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Steelers vs Giants – Second Half Recap


The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the second half of their preseason opener with a 13-3 deficit, the only points coming on the opening drive led by Ben Roethlisberger‘s only possession. The New York Giants quickly retaliated with a long touchdown run before tacking on two field goals, with Shaun Suisham going 1-for-2 in that department.

Dri Archer once again was prevented from returning a kickoff on the Giants’ fourth attempt. Landry Jones came out to start the half, going with a handoff to Jordan Hall on first down for about a yard. Hall’s second carry up the middle set up third and seven. On third down, Jones ripped off a pass to Martavis Bryant which fell complete, but Jayson Hosley was flagged for pass interference.

On first down, Jones ran a bootleg, but was chased down by Israel Idonije, forcing the second-year quarterback to toss the ball away. Jones threw the ball away after play action wasn’t enough to fend off pressure on second down. On third and 10, the Steelers’ draw was blown up. Brad Wing‘s first punt of the second half was much better, traveling 52 yards with a 12-yard return.

Josh Mauro nearly caught the running back from behind near the line of scrimmage for first down, but the play went for five yards. On second down, Ryan Nassib‘s low throw was picked up for a new set of downs. Kendall Gaskins picked up four yards up the middle on the next play, followed by a first-down reception from Julian Talley.

Shamarko Thomas brought Gaskins down for a loss of three, but a 10-yard pickup by Talley set up a manageable third down. Brice McCain broke up the third-down pass. Bryant was back to receive the punt, which was downed near the goal line, but a flag on Arthur Moats after the punt resulted in backing the Steelers up even further.

Hall picked up a yard to the six on first down, followed by a Jones completion to Derek Moye that picked up five for a manageable third down attempt. Unfortunately, Guy Whimper was beaten off the edge by Damontre Moore, who pressured Jones into an incompletion. Wing’s second punt of the half was a boomer that was muffed by Charles James, which allowed Howard Jones to recover it. Tauren Poole helped the cause.

Jones’ pass to Miguel Maysonet could not be caught, but a holding call on Cody Wallace would have negated it anyway. Now on first and 20 from the 31, Jones felt the pressure and threw the ball into the turf. On second and long, Jones zipped a short pass to Moye for a six-yard completion, setting up a third and 16, but within field goal range. The quarterback checked down to David Paulson, who was stopped well short of the first by Hosley. Suisham hit on his first field goal attempt of the half to bring the Steelers’ deficit to within 13-6.

On the Giants’ following possession, Gaskins was good for seven yards on first down. Nassib appeared to have room to scramble on the next play, but he forced an incompletion down the field. On third down, Josh Mauro pushed a running back into Nassib’s face and forced a throwaway. Bryant muffed the ensuing punt, but recovered.

Maysonet carried on first down for two yards, and on second down was stuck by Mark Herzlich for a loss of one. On third and nine, he was dropped for another loss of one. Wing’s ensuing punt was fair caught at the 25 after traveling 42 yards. The defense held strong, forcing a three-and-out after Dan Molls dragged back Michael Cox after a short gain on a draw from third and 11.

Bryant received the 54-yard punt and returned it about three yards. Paulson caught a short, high pass on first down for a short gain. Maysonet did a nice job of eluding Spencer Paysinger off the left edge to crawl for a first down. Jones launched one deep in Bryant’s direction, who nearly came back to adjust for the ball, but Hosley was flagged for pass interference, resulting in a net gain of 47 yards.

From the 18-yard line, Maysonet was targeted with a quick pass out of the backfield, but Hosley was quick to get there to join man and ball and break up the connection. On second down, Justin Brown sat down for a gain of four. The third down and six play was too high, targeting Moye, and the Steelers settled for another field goal to come to within 13-9.

Nassib remained in to begin the fourth quarter for the Giants. Play action bought him time down the field, but Isaiah Green was there to break up the pass to Mario Manningham. There was little room for Cox on second down. On third and eight, Nassib checked down to Cox, who just got the necessary yardage to convert.

Nick Williams got in on a tackle with Daniel McCullers on first down for a gain of one. Green allowed a reception in front of him for a first down. After little progress on the next two plays, a third and eight pass was batted down near the line by Vic So’oto. Howard scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. The second fumble recovery for the fringe outside linebacker trying to make the roster as an undrafted free agent. Good way for So’oto to open some eyes as well.

Curtis Painter entered the game for the Giants following the turnover and score. From the 20-yard line, Gaskins reversed field to turn nothing into a four-yard gain to the left side. He eluded a tackle for a gain of eight on the following play. McCullers helped bring down Cox for no gain to set up second and 10. Green wrapped up the receiver after a completion near the first-down marker. On first down, Painter again found a receiver in front of Green for a good chunk. He was beaten on a slant for a new set of downs.

Jordan Dangerfield brought the receiver down on the next play after a gain of six. On second and four, Painter checked down to tight end Adrien Robinson for another first down. A blitz left the right side of the field open for a running back screen to Gaskins, who nearly scored on a, 18-yard hookup. The defense held strong on first down, allowing no push near the goal line.

On second and goal from the three, with some players higher up the depth chart reinserted for the stand, Dangerfield brought Cox down after filling his hole. On third and goal, Painter’s fade to Corey Washington was complete for the score over Green. The six-inch height difference was a factor here as the Giants took a 20-16 lead with under three minutes remaining.

Trying for a comeback, Jones hit Moye on first down for a six-yard pickup. He found Moye in space further down the field for 14 yards to move the chains. From the 41, Jones launched one deep in Bryant’s direction, but the pass landed out of reach. Jones overthrew Moye down the middle of the field, and the pass was nearly intercepted. The ball may have gone through the receiver’s hands. On third down, Jones was brought down and fumbled the ball. The Giants nearly recovered, but the ball continued to fall forward and the Steelers recovered.

Pittsburgh got a reprieve with a defensive holding call down the field, which gave the Steelers a new set of downs at the two-minute warning at mid-field. On first down, Jones checked down to Josh Harris for about four yards. On second down, the rookie back couldn’t hold on to the ball on a similar play. Now third and six, a pass in Bryant’s direction was a bit behind, and the rookie receiver couldn’t bring it in.

Bryant did catch the fourth-down pass for the first down, but he coughed it up, and Terrell Manning recovered for the Giants, essentially ending the game. Bryant tried to get up with the ball, but safety C.J. Barnett got his hand on the ball to knock it loose. A metaphor for the inevitable ups and downs of a raw but talented player?

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About Matthew Marczi

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

    martavis bryant looked like sweed 2.0…really hope that’s not the case

  • Paddy

    McCullers looks promising. Landry Jones does not lead his receivers, lacks poise. His line didn’t do well but he has to look better than Nassib. Bryant is very raw, Moye should move ahead of him but he won’t.
    The Giants looked better with backups and Adams was terrible early against the varsity but held on against the back ups

  • steeltown

    The most concerning thing has to be the 2nd string OLine. A lot of positives otherwise though, but also a lot of things to work on. Atleast there’s some good long tape of the backups.

  • Steelers12328882

    Hard to believe Spence and Shark won’t be starters. Those two bring the heat. Backup Offensive line is terrible. I mean absolutely dreadful.

  • chris ward

    Spence and Shamarko stood out on defense, good to see Spence back out there. Also like that 46 yard reception from Dri.

  • steeltown

    Agreed

  • Michel Smiffi

    My gosh, this Isaah Green guy sucked in a way I’ve never seen from a professional corner back. You could have lined up 6’7″, 358 pound McCullers at WR against him and he would have finished the day with 10 catches for 90 yards and 2 TDs

  • Steelers12328882

    Moye isn’t that good. I think Bryant is better than him, but the rookie sure does some dumb things. He flashes potential though. Moye is the shortest 6ft 5in receiver I’ve ever seen.

  • Agustin-ARG

    McCullers at second team tackle?

  • Paddy

    He will have to get better, and he’s not comfortable with the ball in his hands

  • Leon Mcnair

    McCullers is a d lineman duhh and he’s better than fangupo didn’t u see him disrupt stuff

  • Leon Mcnair

    No duhh people make stupid comments

  • Paddy

    At this point he might be their best option if McClendon doesn’t get well

  • steeltown

    I sure hope so.. he still has a lot to work on though

  • Leon Mcnair

    Green is terrible he needs to be cut tomorrow

  • Ryan

    Hard to see Spence starting on this team. Only reason he started tonight was due to injury. He sure as heck aint startin over Timmons at this point. And I think Timmons still has 2 or 3 years left on his contract. This aint a knock on Spence but unless theres an injury or Shazier falls flat I dont see Spence starting anytime soon. At least not on the Steelers.

  • pat

    I thought Landry looks alot better than last yr if not for drops he would of had a statically great game. Also thought Dangerfield and Molls played well

  • steelersfan

    mike adams looked pretty bad…

  • Aric Brown

    I respectfully disagree

  • Michel Smiffi

    The good:
    -1st team offense
    -Dri Archer
    -LBs (Spence, Jarvis)
    -Safeties
    -Special Teams

    The bad:
    -Walking 73 yards against the 1st team defense untouched for a TD
    -2nd team OL
    -All the bottom end RBs
    -All the bottom end WRs

    The worst:
    -Martavis Bryant (had to mention him even worse tthan the other bottom end WRs)

    Even worse:
    -Isaah Green. Please leave Pittsburgh, PA forever

  • Aric Brown

    I believe he’s speaking about how good our depth is at those respective positions… as in It’s hard to believe players of that caliber are actually back ups on our team

  • Paddy

    That about says it all

  • steeltown

    There were quite a few bad drops at the end and the backup OL didn’t help his cause either, but he still looks very green

  • Aric Brown

    I’m hoping for first game jitters and possibly being nervous at the moment on the final drive

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Some of you guys bashing Landry need to watch the game instead of listening and reading.

    He wasn’t throwing behind people. They we’re dropping well thrown balls and if you even watched the replay you would know that.

  • Aric Brown

    the 73 yarder was bad but the whole was there because of a hold… regardless somebody should have at least got a hand on the RB

  • Aric Brown

    I watched the game and he was throwing behind… too far out in front… and too high… there were some drops in there on catchable balls but I imagine it’s hard to catch an ON TARGET pass from Landry Jones because your not expecting the ball to be near your hands

  • steelersfan

    lets hope shazier can help in these type of situations

  • steeltown

    I think I’d throw in

    Good: some of the bottom guys like Howard Jones, Mauro and McCullers made some nice plays.

    Bad: I’ll just re-mention the 2nd Team OLine

  • Aric Brown

    I was actually a little disappointed by him not scoring on that play.. He had a ton of space and I expected him to be able to run away from the defense a bit more than he actually did

  • steelersfan

    the pressure may have made him jumpy but it didn’t look like he was going through his progressions- he was making a lot of quick throws to the closest recievers- usually the rbs- and didn’t pass downfield much until the d was in their prevent mode

  • Aric Brown

    seemed like it was Martavis Bryant or check down

  • Hamburger95

    Not happy with the second team O-Line performance tonight . The O-line have to give the Quarterback time in the pocket . I am not confident in Landry Jones . I seen a lot of face mask holding by New Giants players tonight .
    What advice I would give to Martavis Bryant?
    1)Keep your Head up Rookie
    2) Stay Positive
    3) Work on your Craft
    4)Protect the Pigskin Rookie
    5) Everthing will be Ok Rookie

    Go Steeler’s

  • SteelCitysFinest

    Gradkowski looked awful.

  • SteelCitysFinest

    That’s a little premature to say.

  • Jason Vancil

    And water is wet.

  • DarthVenamis

    So your argument is that the drops were justified since they were thrown from Landry Jones? Now that is what I call unbiased analysis.

  • steelersfan

    he looked better than jones

  • Jason Vancil

    I came to enjoy the annual ritual of knee jerking and cliff leaping after the first Steeler pre-season game. I have not been disappointed.

  • Jason Vancil

    He is not an attractive man.

  • SteelCitysFinest

    Lol yes but still…

  • SteelCitysFinest

    Agreed its not like their opening up the playbook. I saw many positives.

  • steelersfan

    i just hope he hasn’t lost confidence after this game- i think sweed’s problem was mainly psychological

  • Aric Brown

    I should work on how to type my sarcasm

  • Addison

    It’s like Eli had Moses staff and parted the Red Sea. I don’t understand the play and why the middle of the field so open. Testing new things? I was going to blame Cam Thomas but I don’t think he was on the field.

  • Matt Manzo

    I get what you’re saying!

  • Matt Manzo

    Did you say Zumwalt!?!? I need details! I missed the game!

  • Matthew Marczi

    I didn’t focus on him much, but he registered 5 tackles.

  • GoSteelerz

    It’s not like even great corners never get beat, but Isaiah Green was getting picked on and he was covering an undrafted guy. (Granted that Washington fella looks like he has potential, saw him against the Bills last week.) I was disappointed that not everybody got looks tonight. Waters made fleeting brief appearances and Toler and some WR’s didn’t play a snap. Toler couldn’t have been much worse than Green, though maybe they feel he doesn’t know the defense well enough yet. Robert Golden and Devin Smith looked decent, as did Dangerfield, that tackle at the three was nice. Hemer, Mauro, and McCullers looked decent as well. Brice McCain looked better than I expected, he may yet prove me wrong. Blake was good at times and a little out of position other times. Back up OL didn’t look good, Mike Adams looked terrible against the starters and 2nd stringers. Cody Wallace looked bad as well. I thought our linebackers looked pretty good over all as a unit, at some point or another just about all of them made some plays, even Zumwalt – which he needs to if he’s going to have any chance. Shamarko is looking really good, very pleased with him, Dri Archer looks as advertised, Antonio Brown looks like himself, and Wheaton is making strides. Very pleased with Spence. Would have liked to come up with a win, but there are some positives from this one, among them is that this Giant team had a game under their belt already and we weren’t that much worse than them, hopefully we can build for next week.

  • Steve

    Sweed had vision problems that were never fixed.

  • Steve

    Edmon Nelson is boring and can’t hear him, he needs replaced.

  • Steve

    A few times was wondering, Who is Jones throwing to? Ther

  • Steve

    Why don’t you just write a book.

  • Matt Manzo

    Did Carter get five tackles?!?!

  • Louis Goetz

    That’s what you do when you’re throwing the ball away.

  • Louis Goetz

    two holds … don’t forget Heyward.

  • Louis Goetz

    No Carter didn’t register a tackle, but he did have a god QB pressure in the 2nd half.

  • Louis Goetz

    Then how could it not have been his fault?

  • Wing t

    I thought zumwalt and dangerfield played and hit well.

  • joed32

    But not as bad as Whimper.

  • joed32

    I don’t think he was getting enough time to go through his progressions on a lot of plays.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    You watched the game but don’t know what you’re seeing because your reaction isn’t based on what he was doing it’s based on what people said.

    You obviously have some reason to bash the guy that has nothing to do with how he plays. You also know next to nothing so pretending you have a clue isn’t doing you any good.

    He played with the third team and had no protection, running game or sure handed receivers. He wasn’t perfect but pretending he was the problem is biased or confused.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    How old are you?

    You don’t seem to have a clue about football or even team sports.

    The receiver was surprised the ball was in his hands and you want to blame the QB because a WR wasn’t ready to catch it?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    You’re feeding it so I would hope so.

    It’s ok to be a fan. It’s lame to pile on developmental players.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Why does he have to look better than Nassib?

    Is the giants 2nd & 3rd Oline as bad as the Steelers?

  • SteveM2

    Re: the catchable fourth-quarter pass, I would’ve much-preferred that dmoye had gone 5 catches for 40 yards instead of 4 for 32.

  • steeltown

    Zumwalt had 5 tackles (1 tackle for loss) and Carter had 0 tackles with a QB hit.. they both played about the same amount of snaps

  • Steve

    Glad you think so, but my Grandmother who is dead could throw a better pass.

  • Addison

    Then how could it of been his fault? It can’t he wasn’t on the field. If I had to point a finger it would be at the secondary.

  • Matt Manzo

    You’re going a long way to defend Landry.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I’m just defending a Steelers developmental player from fans that feel the need to pronounce final judgement on someones career on a daily basis.

    The game was on TV and I’m arguing with people about plays they showed in slo mo.

    It’s fine to bash someone but when people start making stuff up you have to question the argument.

  • joed32

    No NT in the “nickel” so he was out.

  • Addison

    Did they pull one of the DE too?

  • Aric Brown

    If you watch the tape Bryant slowed and started moving his hands back when the ball came with perfect placement it threw him off… thats what it looked like to me… if you would set your judgement aside and reread my previous post i think it might make more sense to you… and for the record Im a 28 year old fullback/MLB/DE for the Madison County Militia… and before you roll your eyes and say ya right do a quick google search… im the real good lookin fella wearin number 7 :)…. my opinion doesnt make yours wrong and vice versa

  • joed32

    No.

  • Jim Foles

    Zumwalt was playing hard. He made the NYG QB throw the fumble.. Not sure how soto got the credit. Zumwalt is no. 56. he was balling.

    Carter left 3 pass plays wide open out in the flat behind him.

    Carter and Green can go now.

  • Jim Foles

    lets give spence 16 games and see how he is.

  • Jim Foles

    Grad is in the league like 9 years?? He is not that good.
    We need to replace Grad with a Cousins/Clausen/Dysert
    Keep Landry as no.3

  • Jim Foles

    whimper is helping mike keep the job

  • Jim Foles

    he has 9 years ecxperience? he sucks.

  • joed32

    You got it.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m hoping the reason we didn’t see Zum on ST was his lack of practice time! Hopefully this week he gets a shot?!

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