New York Giants fall flat in season-opening loss to Steelers

The New York Giants were feeling the blues after a rough loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1.

Coming into this season, the New York Giants joined a long list of NFL teams to hire a Bill Belichick coaching disciple as their new head coach. Joe Judge immediately went to work on re-shaping the team by drafting two offensive linemen with their first three to protect their franchise quarterback.

Unfortunately on opening night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Big Blue walked away feeling blue thanks to a 26-16 loss that dropped them to 0-1 on the season and behind the Washington Football Team in the NFC East.

Quarterback Daniel Jones finished the night 26-of-41 for 279 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Running back Saquon Barkley had a very off night with 15 carries for six yards. Darius Slayton led all Giants receivers with six catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a better night, going 21-of-32 for 229 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster who had six catches for 69 yards. Benny Snell led the team in rushing with 113 yards on 19 carries.

Early on in the game, the Giants got life after Steelers return specialist Dionte Johnson lost a fumble on a punt return setting the Giants up in good position in the red zone. However, Judge’s team failed to deliver a verdict and settled for a Graham Gano field goal.

Initially, Barkley tried looking for a clue to get through any running or pass-catching lane. Rather, he ended up black and blue. Instead of playing Blue’s Clues, Barkley sat in the thinking chair of a decoy, looking to provide a solution of victory in another way.

Following a pass interference call early in the second quarter, Jones would hit Slayton for the first touchdown of the game. TJ Watt would grab an interception on a jump pass from Jones early in the second quarter, which led to a JuJu Smith-Schuster touchdown. Boswell would miss the PAT, leaving the game at 10-9.

Barkley would finally break loose on a large run that put the Giants in scoring position, but a penalty and sack pushed them out of range. James Washington would catch a touchdown late in the second half that put Pittsburgh up 16-10 at the half.

Jones put together an impressive drive before delivering an ill-advised throw on the goal line to Cameron Heyward. Pittsburgh would go on to add ten more points before a late Giant touchdown finished the scoring.

It doesn’t get any easier for Big Blue as they head off to the Windy City to take on the 1-0 Chicago Bears. This wasn’t just a loss, it was a true blue metropolitan meltdown.