EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rashad Jennings is taking advantage of his opportunity to be a key part of the New York Giants’ running game.
Jennings ran 73 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Curtis Painter’s scoring pass with 2:50 left gave the Giants a 20-16 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason game Saturday night.
Howard Jones had given the Steelers a 16-13 lead when he picked up backup quarterback Ryan Nassib’s fumble and went 28 yards for a touchdown with 10:16 to go. But Painter led a 12-play, 80 yard drive and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Corey Washington for the victory.
Eli Manning played four series and was 0 for 2 for the Giants. They opened the preseason last week with a 17-13 victory over Buffalo in the Hall of Fame game.
The Giants focused on their running game after a week in which David Wilson was forced to retire because of a neck injury. Peyton Hills missed the game because of an ankle injury.
Jennings, who signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Giants in March, finished with 85 yards to lead the team.
Ben Roethlisberger played only one series for the Steelers (0-1). His was 1 for 2, with the completion a 46-yarder to rookie third-round pick Dri Archer to the Giants 14. Running back Le’Veon Bell started the drive with gains of 9 and 8 yards.
The seven-play, 70-yard drive ended with the first of Shaun Suisham’s three field goals, a 26-yarder for a 3-0 lead.
“I thought it was a good, solid first series,” Roethlisberger said. “Obviously, it helped that we had a huge play to Dri. But we moved the ball down the field and got points on the board.”
Jennings’ long touchdown run came on the next play from scrimmage.
“It was a well-executed play,” said Jennings, who began his career at Pitt before transferring to Liberty. “Eli made sure we were in the right play, it was a hat on a hat, a gaping hole in the offensive line.”
Early in the second quarter, the Giants took advantage of a 21-yard punt by Brad Wing and started their drive at the Steelers 35. Josh Brown made a 45-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead.
Bruce Gradkowski took over for Roethlisberger was 8 for 12 for 66 yards.
Nassib replaced Manning in the second quarter. On his second drive, he completed his first five passes, including a 12-yarder to Rueben Randle. Brandon McManus’ 46-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the first half gave the Giants a 13-3 lead.
Charles James fumbled a punt with 7:37 left in the third and the Steelers’ Howard Jones recovered at the Giants 21. The Giants’ defense held and Suisham made a 38-yard field goal to make it 13-6.
Suisham added a 32-yarder 59 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 13-9.
NOTES: Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones had a sack of Manning late in the first quarter. ... First-round pick WR Odell Beckham Jr missed the game because a hamstring injury. Also out for the Giants: RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), OT Will Beatty and DT Mike Patterson (shoulder). ... Missing the game for the Steelers: LB Ryan Shazier, TE Michael Palmer, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and NT Steve McLendon. ... The Giants’ next preseason game is next Saturday at the Colts, who lost to the Jets on Thursday. The Steelers will host the Bills in their preseason home opener next Saturday.