five. It was his clear highlight of the night, a much more impressive play than diving on a freely vacated ball on the ground in the first half.
On the next drive, Landry Jones connected with Moye on back-to-back passes, but was unable to find a target on the next two plays, forcing another punt. On the next Giants drive, the Steelers brought in the Big Nickel, and rookie linebacker Vince Williams got the sack for a three-yard loss on the first play.
Another stop and two penalties set up third down and 22 for rookie Ryan Nassib, which ended even more poorly than Landry Jones’ first snap. The snap went over Nassib’s head, and the ball rolled into the end zone, recovered by Robinson for the touchdown, bringing the Steelers to within two points, down 15-13.
Robinson made the tackle from behind on the next play after a two-yard gain, and then drew a holding call on the next play despite making the stop. His performance on the field in this game was better than the reports out of camp had indicated.
Second year nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu also saw a number of snaps, and looked improved from a season ago. Not to go unnoticed, Al Woods helped cap a strong day with a sack on third down for a seven-yard loss to force the punt.
John Parker Wilson’s first series did not go smoothly, as he was sacked twice during a three-and-out behind the third-string offensive line that included D’Anthony Batiste at left tackle.
The Giants had some success on their next drive, however, with cornerback Devin Smith giving up a 29-yard reception, and then running back Michael Cox carrying for 11 and 12 yards. However, Terrence Garvin was able to get his hand on a third down pass, forcing the Giants to settle for a field goal, extending their lead to 18-13 with less than five minutes to go.
J.D. Woods came up huge to bail out Wilson on third down on the Steelers’ next possession, going up high and being up-ended by the defender, but he held on to the ball for a very impressive grab. Another completion to Reggie Dunn netted another first down. Woods hauled in another nice grab along the sideline off a quick release following a poor snap. He was originally ruled out of bounds; however, Mike Tomlin challenged the ruling, and the replays show that Woods was able to drag his left foot inbounds for the catch.
Despite taking a kickoff out from deep in his own end zone and failing to reach the 20-yard line to begin the drive, those two effort plays will help him throw his name into the competition for the fifth wide receiver spot as the preseason goes on.
Two plays later, Wilson got planted on an unblocked defensive back blitz, setting up a third and 14 that resulted in yet another sack that set up fourth and 20 with no timeouts remaining. The fourth down heave fell well short—however, the pass would not have counted anyway due to a declined holding penalty on Batiste. The Giants ran out the clock to hand the Steelers a loss in their first preseason game with a final score of 18-13.