The Giants on offense:
The 2012 model New York football Giants feature a potent and very balanced offensive attack that can kill you in any number of ways.
They are the second leading scoring offense in the league, averaging 29.2 points per game; they are the fourth most productive offense with a 396.8 yards per game average. The Giants have 10 rushing TDs vs. 12 passing (consider, for instance, that the Steelers are 3 vs. 14 and Green Bay is 2 vs. 22!). They lead the league in yards per attempt (6.2) and are a perfect 3 for 3 this season on fourth down.
Eli Manning became only the 13th player in league history and only this season to pass for 500 yards in a game when he put up 510 in a win over Tampa in week 2, and Ahmad Bradshaw is one of only a handful of 200-yard rushers in 2012. Like the Steelers, Giants have an incredibly deep stable of receivers, with four (Cruz, Hicks, Hixon, Barden) all going over 100-yards at least once. Manning is third in the NFL with 2301 yards passing but has 8 picks (tied for seventh in the league).
The Giants on defense:
On the surface, a porous unit that has given up a ton of yards -- but not a ton of points. This is likely because they're defending a lead, and teams are passing like crazy to play catch up. Tied for league lead in interceptions with 16 -- Roethlisberger is tied for least thrown by any starter (3). Tied for seventh in sacks (21). Tied for 4th in giving up plays of 40-yards or more (6) and second in plays of 20-yards or more (35).
BUT -- and this is what matters -- have only given up 11 touchdowns (tied for 16th with Pittsburgh) and allowing only 20.1 points per game (8th, a half-point ahead of Steelers) and when you're averaging 29.2 points scored per game, well, that would suggest that you're winning most of your games, which the Giants have.
*** The Giants are on in the midst of a four-game win streak (Cleveland, @ SF, Washington, @ Dallas).*** Will be the Third career head-to-head meeting between Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, who are forever linked by the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Tied 1-1 between the two of them. First meeting was a back and forth 33-30 shootout road win by Steelers who were en route to a 15-1 season. Ben went over 300 yards for first time in his career (316) but two picks vs. 1 TD. Manning was an effective 16-23 for 182 yards, with 2 TDs and a pick.
Read an entertaining recap of that game here.
Second meeting was a 21-14 home loss in 2008 with a weird ending, and one of Roethlisberger's worst games as a pro.
He threw four interceptions, but despite that, the Steelers defense was able to hold the Giants offense to four FG's and a 14-12 lead into the fourth quarter when James Harrison, subbing as the long snapper for an injured Greg Warren, sailed the ball over the head of punter Chris Gardocki for a safety, tying the game at 14-14. The Steelers had to free kick to the Giants, who marched down and scored on a Manning's only touchdown pass of the day, to TE Kevin Boss.
*** Pro Football Talk says that this Giants team is better than the two that won Super Bowls last year and in 2007:
"This Giants team — the team that went to Dallas and won one of the wildest games of this NFL season against the Cowboys on Sunday — is the best Giants team yet, the most complete Giants team yet. This is the Giants team that has the best chance of standing apart and being remembered as not just a good team, but a dominant team. ...
"They’re 6-2 and they’ve outscored their opponents by a total of 73 points for the season, a huge improvement from last year, when the Giants were actually outscored by an aggregate score of 400-394 over the course of the season. This year’s Giants are getting big performances from newcomers like running back Andre Brown (who has 236 yards and five touchdowns this season), running back David Wilson (the first-round draft pick who is making a big impact on kickoff returns), tight end Martellus Bennett (who arrived this year as a free agent from Dallas and already has a career-high 334 receiving yards), receiver Rueben Randle (the second-round draft pick who got things started on Sunday with a 56-yard catch on the third play of the game), offensive tackle Sean Locklear (who arrived as a free agent this year and has started all eight games) and strong safety Stevie Brown (who signed as a free agent this year and was their best defensive player on Sunday, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery)."
*** Despite two Super Bowl wins in the last five years, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News points out that the Giants -- for whatever reason -- are not a good second half team:
"The Giants have been tremendous in the first halves of seasons in nine years under Coughlin, with a blistering record of 53-19 (.736)."
"But the second halves have been an almost completely opposite story, with a dismal record in Coughlin's eight previous seasons of 27-37 (.422). Yes, they won two Super Bowls along the way, but they made their road perilous by going 4-4 in the second half of 2007 and 3-5 in the second half last year."