Week 1 Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants

Week 1 Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants

by September 15, 2020 0 comments

Nobody expected the first Monday Night Football game to be very close between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. However, the Giants hung in there through the majority of the first half. Both teams started sloppy on offense, but Pittsburgh’s defense had plans of their own and dominated the entire game and allowed the Steelers to cruise to victory, winning 26-16.

Despite several early drops from his pass-catchers, quarterback Daniel Jones looked impressive through the first couple of drives. A muffed punt from Steelers returner Diontae Johnson gave the Giants excellent field position early. They would have to settle for a field goal and took a 3-0 lead. The Steelers offense, with Ben Roethlisberger returning, also experienced drops and had errant throws from Big Ben, himself. Roethlisberger struggled to connect with his receivers early until he finally connected with rookie wideout Chase Claypool on a beautiful deep pass. The very next drive Big Ben would throw a lob pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster for a touchdown. Smith-Schuster would total two touchdowns on the night.

The Steelers would jump out to a 16-10 lead going into halftime, and they did not look back as they tallied 23 unanswered points until the Giants scored a garbage-time touchdown. The Steelers offense did lose rookie offensive lineman Zach Banner to a late-game leg injury that may have him sidelined for a fair amount of time, if not the whole season.

Neither team could run the ball early until the Steelers started giving Benny Snell more carries. Snell would eventually break off a few big runs totaling 113 yards on the night with 13 carries. The same could not be said of the Giants star running back Saquon Barkley. Jones was the Giants’ entire offense last night as he would throw for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Despite a grueling 19-play drive in the second quarter, Jones threw his second interception of the night at the goal-line. Killing a chance of a momentum swing when the game was close. 

The Steelers defense clogged up the running lanes all night long. Going into halftime, Barkley had minus-seven yards rushing and would only reach a total of six on the night. The Steelers defensive front dominated, totaling three sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a team, with linebacker Vince Williams grabbing three of his own. Linebacker Bud Dupree applied pressure to Jones all night long, and T.J. Watt would grad his first interception of the season.

Highlights

Rookie wideout Claypool makes a beautiful catch on the sideline for his first career NFL catch.

Watt snags Jones’ pass out of the air, grabbing his first interception on the season and setting up a Steelers touchdown.

Roethlisberger throws a fadeaway lob to the endzone to JuJu for his first touchdown pass.

Jones throws a 41-yard dime to Darius Slayton for the Giant’s first score and an early lead.

The Steelers started to look like the Super Bowl contenders everyone thought they would be by the end of the game and will have momentum going into Week 2 against the Denver Broncos. On the other hand, the Giants will need to hope that this week’s rushing performance was a fluke due to a dominant Steelers front seven. If the Giants want to win games this year, Barkley and this offensive line will have to improve in the run game.

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Main Image Credit: 
Embed from Getty Images

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