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.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I really like Justin Brown and J.D. Woods. I hope the Steelers can hold onto these two, and, after seeing that 19 yd punt return and actually catching a pass, I’m starting to warm up to Reggie Dunn a bit.

    Maybe it was just me, but I actually thought Landry Jones looked ok despite his passes being off. Seems like he had some zip on the ball too, albeit a bit too much, lol. I can’t say the same for Parker Wilson. Watching him take those 4 sacks was disgusting no matter how poor the line play might have been. I think I could hear Tomlin chewing him out on the sideline.

  • dgh57

    Liked the LBer play very much and Al Woods and even Ta’amu looked improved.

    I think that LSH might just be a keeper as I like his shiftiness and cut back runs he displayed in this game which in turn is perfect for the ZBS. Will Johnson looked good by hauling in a couple passes for 1st downs.

  • I agree re J. Brown and JD Woods…and Derek Moye didn’t hurt himself. The coaches probably aren’t prone to making snap personnel decisions based on one preseason game, but then again, their time is short to ready their team and determine who’s a keeper and who isn’t. On the other hand, I thought Parker did well considering the situation and the abysmal play of the 3rd team offensive line. In retrospect, they had enough time to run screens or quick hitters to counter the pressure on those two last sacks–but I don’t know whether that was Parker’s call.

    Did Foster give up one sack or two? (I thought I counted two.) He and Gilbert both need work, but the 1st team line in general looked very good in the running game. They didn’t blow open gaping holes, but they sealed the edge and created lanes that LSH and Dwyer (the former more than the latter) took advantage of. Also, what happend to Redman? I watched the first half with the NFL Network audio, and no one mentioned if he was injured.

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m not going to bash Landry Jones for that awful safety. I’ll chalk it up to nerves and a rookie qb starting on the 4 yard line. What I’ve been preaching all off season is the much needed improvement on special teams. The special teams unit caused that safety and I was boiling as much as Tomlin was on the sidelines. I have never seen a special teams coach get so much tv time as Danny Smith. Danny Smith has Tomlin breathing down his neck, and in my eyes, is already on the hot seat.

  • steeltown

    Well we made the FGs and the coverage units looked pretty solid for the most part.. the issues are were with Gilreath mostly and then DCsmith getting beat on that blocked punt. There is definitely room for growth all around, but mostly comes down to 2-3 HUGE errors by the aforementioned names

  • cencalsteeler

    Lets not forget about McFaddens ineligible man down field penalty which caused them to rekick. That resulted in the blocked punt.
    Also, need to include Justin Browns block in the back penalty which backed us up to the four, resulting in the safety. That is 6 points that st caused. And if it wasn’t for our D holding them to a field goal, the result could have been a 10 point sway.

  • Ahmad

    Moye Brown and Woods did a great job on offense last night. The battle for the 5th and maybe 6th WR just got more interesting.

  • Ahmad

    He played the 1st 3 snaps and that’s it. Tomlin didn’t say he was injured so I’m guessing that was the plan last night.

  • Marcus

    I think you are right. I would like to see someone stand out on punt returns. Why is special teams such an issue year after year?

  • steeltown

    Very true, more mental errors

  • dgh57

    L. Jones was put in a bad position through no fault of his own and not a position I would want to start my pro career with. Then to run Batch out of the endzone was a odd choice to me!

    Special Teams was a joke and a embarrassment last night and I would think we’ll be working triple overtime this week to solve some of these problems.

  • cencalsteeler

    The good news, it’s the first preseason game, time is on our side. I think the special teams unit has a bulls eye attached to it though, so I hope more attention is brought to them as you stated.