5 reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will win in week 1 vs the Giants

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

While the return of Ben helps the passing game, it certainly helps the run game as well.

With Ben back, the Giants will have to respect the deep pass. They can’t load the box in hopes to keep the Steelers from running the ball. James Conner is completely healthy heading into week 1. When he is healthy Conner may very well be the best running back in the AFC. His ability to break tackles is great.

Per ProFootballReference, in 2018 James Conner ranked 7th in broken tackles and 13th in yards after contact. He does this with exceptional balance through contact. He is also a great safety valve for Roethlisberger.

At his best Conner averaged a whole 9 yards per reception and last season he averaged 7.4 yards a catch. To put that in perspective, Le’Veon Bell has only reached 9 yards a catch or above once in his career per NFL.com. Don’t forget there was a time Bell was considered one of the best receiving backs in the league. In his first season with the Jets, he averaged 7 yards a catch.

With the added depth on the interior, losing David Decastro may be a setback. But, this short term loss has been minimized thanks to the signing of Stefan Wisniewski. Not to mention, putting Matt Feiler back to his natural position at left guard will be an upgrade over Ramon Foster in his final season and once Decastro is back I expect the interior to perform even better later this season.