EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Sometimes, real life intrudes on the games we play. And sometimes, we need those games to get away from real life.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it brought to the Northeast, everyone on the Steelers and Giants understood that.
"There are so many bigger things going on around here that what we do is not as important as real life," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Sunday after throwing for two touchdowns in a 24-20 comeback victory. "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone else who are going through so much. There were so many emotions going on, I didn't know what to expect from it. But maybe we were able to take their minds off their problems just a little."
Isaac Redman, who had little relief with Pittsburgh's other two main backs injured, rushed for a career-best 147 yards and the winning 1-yard TD with 4:02 left.
The Steelers dominated the second half after they arrived in New Jersey hours before the game. Their long day began with a plane ride to New Jersey, a short side trip to their team hotel — they couldn't get enough rooms to stay in the area on Saturday night and needed a league travel waiver to arrive on game day — then on to the stadium.
"That's as disappointing a loss as we've had in a long time," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Not to be overly reactionary or emotional, to play against a very good football team like that … we wanted emotionally to win the game so badly for obvious reasons, for our neighbors who are struggling, who needed some type of inspiration and we didn't provide it."
Giants linebacker Michael Boley sprinted 70 yards with a fumble recovery in the second quarter. Roethlisberger cocked his arm to throw and defensive end Osi Umenyiora hit it. The ball came loose and as the quarterback signaled his arm was coming forward, Boley sped down the right sideline. Video replay upheld the touchdown for a 14-7 New York lead.