EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.: The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are enjoying guessing video games to some extent heading into their season opener at MetLife Stadium on Monday night time.
While the Steelers are returning an outstanding protection, the Giants don’t know what to anticipate with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returning after lacking most of final season with a significant elbow damage.
Can Big Ben nonetheless go deep or throw the out sample with some zip? We’ll see on this season overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are much more in the dead of night about New York. They are on the brink of face 38-year-old Giants head coach Joe Judge. He’s put in a brand new offense and a brand new protection in hopes of ending years of irritating soccer for a once-proud group.
Neither staff has performed properly lately. The Steelers (8-8) have missed the postseason the previous two years. The Giants (4-12) have made it as soon as (2016) within the final eight seasons, profitable 12 video games during the last three.
Early within the season, it’s about what you do and the standard with which you do it, Tomlin mentioned. It’s not essentially about how you’re enjoying or what schematic they make use of or the plans they make. Part of profitable early within the season is simply being a troublesome staff to beat and simply not beat your self.
Judge has talked to the Giants about the identical issues. Don’t beat your self. No penalties. No turnovers. Do your job.
I believe the power of our staff proper now’s we now have a staff, and thats one thing to be happy with, Judge mentioned. Theres a whole lot of groups on the market with a whole lot of expertise which might be cut up in numerous instructions. I like once I see our guys and I see everybody shifting in the identical route. There are going to be a whole lot of issues we have to progress on and enhance on all year long, however proper now, Im happy with the best way our guys come to work daily.
Some issues to observe in prime time:
GIANTS O-LINE VS. STEELERS FRONT SEVEN
This is the place the sport in all probability will likely be determined. The Giants, who noticed sort out Nate Solder choose out, have three new gamers on the O-line: first spherical draft decide Andrew Thomas, heart Nick Gates and proper sort out Cam Fleming. If the road can deal with Pittsburgh’s entrance seven, quarterback Daniel Jones and halfback Saquon Barkley have an opportunity to do injury.
The Steelers led the NFL with 54 sacks, 18 fumble recoveries and 38 takeaways final season, ending ranked fifth general on protection.
The Steelers spent the offseason making an attempt to improve offensive ability positions in hopes of giving Roethlisberger extra choices within the pink zone. That included signing 6-foot-Four tight finish Eric Ebron and drafting 6-Four receiver Chase Claypool within the second spherical.
The relaxation will likely be as much as Big Ben.
Theres going to be rust, the 38-year-old mentioned. Theres little question about it, however hopefully, we will get it knocked off before later. I believe thats what makes it enjoyable. If I wasnt nervous, and I didnt have that anxiousness, I believe you shouldnt be on the market. Theres not a love for the sport when you dont have that.
SAQUON AND DANIEL
Barkley must put up numbers like his rookie season in 2018, when he rushed for 1,307 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, 11 speeding. The No. 2 decide general decide was slowed by a sprained ankle final season, gaining 1,003 yards and scoring six landing, 4 on the bottom.
Despite throwing a franchise rookie-record 24 touchdowns final season, Jones wants to chop down on his turnovers. He 23 turnovers, together with 11 misplaced fumbles.
THE RIGHT STUFF
The Steelers have shuffled their offensive line following left guard Ramon Fosters retirement. Matt Feiler moved from proper sort out to left guard, with Zach Banner beating out Chuks Okorafor to take over Feilers outdated spot.
Banner, who ceaselessly lined up as an eligible third sort out final season, shed 30-plus kilos in an effort to compete in opposition to All-Pro outdoors linebacker T.J. Watt (14 1/2 sacks) in apply.
New York has revamped one of many NFL’s worst defenses underneath new coordinator Pat Graham.
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez, cornerback James Bradberry and multi-purpose defensive again Logan Ryan had been signed as free brokers. Outside linebacker Markus Golden (10 sacks) and defensive lineman Leonard Williams had been re-signed, whereas outdoors linebacker Lorenzo Carter appears prepared for the subsequent step in his third season.
The fundamental query mark is the cornerback spot reverse Bradberry. DeAndre Baker, a 2019 first-round draft decide and a starter final 12 months, was minimize Tuesday after an offseason arrest for armed theft. Sam Beal opted out for well being causes. That leaves Corey Ballentine, Issac Yiadom, Julian Love and Brandon Williams to slot in.
AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.
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