The Pittsburgh Steelers got back to early season form in a 24-14 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.
After catching the injury bug mid-season, the Steelers fought through a rough stretch of the schedule without too much damage. Since getting healthy on both sides of the ball, Pittsburgh (7-5) has won three straight games and sits in a position to sneak into the playoffs.
The Steelers showed off their overall balance as a football team Sunday, winning in every aspect against the Giants (8-4).
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 24-of-36 passing for 289 yards and two touchdowns, finding All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown six times for 54 yards and a touchdown while also getting tight end Ladarius Green involved with six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Star running back Le’Veon Bell continued his hot streak with 118 yards on the ground on 29 carries and adding six receptions for 64 yards. The performance marked Bell’s third straight game with over 100 rushing yards, averaging 128 yards per contest over that stretch.
Defensively, the Steelers picked off Eli Manning twice on Sunday, while only allowing 195 passing yards on the day. New York’s rushing attack couldn’t get moving either, finishing the game with only 56 yards on the ground.
The Steelers’ late down and red zone defenses kept the Giants from moving the ball consistently. New York only converted on 4-of-11 third downs and 0-of-3 on fourth. Twice Manning got the Giants inside the Pittsburgh 10-yard line without putting points on the board.
Pittsburgh showed the kind of December dominance that gets bubble teams into the playoffs. With a battle against the AFC North leading Ravens on the horizon, the Steelers are in a position to take a playoff spot. Pittsburgh is arguably one of the most complete teams in the NFL, and the remainder of the AFC won’t want to see them in January.
Ben Faunce | December 4, 2016