The Steelers are gearing up for their week one match up with the Giants, and here are the most important storylines to follow for the game.
With the Steelers Week 1 matchup set to kick off tonight on Monday Night Football, the media is fluttering with breaking news and last-minute predictions. Everyone is itching for more football after planting themselves in front of the couch on Sunday, and we are in luck with a double-header tonight.
For Pittsburgh fans, however, there are some questions we would like to see answered. Here are the biggest pregame storylines heading into the Steelers Week 1 road matchup against the New York Giants:
Can the Steelers survive without DeCastro?
The Steelers will be without All-Pro OG David DeCastro for the opener against the Giants. This alone is a major blow, as DeCastro is one of the top interior offensive linemen in the league. The team could only be better with him on the line, so playing without him will be unfortunate. That isn’t all though, as veteran Stefen Wisniewski is going to start in his place.
While Wisniewski has played well as a reserve lineman, he also happens to be the backup center. If disaster struck and Maurkice Pouncey went down with an injury, the line will suddenly be playing musical chairs with rookie Kevin Dotson liking coming in at guard and Wisniewski shifting to center. The Steelers are one injury away from really testing their depth on their line, and it could prove disastrous during the game.
Can Johnson build off his rookie year?
Diontae Johnson looked dynamic during his rookie season, and that was catching passes from backup QBs. With Ben Roethlisberger back at the helm, Johnson could be in store for a big season. That could very well start on Monday, as the Giants have a weak secondary and are suspect to the passing game.
Considering he should be lined up across from a fully healthy JuJu Smith-Schuster, Johnson can and should be in store for some big games. That said, to take his game to the next level, Johnson needs to improve his route running and keep on working on his hands. Assuming a full offseason has done that, don’t be surprised to see Johnson have consistently quality games in 2020.
How will Roethlisberger look in his first game back?
After suffering what could have been a career-ending injury, Roethlisberger has rehabbed and appears to be back and in full health. Considering the disaster of an offense that the Steelers had without him, adding Roethlisberger back into the equation could reap a lot of benefits. Week one will be his first chance to prove the doubters wrong.
Considering it has been almost a whole season though, many may wonder if Roethlisberger can truly return to form. If he can, the Steelers will be in a lot of trouble and their high aspirations for 2020 will be in doubt. On the flip side, if he appears fully healed, Roethlisberger could begin his comeback tour off on a strong note. Roethlisberger’s play in Week one will be the most important question for the Steelers this season.
While speculation is running wild on Pittsburgh’s first game back, the three outlined above will be the most critical against the Giants. No matter how positive or negative the answer is, expect all three of these storylines to be answered by the conclusion of the game.