Welcome to the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants Preview! This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, provides a game outlook, score prediction, individual stats, team stats, Fantasy Football impact, the most up-to-date injury report, and even the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!
A look at the Pittsburgh Steelers! Overall Record: 6-5 Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (10th Season with Steelers) Overall Regular Season Record: 98-57 (.632) Playoff Record: 6-5 (Qualified for playoffs six times) 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Roster Last Game: Pittsburgh 28 Indianapolis 7 Breakdown of the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger got back on track last week against Indianapolis, as he hooked up with Antonio Brown three times for scores, leading Pittsburgh to a 28-7 road victory on Thanksgiving. For the year, Big Ben now has 23 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. The offensive line continues to keep Roethlisberger upright, as he has only been brought down 14 times in the year. Brown continues to pad his stats and torch opposing secondaries week after week. He’ll be looking forward to a tough challenge in facing the Giant’s Landon Collins roaming the secondary this week. Markus Wheaton is back this week, but there is no telling how involved he’ll be in the passing game. Same can be said of Sammie Coates, who just one reception in the last five games. Coates has been battling injuries to his hand for over a month now. Eli Rogers has become a solid receiver out of the slot. Cobi Hamilton has made some contributions with all of the injuries befalling the Steeler wide receiving corps. One guy who seems poised to make a major difference is tight end Ladarius Green, who is gaining his footing in the Steeler offense after missing the first nine games. Le’Veon Bell is shooting up the charts in every offensive category despite playing in nearly three or four games less than everyone else. Bell has 699 yards rushing to go along with 57 receptions for another 437 yards. He has four combined touchdowns on the year. Bell has had to be the workhorse for Pittsburgh’s rushing attack as De’Angelo Williams has been out with a knee injury that required surgery. Kicker Chris Boswell was a late add to the Injury Report with an abdominal injury. He is listed as questionable. As a back-up plan, the Steelers signed former Texan Randy Bullock. Defensively, Jarvis Jones seems to have lost his spot in the linebacker rotation. With the return of Bud Dupree, Jones has become the odd man out, with James Harrison, Arthur Moats, and Anthony Chickillo getting the majority of the action on the outside linebacker spot. “I’ll prepare the same way,” Jones said. “I don’t make those decisions. Coaches do.” Corners Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell know they will have their hands full with Odell Beckham, however… “As long as we’re good covering AB in practice, I think we’ll be ready for any matchup we have,” cornerback Cockrell said. “And I think we’ve prepared well during the season.” A look at the New York Giants! Overall Record: 8-3 Head Coach: Ben McAdoo (1st Season with Giants) Overall Regular Season Record: 8-3 (.727) Playoff Record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times) 2016 New York Giants Roster Last Game: NY Giants 27 Cleveland 13 Breakdown of the Giants: Eli Manning leads the Giants offense and has had a solid year so far. He has 20 touchdowns on the year and has thrown 10 interceptions on the season. New York’s offensive line has done a superb job protecting Manning, as he has only been sacked 10 times. Manning’s top target is also one of the league’s best in Odell Beckham, who has amassed 65 receptions for 915 yards and eight scores. Sterling Shepard has had an impressive rookie season and is 2nd on the team with 44 catches for 476 yards and five TD’s. Victor Cruz has only 27 catches, but he makes them count, as he has 462 receiving yards. That’s good for 17.1 yards a catch. Will Tye is a solid option at tight end and is 3rd on the team with 31 receptions. Rashad Jennings is the lead back in a below average rushing attack. The Giants only average 79.5 yards a game on the ground. Jennings has just 395 yards rushing but does have 22 catches for 143 yards. Jason Pierre-Paul has produced 5.5 sacks, four tackles for a loss, six quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Giants safety Landon Collins is tied for second in the NFL with five interceptions. The Giants have held opponents to 19.4 points per game. That is tied for fifth in the NFL.
The Giants’ defensive unit has only allowed 10 touchdowns, yet they have 10 interceptions and 25 sacks.
Game Preview: New York has reeled off six straight victories and is hoping to keep within striking distance of Dallas for the NFC East crown. They face a Steelers team that has rebounded with two straight wins after they suffered a four-game slide. As they get healthier by the week, Pittsburgh knows they control their own destiny within the division, and would like to keep the momentum rolling in the right direction. “It’s an exciting time of the year,” coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “In our business, they say, ‘They remember December.’ ” The Steelers defense has been solid the past few weeks, albeit over bad offense teams in Cleveland, and a Scott Tolzien led Colts team. Pittsburgh will have to keep Eli Manning and Odell Beckham in check to make it three wins in a row. The Giants will try to beat the Steelers through the air with their no-huddle attack, as their running game rarely makes a dent in the score-sheet. Only the Minnesota Vikings have a worse run game than the Giants this year. The Giants average 79.5 yards rushing per game and do not have a run for more than 40+ yards this season. “A lot of times he (Manning) understands what the defense is in, and he can make good decisions, give it to the guys he knows are going to make plays,” linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “He’s not going to put himself in a bad position. If he sees (defenses) are going to rush or blitz, he changes the call. He knows a lot of things that helps his offense get in the right position.” If Manning and Beckham do get the best of the Steelers defense, then the best offense is…well, a great offense, of which Pittsburgh undoubtedly has when it’s running on all cylinders. The Killer B’s, that of Big Ben, Bell, and Brown are the most dynamic trio in the entire NFL. Add in a healthy Ladarius Green into the mix, and Pittsburgh can get back to lighting up the scoreboard as they are built to do. “I’m singularly focused on winning,” Brown said Friday. “You guys (in the media) be the judge of stats, and you guys do all those measurables. My job is being singularly focused and regardless of helping us win, you guys set the goals and do all those things for me. I’m just going to continue to come out and be my best self.” Be prepared for an entertaining game, as these two teams will trade punches early before one rises to the occasion and takes control in the 2nd half. The Giants are a solid team, but their winning streak will be coming to an end at the end of the day at Heinz Field. I think Pittsburgh’s defense will keep Manning under control and make them earn every yard they gain, forcing Manning to make a lot of throws without any mistakes. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley needs to turn the dogs loose and let them stay out till the game is over. Several times the past month, Pittsburgh has killed its offensive momentum with questionable play calling. Roethlisberger is at his best when Pittsburgh rolls out the hurry-up offense, so why not utilize that approach? Prediction: Steelers 31 Giants 20
Fantasy Football Impact Pittsburgh Steelers Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, RB Le’Veon Bell Sit: WR Eli Rogers Sleeper: TE Ladarius Green The trio of Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell should never leave your starting line-up. I think Ladarius Green is primed for his breakout game for the Steelers. New York Giants Start: QB Eli Manning, WR Odell Beckham, Jr. Sit: RB Rashad Jennings Sleeper: N/A Both Eli Manning and Odell Beckham should be in your line-up. In what could be a high-scoring affair, both should post decent stats.
Game Information NFL Week 13 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at New York Giants (8-3) Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA. Game-time: Sunday, December 4th, 4:25 pm TV: FOX | Announcers: Joe Buck (play-by-play) Troy Aikman (analyst) | Erin Andrews (sideline) Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM | Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) | Craig Wolfley (sideline) National Radio: ESPN Radio | Announcers: Adam Amin (play-by-play) Bill Polian (analyst) | Josina Anderson (sideline) Weather at Kickoff: 39 and cloudy. Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -5.5
- Series History: Series began in 1933
- The Steelers are 29-44-3 in the overall Regular Season series against the Giants.
- Steelers are 13-22-3 against the Giants at home.
- Streak: Steelers won the previous meeting.
- Last Regular-Season Meeting: Nov. 4, 2012, in New York- Pittsburgh 24 New York 20
- Steelers are 0-0 in the Post-Season vs. the Giants.
- Last Post-Season Meeting: N/A
- Giants HC Ben McAdoo is a native of Homer City, Pa. and coached at the high school level for four years between Homer Center school district and Indiana (Pa.) area. McAdoo is also a college graduate of Indiana University (Pa.) and served as an offensive assistnt at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003.
- Giants K Robbie Gould attended Penn State University.
- Ben Roethlisberger with a win, would improve to 3-1 vs. New York in the regular season and to 1-1 at home against the Giants.
- Roethlisberger is five touchdown passes from tying John Elway for the ninth most in NFL history (300).
- Antonio Brown is two receiving yards from joining Hines Ward (2001-04) as only the second player in franchise history to register 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive years.
- Brown needs three touchdown catches to tie Lynn Swann (51) for the third-most touchdown grabs in team history.
- Le’Veon Bell needs 24 rushing yards to reach 3,500 in his NFL career.
- Bell will move into a tie with Rocky Bleier (23) for the 10th most rushing touchdowns in team history with his next rushing score, and is two rushing touchdowns from matching Willie Parker (24) for ninth.
- James Harrison is 1.5 sacks from 80.0 in his career with the Steelers.
Individual Statistics Pittsburgh Steelers Passing QB- Ben Roethlisberger (2,745 yards passing | 23 TD passes | 7 interceptions | 14 sacks) Rushing RB- Le’Veon Bell (699 yards rushing | three rushing TD’s | 57 receptions | 437 yards receiving | one receiving TD’s) Receiving WR- Antonio Brown (82 receptions | 998 receiving yards | 10 receiving TD’s) WR- Eli Rogers (29 receptions | 336 receiving yards | two receiving TD’s) WR- Sammie Coates (20 receptions | 425 receiving yards | two receiving TD’s) WR- Cobi Hamilton (9 receptions | 127 receiving yards | one receiving TD’s) TE- Jesse James (29 receptions | 236 receiving yards | three receiving TD’s) TE- Ladarius Green (5 receptions | 97 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s) Kicking K- Chris Boswell (Extra Point: 26-26 | FG: 12-16 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 2-2 | 30-39: 4-5 | 40-49: 6-7 | 50+: 0-2 | Long: 49 Steelers Team Statistics, including Defensive Stats New York Giants Passing QB- Eli Manning (2,902 yards passing | 20 TD passes | 10 interceptions | 13 sacks) Rushing RB- Rashad Jennings (395 yards rushing | two rushing TD’s | 22 receptions | 143 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s) Receiving WR- Odell Beckham, Jr. (65 receptions | 915 receiving yards | eight receiving TD’s) WR- Sterling Shepard (44 receptions | 476 receiving yards | five receiving TD’s) WR- Victor Cruz (27 receptions | 462 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s) TE- Will Tye (31 receptions | 259 receiving yards | one receiving TD’s) Kicking K- Robbie Gould (Extra Point: 13-16 | FG: 2-2 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 1-1 | 30-39: 0-0 | 40-49: 1-1 | 50+: 0-0| Long: 46 Giants Team Statistics, including Defensive Stats
Team Rankings through Week 12 Total Offense: Steelers average 364.8 YPG | Giants average 335.9 YPG Rushing: Steelers average 100.9 YPG | Giants average 79.5 YPG Passing: Steelers average 263.9 YPG | Giants average 256.5 YPG Scoring: Steelers average 24.2 PPG | Giants average 21.0 PPG Total Defense: Steelers allow 358.7 YPG | Giants allow 353.8 YPG Rushing: Steelers allow 95.3 YPG | Giants allow 89.1 YPG Passing: Steelers allow 263.5 YPG | Giants allow 264.7 YPG Scoring: Steelers allow 20.2 PPG | Giants allow 19.4 PPG
Injury Report (12/2/2016) Pittsburgh Steelers Out: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot), RB DeAngelo Williams (knee) Doubtful: N/A Questionable: N/A New York Giants Out: S Nat Berhe (Concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (Concussion), DE Owa Odighizuwa (Knee), G Justin Pugh (Knee) Doubtful: N/A Questionable: C Brett Jones (Calf), T Marshall Newhouse (Knee)
Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 Schedule Preseason (1-3) Friday, Aug. 12 DETROIT L, 30-17 Thursday, Aug. 18 PHILADELPHIA L, 17-0 Friday, Aug. 26 @ New Orleans W, 27-14 Thursday, Sept. 1 @ Carolina L, 18-6 Regular Season (6-5) Monday, Sept. 12 @ Washington W, 38-16 Sunday, Sept. 18 CINCINNATI W, 24-16 Sunday, Sept. 25 @ Philadelphia L, 34-3 Sunday, Oct. 2 KANSAS CITY W, 43-14 Sunday, Oct. 9 NEW YORK JETS* W, 31-13 Sunday, Oct. 16 @ Miami* 1 p.m. L, 30-15 Sunday, Oct. 23 NEW ENGLAND* L, 16-27 Sunday, Oct. 30 BYE WEEK Sunday, Nov. 6 @ Baltimore* L, 14-21 Sunday, Nov. 13 DALLAS* L, 30-35 Sunday, Nov. 20 @ Cleveland* W, 24-9 Thursday, Nov. 24 @ Indianapolis W, 28-7 Sunday, Dec. 4 NEW YORK GIANTS* 4:25 p.m. (FOX) Sunday, Dec. 11 @ Buffalo* 1 p.m. (CBS) Sunday, Dec. 18 @ Cincinnati* 8:30 p.m. (NBC) Sunday, Dec. 25 BALTIMORE 4:30 p.m. (NFL Network) Sunday, Jan. 1 CLEVELAND* 1 p.m. (CBS) Postseason Sat.-Sun., Jan. 7-8 Wild Card Weekend Sat.-Sun., Jan. 14-15 Divisional Playoff Games Sunday, Jan. 22 Conference Championships Sunday, Jan. 29 Pro Bowl (Orlando, Fla.) Sunday, Feb. 5 Super Bowl LI (Houston, Texas)