The first Monday Night Football game in Week 1 has the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Giants. A new look for the Giants coaching staff as former New England Patriot special teams/wide receiver coach Joe Judge is the new head coach and former Dallas Cowboy head coach Jason Garrett is the new offensive coordinator. For the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger is making his first start since September 15th of last year, after his season was cut short due to an arm injury. The Steelers have won 9 straight games on Monday Night.
The Giants took over first and were putting together a really good looking drive, converting on a 3rd and 11, but were forced to punt after failing to catch the Steelers offside on 4th and 1 resulting in a delay of game penalty. Steelers return man Diontae Johnson muffed the punt, and the Giants recovered on the 3-yard line, but were unable to score a touchdown, and settled for 3. The Steelers first drive resulted in a 3 and out, giving the Giants the ball back, but the Giants couldn’t turn it into points. The Steelers second offensive drive went 13 plays for 50 yards, but also resulted in a field goal.
On the Giants’ third offensive drive, Daniel Jones took a huge shot to the end zone and found Darius Slayton for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The extra point put the Giants up 10-3 with 13:45 to go in the 2nd half. After a Steelers 3 and out, the Giants took over at the 35-yard line, but Daniel Jones threw his first interception of the year after he was picked off by TJ Watt. The Steelers were able to capitalize on the great field position and took their drive 36 yards on 6 plays when Big Ben threw a 10-yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. A missed extra point attempt by Chris Boswell had the Steelers trailing the Giants 10-9.
The Steelers took over at the Giants 22-yard line. Pittsburgh took over with 1:42 left in the half, and drove all the way down to the 13 yard line when Roethlisberger threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to James Washington. The extra point put the Steelers up 16-10 going into the second half. Both team’s running game was lackluster in the first half, with Benny Snell leading the Steelers with just 23 yards at the half. Even worse for the Giants, newly added Dion Lewis lead the team with 1 rushing yard in the half. Saquon Barkley was visibly upset on the sideline, ending the half with -3 rushing yards the fewest by a RB with 9+ carries in a single half since Bengals’ running back Rudi Johnson in 2007.
The Giants passing game looked a lot better than what we’ve seen in the past. Despite that one interception, Daniel Jones played well in the half, going 9/16 for 151 yards, 1 touchdown, and that 1 interception. His touchdown throw to Slayton was enough to pass Eli Manning for 2nd-most consecutive games with at least 1 touchdown in Giants’ history. Big Ben had a solid first half as well, going 12/21 for 145 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Steelers received the ball at the start of the second half but were unable to turn it into points, punting to the Giants 9 yard line. The Giants first drive of the second half was a fantastic drive. A close to 9-minute drive, 19 plays for 87 yards, but Daniel Jones was rushed by Bud Dupree who tipped the pass and allowed Cam Heyward to intercept the ball at the goal line. The Steelers drove the ball 62 yards on 9 plays but ended the drive on with a field goal to put Pittsburgh up 19-10 in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Steelers took over at their own 25 yard line after a Giants 3 and out, and after a 7 minute drive, Roethlisberger threw an 8-yard TD pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, his second TD grab of the game to put the Steelers up 26-10. The Giants answered the next drive, going 70 yards in 3 and a half minutes, finishing up with a Daniel Jones TD pass to Darius Slayton for Slayton’s second TD of the game, shrinking the Steelers’ lead to 26-16.
The Steelers defense really stepped up tonight, keeping Saquon Barkley at bay the entire game, limiting him to 6 total rushing yards. Daniel Jones lead the Giants in rushing yards with 22. Benny Snell took the load of the carries for the Steelers, rushing for 113 yards on 19 carries. James Conner only had 6 rushes for 9 yards. In his first start in a day under a year, Ben Roethlisberger went 21/32 for 229 yards, 3 TDs and no interceptions. JuJu caught 6 balls for just 69 yards, but had 2 TDs. James Washington caught the 3rd TD, 1 of his only 3 catches in the game.
Despite the two interceptions, Daniel Jones didn’t look all that bad with new OC Jason Garrett. The offensive line is still a weak spot for the New York Football Giants, but Danny Dimes did his best, going 26/41 for 279 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. Darius Slayton showed signs of greatness in this game, catching 6 passes for 102 and 2 TDs. Sterling Shepard also caught 6 balls on 6 targets, but only gained 47 yards.
The big guys up front for the Steelers registered two interceptions, one by Cameron Heyward, and the other by TJ Watt. Bud Dupree was all over the field tonight, deflecting the pass that allowed Heyward to get the INT. He ended the game with 3 tackles and 2 for a loss. Vince Williams also registered 3 TFL.
The Giants will travel to Chicago to take on the 1-0 Chicago Bears next week, and the Steelers have their home opener against the Denver Broncos next week in Pittsburgh.
Featured Image: USA Today
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