The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.
Antonio Brown edged good buddy Odell Beckham Jr. in their personal showdown, catching six passes for 54 yards and an acrobatic scoring grab at the back of the end zone. Tight end Ladarius Green added six receptions for 110 yards, both career highs, and a touchdown as the Steelers (7-5) won their third straight to keep pace with Baltimore atop the AFC North.
Manning completed just 24 of 39 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the red zone for the Giants (8-4), whose six-game run ended with a thud. Beckham was largely a non-factor despite a game-high 10 receptions for 100 yards.
New York managed just 56 yards rushing and couldn't convert on it few opportunities. Both of Manning's interceptions came near the Pittsburgh goal line and the Giants missed on all three of their fourth-down attempts. >> Read more
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
It was only a matter of time before the Giants ran into a real team after their six-game winning streak against the league's patsy brigade. The Pittsburgh Steelers are notoriously good at home late in the season. They roughed up the Giants pretty good and might be playing as well as any team in either conference right now.
It didn't help that the Giants' offense ran and hid again when they needed them the most. Manning was under pressure at times, and while the offensive line made too many mistakes, but so did he, underthrowing passes and failing to identify several wide-open receivers. He was completely outshone by his draftmate Roethlisberger, who was sharp and unflappable.
The defense did what they could but lost Jason Pierre-Paul halfway through the game to a groin injury. They were routinely fooled and kept off balance by the playcalling of Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Steelers used the screen pass to Bell to move the football in huge chunks and then caught the Giants napping on Green, who caught six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Manning needed to play better if the Giants were to win this game. His interception in the red zone and his vast underthrow of an open Sterling Shepard for a pick was unbecoming a passer of his stature. He will be the first to admit that.
The Giants will need to sharpen their effort if they are get to the 10 wins they will likely need to qualify for the postseason. They trail Dallas by three games with four remaining, so they can forget about the NFC East title. They are still in the driver's seat as the top wild card, but Big Blue has to play like Big Blue. There are no guarantees.