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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Giants-Steelers halftime notes

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Giants lead the Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7 at intermission in a physical battle.

Here are some observations from the first half:

* Let's start with a quick note: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to receiver Hines Ward in the first quarter to move to third on the team's all-time passing list. Roethlisberger trails Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw (27,989 passing yards) and Kordell Stewart (13,328 yards) for the team's all-time mark.

* It's obvious why few teams get to Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The offensive line is pass protecting well and Manning is getting rid of the ball quickly. Pittsburgh led the NFL in sacks entering this weekend and has zero sacks in the first half on Manning.

* Pittsburgh is losing the field position battle in this game but the defense has held it together. New York has threatened to score touchdowns three times in the first half but had to settle for field goals in all three instances, including a stop on fourth down inside the 1-yard line. Roethlisberger's two interceptions put the Steelers in tough spots, but the defense is keeping the damage to a minimal.

* Giants receiver Plaxico Burress entered the game for New York about midway through the second quarter. Burress was benched for missing a treatment session for his neck and has one catch for two yards.

* There are some big-time hits in his game as both teams are trying to establish its physicality. Steelers tailback Mewelde Moore was blasted by New York safety Kenny Phillips trying to catch a pass in the second quarter and earned a personal foul penalty. Pittsburgh receiver Nate Washington also was hit coming over the middle and was taken out of the game.