There's no place he'd rather be.
"As a defensive player that's what you live for, they backed you into a corner and you got to come out swinging,'' Tuck said.
Almost all afternoon, the Giants were cornered by the relentless Steelers, giving up a couple of big plays on defense and stymied in the red zone five times, coming away with too many field goals. It appeared it might be a losing formula.
"Things weren't going well at times, it's easy to get frustrated but we didn't,'' Eli Manning said. "You just can't. Getting frustrated is not going to fix anything.''
There's no better team when it comes to fixing things than the Giants, who once again proved their mettle with an impressive display of hanging in and then busting out. They bludgeoned the Steelers in a fourth-quarter assault to stand tallest in a game dripping with intensity, escaping Heinz Field and a regular-season record crowd of 64,991 with a 21-14 victory.
"For a while there everything was going against us,'' a clearly pleased Tom Coughlin said. "We hung in there, that's the best thing about this group.''
If this was a preview of things to come then a possible rematch in Tampa is something to look forward to. The Giants (6-1) played the first quarter without Plaxico Burress, who was yanked from the starting lineup by Coughlin for missing a mandatory treatment session Saturday morning. Burress hit the field for the first time in the second quarter and wasn't a factor (3-15) against his former team as he continues to sprinkle this season with controversy.
Burress, out of practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a sore neck, said he didn't know he had to go to treatment after he was able to practice fully on Friday. "So … didn't make it,'' Burress said.
"Being a member of this team you got to follow the rules and regulations of the team,'' Coughlin said.
With not much of a running game to fall back on, Manning five times moved the offense inside the Steelers 10-yard line and came away with four John Carney field goals and nothing when Brandon Jacobs was stopped inches from the goal line. Still, the Giants led 9-7 at halftime. The defense had allowed a 32-yard touchdown run to Mewelde Moore minutes into the game and then a 65-yard scoring pass to Nate Washington early in the third quarter to put the Steelers up 14-9.
Once again showing their remarkable resiliency, the Giants found a way. Corey Webster intercepted Ben Roethlisberger – one of four picks for the defense – and Manning converted a third-and-6 with a 30-yard pass to a diving Amani Toomer to the 4-yard line. Yet again, they couldn't dent the end zone and John Carney's fourth field goal trimmed the deficit to 14-12.
The Giants tied things in wild fashion. Steelers' long-snapper Greg Warren had torn up his knee ligaments in the first half and his replacement was linebacker James Harrison, who is not a snapper. Sure enough, with the Steelers pinned in their own territory, Harrison's snap sailed over the head of punter Mitch Berger and out of the end zone for a safety. Tie game.
The momentum had shifted. The Giants after the free kick got the ball on their 47 and Manning went to work. "We just need to fast-forward the game for Eli to the last five minutes,'' Antonio Pierce said.
Manning tossed a dart to Steve Smith for 25 yards to set up a 2-yard touchdown toss with 3:07 remaining to tight end Kevin Boss.
It didn't matter at all that Roethlisberger got the ball back twice more. Big Ben couldn't gain a single first down in the entire fourth quarter, he was sacked five times – three by Mathias Kiwanuka – and converted a terrible 1 of 10 on third down. The Giants did not allow a sack to the team that came in with a league-leading 25,
"We hung in there tough,'' Manning said. "That's what I'm most proud about.''
Game Story: Giants 21, Steelers 14
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