The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the New York Giants in one of the most intriguing matchups in Week 13 of the NFL schedule. Kickoff is slated for 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, with the game being televised by CBS Sports.
Pittsburgh (6-5) is on its third two-game winning of the season. The Steelers are coming off a 28-7 beat down of the Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving night as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 14 of 20 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. The victory allowed the Steelers to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens in the battle for supremacy in the AFC North.
New York (8-3) is tied with Miami for the second-longest current win streak at six games. The Giants are coming off an unconvincing 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns as they were out-gained 343-296 in total yards. The G-Men forced three turnovers and got a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul early in the fourth quarter to give them a 20-6 lead.
The Steelers and Giants are meeting for the 77th time overall, although this is the first time the franchises are playing since November 4, 2012. New York leads the all-time series 44-29-3.
Ben Roethlisberger will throw for more yards than Eli Manning, but both will throw one interception
Roethlisberger is the No. 8 rated quarterback (99.5) in the league and is 11th in the league in passing with 275 yards a game. He has four 300-yard games with a season-high 408 coming against the Dallas Cowboys on November 13. Overall, Roethlisberger is completing 64.9 percent of his passes for 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions — he hasn’t thrown an interception in the last three games.
Roethlisberger has thrown for just 388 yards over the last two games as he has completed 37-of-56 passes (66.07 percent).
Manning is the 18th-rated quarterback in the league with a rating of 90.1. He is coming off his lowest passing yardage game of the year (194) against the Browns. Manning has been held to less than 260 passing yards in five consecutive games, and six of the last seven.
Overall, Manning is completing 63.2 percent of his passes for 264 yards a game (tied for 12th most in the league). He also has 20 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. The 35-year-old veteran has not thrown a pick in either of the last two games, although he has been picked off at least once in six of the 11 games.
Both Pittsburgh and New York rank in the bottom third of the league in pass defense, giving up 263 and 265 yards, respectively. However, the Giants are fourth in the league in opposing quarterback rating (77.2) and third in opposing quarterback completion percentage (58.6). The G-Men also have allowed 10 touchdown passes and has 10 interceptions. Safety Landon Collins leads the team with five interceptions while cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have two picks apiece.
The Steelers are 14th in the league in opposing quarterback ratings (89.9) and 20th in completion percentage (64.3). They also have allowed 13 touchdown passes and have picked off seven passes. Artie Burns leads the squad with two interceptions.
Neither the Steelers or Giants will run for 100-yards
The Steelers, led by Le’Veon Bell, are the better running team though neither have an outstanding ground attack. Bell, the No. 2 rusher in the league, is averaging 87.4 of the team’s 100.9 yard average (18th in the league). Bell has surpassed the 100-yard mark in each of his last two games — rolling up 266 yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries. He has three 100-yard games in eight games this season.
New York has the fifth-best run defense, permitting 89.1 yards a game. The Giants haven’t allowed 100 yards on the ground in the past six games. Only three teams have run for 100-yards all-season against them.
The Giants own the second worst running attack in the league, averaging 79.5 yards a game and just 3.4 yards per carry. Veteran Rashad Jennings leads the team with 394 yards on 115 attempts. He does not have a 100-yard game but has averaged at least 3.7 yards per carry in each of the last three games.
The Steelers have the ninth-best rush defense allowing 95.3 yards a game. Four teams have topped the 100-yard plateau against the Steelers, including three of their past six opponents.
Steelers wide receiver Anthony Brown and Giants receiver Odell Beckham will reach the end zone at least once apiece
Brown and Beckham rank first and fourth in the league in touchdown receptions, respectively.
Brown leads the league with 82 receptions for 998 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has the third most catches of 20 or more yards with 16. Brown had three touchdown receptions last week against the Browns and has five in his last four games.
The Giants have surrendered the eighth-fewest yards per game to receivers. But Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor torched New York’s top corner, Janoris Jenkins, last week. Pryor finished the game with six receptions for 131 yards, which included a long catch of 54 yards.
Beckham is seventh overall with 65 receptions. He had six catches, on 11 targets, for 96 yards and two scores against the Browns. It was his third, two-touchdown game of the season. All of Beckham’s eight touchdowns have come in the last seven games.
The Steelers defense has given up 14 yards per catch and three touchdowns to wideouts over the last four outings.
Jason Pierre-Paul will record a sack
The Giants recorded a season-high seven sacks against the Browns to give them 25 for the season. Pierre-Paul had a huge day against Cleveland, compiling seven tackles including three sacks and one run stuff. Pierre-Paul leads the team with seven sacks with 5.5 coming over the last two games. Defensive end Olivier Vernon is second on the squad with six sacks while Collins is third with three.
Pittsburgh’s offensive line is very good, ranking fourth in the league in pass-protecting per Football Outsiders. The Steelers have given up 14 sacks, and only 38 quarterback hits.
The Steelers win 21-20 in a very close game throughout
Pittsburgh is favored by six points according to Oddsshark.
This game should be an excellent game that is close throughout the contest. The teams are very similar with the Steelers owning a slightly better offense and the Giants being a hair better on defense.
The Steelers need the game in order to not drop any further behind the Ravens, who are hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Giants are currently in fifth place in the NFC holding a game-and-half lead over the Washington Redskins.
Pittsburgh has outscored their opponents by 44 points this year as their last two wins have been by a combined 36 points. The Steelers are 3-2 at Heinz Field with a plus-39 point differential. They have dropped their last two home games — Dallas and New England. They are 1-2 versus the NFC East.
New York has just a plus-18 point differential this year. Seven of their eight wins have been by seven points or less. The Giants are 3-2 on the road with a plus-one point differential. The G-Men are 3-0 against the AFC North.
[Featured Image by Darron Cummings/AP Images]