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Giants fans have to feel pretty good about their team’s 33-30 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sure a loss is a loss, but not only was this the most watchable game of the Giants’ now seven-game losing streak, but rookie quarterback Eli Manning finally showed off some of the skills that made him the number one pick in last year’s N.F.L. draft.

The Giants got off to an early start as Willie Ponder took the opening kickoff for a touchdown and jolt of early momentum. Manning and the Giants offense put up 30 points on a Pittsburgh defense that had allowed 30 only once before this season. Manning looked far better on the day than he has in any other game this season. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Twice his receivers were stopped short of the goal line or he may have had four touchdowns on the day. His only interception came on the Giants’ final drive on a controversial no-call on Amani Toomer.

Although the Giants’ offense looked good, New York’s defense allowed Jerome Bettis to go for 140 yards and a score while Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went for 316 yards and a score, but did throw two picks. Receiver Antwaan Randle-El, who was a quarterback in college at Indiana, had 149 yards and a touchdown receiving and threw a nifty touchdown pass as well.

Oddly enough, there was a lot of talk about Manning having to ask Giants coach Tom Coughlin to put in plays that he was more familiar/comfortable with for this game. As opposed to what? Why would Coughln have to be asked to do this? Why would he give a rokkie quarterback plays that he was uncomfortable with? Manning claims that this change was a big part of his strong performance.

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