In the aftermath of a lost 2019 season, Ben Roethlisberger made his return to the Pittsburgh Steelers helm on Monday night. But it was the steel seven first-round picks on the Pittsburgh defense that were the highlight in Monday night’s opener and led the Steelers to a season-opening 26-16 win over the New York Giants. Pittsburgh’s defense picked up where it left off last season and despite flashes of brilliance from Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley was the driving force in the Steelers starting the season on a winning note.
1) Briefly at the onset, the Giants offense flashed its potential, going right at a much-ballyhooed Steelers defense on the opening drive of the night. After it was forced to punt, New York’s offense was gifted the ball back at its 3-yard line, but it proved only to be a showcase for the real Pittsburgh D to stand up. The Steelers held the Giants to a field goal and set the tone for the evening ahead in the process. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the bunch flashed brilliance and potential, but were unable to sustain it. The Steelers defense was ferocious throughout – shaking off a picturesque Jones-to-Darius Slayton TD and a highlight-reel Barkley catch-and-run – to flex their might. Led by their steel seven first-round picks, the Steelers led the league in sacks and takeaways last season and had three and two, respectively. Perhaps no play was more emphatic than when Jones was commanding an odyssey of a 19-play drive, but was pressured by Bud Dupree and floated up a ball that Cam Heyward came crashing down with. Pittsburgh’s defense is brilliant chaos and showed that for four quarters on Monday.
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