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Steelers vs. Giants final score: Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh defense launch over New York

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants went back and forth in the first of two Week 1 “Monday Night Football” games, and while Big Blue stood there for a while, Daniel Jones starting clean. Against the Pittsburgh “D” and Ben Roethlisberger opening out of sync, the AFC’s favorite opponents finally got the upper hand, scoring two crucial points for a 26-16 victory. Joe Judge’s side certainly looked ready to play a game of football, but other than a few big plays from Darius Slayton and James Bradberry, the G-Men couldn’t maintain success on either side of the ball as the night wore on, with Big Ben and Co. on their way to a big season opener.

Here are some of our great takeaways from Monday night’s affair:

Why the Steelers won

You have to start with defense. Everyone expected Pittsburgh to crack down on Daniel Jones, and they did it when it mattered most, forcing the sophomore quarterback into costly mistakes thanks to lingering pressure up front. Bud Dupree, in particular, was a force to be reckoned with. No one could have predicted how a lot neither did they attack Saquon Barkley; the Giants star RB had absolutely nowhere to get out of the backfield from start to finish. Offensively, Pittsburgh improved as the game progressed, with Ben Roethlisberger settling in to find just about every one of his WRs for a big win and Benny Snell quietly reeling 100 yards as a complement – then a replacement – for James Conner. It wasn’t pretty, especially at first, but by the end the Steelers looked more like a well-oiled machine.

Why the giants lost

It’s unfortunate that we have to put so much responsibility for the Giants’ loss on Daniel Jones, because in reality, Danny Dimes was throw dimes for good pieces of the game – all the more impressive against the Steelers defense. In fact, at one point, Jones ordered a massive 19-game practice that threatened to wipe out the Pittsburgh lead in the second period. Still, both of his interceptions were back-breakers, especially the second, which came at the end of that long haul and negated any late-game point chance. If you feel like it (the Steelers essentially cranked up the score at will in the fourth quarter), though James Bradberry brought out his playing ability, but the offense spat. was probably responsible for most of the Pittsburgh surge.

Turning

There are just over three minutes left in the third quarter. Giants down six. New York had come all the way from its own nine-yard line to four from Pittsburgh. Then came Jones’ worst play of the day, a deployment to the left and a misguided heave the other way around – at least a double cover with Bud Dupree right in his face, which resulted in a Steelers pick and a bitter end to another beautiful road. Turnover sealed Pittsburgh’s lead and turned the tide completely.

The game of the game

James Washington didn’t lead the Steelers in the reception, but he led the team in the effort on his TD take just before half-time:

And after

The Steelers (1-0) will return home for Week 2, when they host the Denver Broncos, who also opened the year on Monday night. The Giants (0-1), meanwhile, will hit the road for a clash with the Chicago Bears (0-1), who returned to beat the Detroit Lions in their opener.

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