What we learned from the Pittsburgh Steelers win against the Giants
The Pittsburgh Steelers earned a victory against the New York Giants on the strength of an opportunistic defense and a powerful running game on offense
Wow, what a game! I don’t know about you but didn’t it just seem like the Steelers eeked out the win against the New York Giants under the bright lights of MetLife Stadium? Forget the final score. Yes, we won by 10 points, but we probably could have easily lost by 10 points had it not been for an opportunistic defense and power running game on offense.
The game started out on the ‘right foot’ with the defense forcing a punt by the Giants offense; however, Diontae Johnson, our second-year WR from Toledo, muffed the punt and the Giants took over in excellent field position. The Steelers ‘D’ came up big and forced the Giants to settle for a field goal. That defensive stand, in my opinion, set the tone for the rest of the game.
So what did we learn from the Steelers win on the road on Monday Night Football? Well, I think we learned quite a bit about the fortitude of our team. We were down 3-10 after the first quarter, but the Steelers were resolute and cut the deficit to 9-10. Once we took the lead before the half, we never looked back.
The offensive side of the ball
On the offensive side of the ball, I think the Steelers learned that the running game, which was very erratic last season, was pretty consistent against the Giants. Benny Snell Jr., our second year RB out of Kentucky, led the way with 113 yards rushing on 19 carries. It was refreshing to see the Steelers employ the power running game, something that, quite frankly, we were just unable to do with any consistency last season.
I think we also learned that Ben Roethlisberger, our franchise QB who missed 14 games in 2019, looked ‘no worse for wear’ in his 2020 debut. ‘Big Ben’ finished the night with 229 yards passing on 21 completions and threw for 3 TDs. Most importantly, ‘Big Ben’ threw zero INTS. Not that I thought he would throw any INTs, but it was refreshing to see that he took care of the ball and really did not try to force something that was not there for the taking.
The Defensive side of the ball
On the defensive side of the ball, I think the Steelers and Steelers fans learned that the 2020 defense as it is currently constructed may be the epitome of a ‘bend, don’t break’ type of defense. Personally, I really felt uneasy for most of the game as I was waiting for that one big ‘chunk’ play to get the Giants back in the game. Fortunately, that did not transpire.
The Steelers ‘D’ finished the night with 2 INTs and 3 sacks, all of which were timely and necessary. Case in point: after a 19 play drive in the third quarter, the Steelers defense looked like we were going to surrender at least a FG to the Giants, but the ‘D” made a play that was both timely and necessary.
Cameron Heyward, our 10 year veteran from Ohio State, picked off an errant pass that resulted in a touchback. After the INT, the Steelers offense managed a FG, which made it a two-score game. We never looked back and thus, the Steelers were able to secure the first victory of the season.
The Steelers secured a much-needed win in the first game of the 2020 season
Admittedly, the win against the Giants was not a ‘cakewalk’. I think what we learned from the victory was this: the 2020 season will not be a season where the Steelers ‘steamroll’ opponents en route to a division title.
However, it may be a season where we do just enough on offense and are opportunistic on defense to put us in a position where the Steelers are contending for a playoff berth come January.