Report Card: Needs improving ... much
Here's a report card for the Giants from their 24-20 loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
The Giants scored a touchdown with Andre Brown's 1-yard dive, but they were able to gain only 68 yards total on 22 carries.
The Giants' passing attack is ice cold. Manning completed just 10-of-24 passes for 125 yards -- his lowest total since he threw for 119 yards against the Vikings in 2008 when he played just one half.
Manning, who also was picked, tried on a few occasions to go deep, with little success. Victor Cruz had five catches for 67 yards but Hakeem Nicks was a nonfactor, with one catch for 10 yards. The offensive line gave up two sacks.
Steelers RB Isaac Redman rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown. But what hurt most was that the Giants couldn't get a stop when they needed one. Redman rushed for 8 yards on a third-and-2 with under five minutes left and then broke two tackles to score the go-ahead touchdown.
The Giants sacked Ben Roethlisberger (216 yards and two touchdowns) four times. Osi Umenyiora forced a fumble that led to a Michael Boley 70-yard touchdown. The D intercepted Roethlisberger once. And Corey Webster kept WR Mike Wallace in check for most of the game.
But Wallace got loose for a 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown that got the Steelers back in the game in the fourth. And when the D needed a stop on a third-and-9 to get the ball back with 2:40 left, the Giants allowed WR Emmanuel Sanders to get loose for 16 yards.
The positive: Lawrence Tynes made a 50-yard field goal and a 23-yarder. And the Giants stopped a fake field goal at their own 4-yard-line.
But Tynes missed a 51-yarder (short), and Emmanuel Sanders nearly scored before Giants punter Steve Weatherford knocked Sanders out of bounds on a 63-yard punt return. Chris Rainey also had a 68-yard kickoff return for the Steelers. Weatherford did have one nice punt inside the 20, but the Giants' usually solid return coverage was shaky Sunday.
The Giants did actually lead this game 20-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. But the offense was totally inept, running a total of nine plays for minus-8 yards in the fourth.
The defense gave up 14 points in the last quarter and could not get a stop when it was needed. And special teams, a strength this season, also was shaky at times. The play calling and third-down efficiency (2-for-10) must improve.