Recapping Pittsburgh Steelers 26-16 win against the New York Giants

Tommy Jaggi
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Benny Snell Jr. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Benny Snell Jr. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Here’s a recap of their Week 1 road game.

It was a rough start to Monday Night Football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After suffering through a 2020 offseason with a number of drastic changes, Mike Tomlin’s team failed to get anything going early on. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, as Pittsburgh scored just 3 points in their 30-point blowout loss to the New England Patriots in the season-opener last season.

The Steelers struggles began on special teams. After forcing the Giants to punt on their opening drive, Diontae Johnson muffed his first punt return attempt of the season – giving the ball to New York just yards away from the endzone.

Offensively, Pittsburgh couldn’t get anything going on the ground, as James Conner averaged just 1.5 yards per carry in the first half. Fortunately, Pittsburgh has a little more success through the air, as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first two quarters.

The Steelers turned up the heat

As expected, Pittsburgh did a good job defensively in this contest. Saquon Barkley finished the game with 15 carries for a mere 6 yards (0.4 yards per carry). Bud Dupree had a very nice contest. Though he and T.J. Watt didn’t show up often in the box score, they consistently got pressure on Daniel Jones.

The defensive play of the game came from Cameron Heyward. The Giants had a 19-play drive to methodically march down the field, but Heyward came away with an interception in the endzone to save 7 points.

The Steelers were losing 9-10 just before the half when Pittsburgh finally cranked up the heat. From there, Mike Tomlin’s team scored 17 unanswered points before the Giants scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter (they would go on to miss the two-point conversion).

Final thoughts

Though there were some concerning plays early on that kept the game close, I never really felt like the Steelers were in danger – which was quite nice. Ben Roethlisberger took a few unnecessary sacks, but he got into a rhythm late in the first half and never looked back. Finishing the game 21 of 32 passing with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions is about as good as anyone could have asked from the quarterback in his first game back from elbow surgery.

The receivers also impressed in the second half. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and Chase Claypool combined to catch 16 of 21 targets for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. Second-year running back, Benny Snell, was thoroughly impressive filling in for the injured James Conner. In Conner’s stead, he averaged 5.9 yards per carry and earned 113 rushing yards.

In addition, it was encouraging to see some young players like Devin Bush, Ola Adeniyi, Alex Highsmith, and Chase Claypool impress from the gate.

The biggest concern after the game is the injury to starting right tackle, Zach Banner. Judging by the expression on his face, his season could be in jeopardy after injuring his knee Monday Night.

dark. Next. 10 fastest Pittsburgh Steelers players of the 2000s

The Steelers have a  lot of positives to take away from their Week 1 victory over the New York Giants. Let’s hope they can carry this momentum into Week 2.