Steelers’ record: 0-1
One year ago: 0-1
Preseason series record: Series tied, 13-13
For Coach Mike Tomlin, explaining the outcome was rather simple. “Just the errors, the Steelers defeating the Steelers. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it can be characterized as part of August football but I’m not buying that. I think that we can set the bar higher than that for the first time out, you would like to think. But we didn’t tonight, so we need to make those corrections. We can’t be penalized, we can’t have punts blocked, we can’t make poor decisions from a fielding of the ball standpoint. All of those things happened, and we need to fix it.”
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
Here is an accounting of how the Steelers’ 2013 draft class fared in their first NFL game: OLB
WHAT WENT RIGHT
* After the blocked punt by Damontre Moore gave the Giants the ball at the Pittsburgh 5-yard line, the Steelers defense rose up and kept them out of the end zone.
* On the Steelers’ second offensive possession,
* The Steelers’ first takeaway of 2013 came when Giants RB Andre Brown fumbled a pitch from David Carr, then was lackadaisical about covering the ball, and rookie OLB Jarvis Jones came in and recovered to set up the Steelers offense at the Giants 44-yard line with 13:23 left in the first half.
* In the third quarter, for the second time in this game, the Steelers’ defense stood up well in a sudden change situation. Undrafted rookie defensive end Brian Arnfeldt was in on tackles on both second and third downs, and Josh Brown hooked his 38-yard field goal attempt to keep the Giants lead at 15-6.
* Based on the way the defense had played in sudden-change situations, it was appropriate the Steelers’ first touchdown of 2013 was scored by the defense. A sack by rookie ILB Vince Williams helped put the Giants in a third-and-22 hole at their own 16-yard line. With rookie QB Ryan Nassib in the shotgun, C Matt McCants’ snap went over his head. OLB
WHAT WENT WRONG
* The Steelers converted their initial third-down situation of the game with a pass to
* The Steelers’ second defensive possession was one where the unit ended up allowing an 80-yard touchdown drive that truly came down to a couple of big plays by the Giants. On a third-and-9, the Steelers attacked Eli Manning with a corner blitz, and he responded with a pass to Rueben Randle, who escaped
* The Steelers were out of timeouts in the first half with 12:06 remaining in the second quarter. All three were burned by the offense.
* Not a lot to like from special teams through the early minutes of the third quarter. In addition to the blocked punt,
* On the first offensive play following the penalty on Brown, rookie quarterback Landry Jones collided with Baron Batch as he tried to hand him the football. The resulting fumble in the end zone was recovered by Jones, who was covered by Tyler Sash for the safety that upped the Giants lead to 15-6.
* Another special teams gaffe. Midway through the third quarter, Gilreath had a punt bounce off his chest, and it was recovered by Matt Broha to give the Giants the ball at the Steelers 28-yard line.
During the game, the Steelers escaped with a couple of minor injuries – an ankle sprain sustained by ILB
“(Bell) was a little sore and slowed during the week. I didn’t feel comfortable playing him tonight, because I didn’t like what I saw on Friday,” said Tomlin. “He’s going to be fine. I just don’t want to start his career out in less than ideal circumstances from a health standpoint. We have a lot of time to evaluate him and others, so we’re going to be patient there.”