The first Monday Night Football in 2020 season saw the Pittsburg Steelers routinely defeating the New York Giants, 26-10. It was a big comeback for Ben Roethlisberger, who threw three touchdown passes.
Big Ben was in the middle of attention before the game started; as everyone wanted to see does he still has what it takes to lead his Steelers. The answer was pretty clear. Three TD passes, 229 yards, no intersections, and 21 completions in 32 attempts.
“I am excited we won the game,” Big Ben said. “I told the guys before the game it is not about me individually. The reason I came back is for these guys, this team.”
And the Steelers looked like a comprehensive unit tonight, without a guy who was above all others. Each player had his share of action, and all of them contributed in a certain way. Though, we need to say that the defense looked more confident.
They stopped Saquon Barkley like no one before, limiting one of the best running backs in the league to just 6 yards on the ground in 15 rushes. Barkley, who had more than 1,000 rushing yards on the ground last year, couldn’t get out from minus yardage until the late part of the third quarter.
Giants’ QB Daniel Jones had a similar fate. He did have more yards than Roethlisberger, but was way below in all other aspects of play. Jones threw for 279 yards, had 26 completions in 41 attempts, and two TDs and interceptions.
The Steelers picked him in what might be the game’s turning point, rebuffing the Giants’ surge in the third. NY came to just four yards away from the end zone, but Bud Dupree first blocked Jones’ pass before Cameron Heyward picked it after that.
“They kept pacing us to get us out of rhythm … We bend, but we don’t break. We’ve got to make sure when the ball gets in our hands we get the picks,” said Heyward.
With 3 passing TD tonight, Ben Roethlisberger becomes the 8th QB in NFL history with at least 3 touchdown passes in 50 career games.
Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have the most such games in NFL history. (93). pic.twitter.com/EKexlI3xLV
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 15, 2020
The Giants took a 3-0 lead in the first sequence before Pittsburgh taking over, and they convincingly handling the situation on the field. After 16-10 at the halftime, they stopped Jones in the third, and started running down the clock.
Benny Snell Jr. was the main guy in those moments, with the Steelers’ backup RB posting 113 rushing yards in 19 attacks, often moving the chains. After James Conner picked up an injury early on, Snell replaced him in the best possible way. He wouldn’t have a TD in his stats sheet, but definitely made a massive impact on Pittsburgh’s attack.
Snell was one of the few players who didn’t mind about the lack of spectators.
“We really don’t need fans to get hype. … it was different because we’re used to the fans, but we have each other’s backs,” he would add.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had two TD catches, and James Washington one. JuJu would recover a fumble by Snell too.
The only bright spot in New York was Darius Slayton, who recorded 102 yards in 6 catches. He was a constant threat to the rivals and the only one who didn’t have problems beating the direct guards. Blake Martinez also had a solid performance in defense. Still, these two guys weren’t enough for at least a more honorable defeat.
NY Giants have a tough schedule coming up. First, they visit the Chicago Bears and, after that, host the NFC Champions, San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, the Steelers are waiting for the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.