Pittsburgh Steelers won the season opener in New York against the Giants. The guests from Pennsylvania were much better on the defensive side of the ball, slowing down both of Giants’ main weapons, Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Defense Provides a Difference for the Steelers
The Giants took a 0-3 lead following a field goal at 4:23 of the first. And that was it from the hosts, who were stopped by a ferocious Steelers’ defense constantly throughout the game. With Ben Roethlisberger out last year, Mike Tomlin was perfecting his defense, and we need to say that the Steelers’ head coach put up an excellent group of guys who are already one of the best units in the NFL. And they are all young.
They wouldn’t allow Saquon Barkley to have more than six rushing yards tonight, catching him in the backfield several times. Barkley had 15 snaps, and arguably one of the worst experiences in his pro career.
Meanwhile, Daniel Jones once again showed his inexperience. The young QB had an excellent drive with 19 plays for 87 yards, reaching to just 4 yards away from the endzone. Then, instead of getting rid of the football once finding himself under pressure, Jones tried to connect with one of his receivers in the end zone, but only to have his pass blocked by Bud Dupree and in the hands of Cameron Heyward.
NY’s quarterback ended the game with 279 yards, and two picks and TD passes each. He was also sacked three times.
The only two guys who deserve a positive grade in Giants were Darius Slayton, who had six catches for 102 yards, and Blake Martinez, who was fighting like hell to stop the Steelers’ rushing game.
Big Ben is Back
Roethlisberger reached Eli Manning in the all-time touchdown pass list with his three score tosses today. They both now have 366, with the note that Big Bn has an entire year ahead of him if everything goes well.
The two-time Super Bowl champ threw for 279 yards, 26-for-41, had no picks and was sacked twice.
Benny Snell Jr. exploded wit 113 yards in 19 catches, and even though he didn’t have a touchdown, he was the focal point in the Steelers’ attack.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had two TD catches, and one fumble recovery. He caught six passes for 69 yards, while James Washington added one TD reception.
As said before, the guests’ defense was brutal, and that especially goes for the running game. Pittsburgh had 141 yards on the ground while Giants miserable 29.
James Conner picked up an injury and didn’t play much, but that didn’t impact the Steelers’ offense because of Snell.
New York Giants go to Chicago this Sunday, and after that, they await the San Francisco 49ers at home. Two very tough matchups for Joe Judge’s guys, who will find it very difficult to win if they keep on playing like this.
The Steelers are facing Denver Broncos next week, and after that, Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, with both of these contests being at home.