EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The main thing separating Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning yesterday was the Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie quarterback made his biggest plays with the game on the line.
Roethlisberger threw for a season-high 316 yards and hit four straight passes to set up Jerome Bettis's winning 1-yard run with 4:57 to go, leading the Steelers to a 33-30 win over the New York Giants.
"I am amazed, but he is an awesome quarterback," receiver Antwaan Randle El said after Roethlisberger led the Steelers (13-1) to a team-record 12th straight win and handed the Giants (5-9) a seventh straight loss.
"He might have a long way to go, but he has this great poise," said Randle El, who caught five passes for 149 yards and a TD and also threw for his first career TD. "You can have all the ability in the world but if you don't have the poise to do it, it won't happen."
Roethlisberger, who has not lost in 25 straight college and pro starts, showed his poise in moving the Steelers from their 33 to the New York 8 after a Tiki Barber 1-yard run had given New York a 30-26 lead.
"He has been making good decisions with games on the line," coach Bill Cowher said of the 11th pick in the NFL draft. "In the fourth quarter, he has a feel for the game and an understanding of the game and he manages it well."
Until yesterday, Manning had struggled in losing his first four starts. The No. 1 pick in the draft was horrible in his last two games and seemingly had lost his confidence.
Using a game plan filled with plays he liked, Manning found himself against the NFL's top-ranked defense. He threw two touchdown passes and set up Barber's go-ahead touchdown with three completions of 15 yards or more.
"I had fun because we were getting some stuff done," said Manning, who completed 16 of 23 passes for 182 yards. "We were making plays, running the ball, the line was protecting, receivers were making catches. We got in a rhythm and it was back to playing football again. It was a good feeling."
Roethlisberger hit five passes of 34 or more yards in his matchup with Manning, who only had one over 20 yards.
The two talked before the game and they congratulated each other after it was over. "I don't ever want to remember what it is like to lose," said Roethlisberger, who also threw two interceptions.
Randle El caught a 35-yard scoring pass and threw a 10-yard shovel pass to Verron Haynes for a touchdown. Jeff Reed kicked four field goals, Hines Ward had nine catches for 134 yards despite finishing the game with a hip pointer, and Bettis ran for 140 yards for the Steelers.
Manning threw TD passes of 2 yards to Jeremy Shockey and 1 yard to Marcellus Rivers. He also hit Amani Toomer with two 17-yard passes.