Good Victory Tuesday to you Steelers fans!
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2020 campaign with a 26-16 win in the Big Apple (kinda) over the New York Giants. As is the case with every single game the Steelers play, there are positives, negatives, what-ifs and complete head scratchers but I’ll get to those in a second. The game marked the return of Ben Roethlisberger who started slowly and then, like a really nice car that’s been idle awhile, he warmed up and started to produce. He would throw for three scores and he didn’t turn the ball over at all. The Steelers’ defense picked up in many ways where it left off but even they’d admit there is work to be done. All in all, you take a win any way you can get it and the Steelers will.
On the Injury Front
Things do not look good for Zach Banner (several outlets are reporting this morning that he has torn his ACL). His knee buckling is something we’ve seen many times and rarely does it end well. He was visibly upset after being helped off the field and then was carted into the locker room. I’m not going to guess but it didn’t look good. Stefen Wisniewski left the game with a pectoral injury and very seldom are those minor things. I will hold out hope that it is because the Steelers will have some serious re-shuffling to do along the O-Line. James Conner tweaked an ankle and didn’t return after a difficult start. His return was completely unnecessary after the big performance by Benny Snell.
The Steelers have brought back former fourth round pick Jerald Hawkins. He was signed from the Texans’ practice squad which means he must be on the active 53-man roster. I believe you’ll see him as depth behind Chuks Okorafor.
Tweet of the Day… Great stuff here from 5Star Matchup!
— 5 Star Matchup (@5StarMatchup) September 15, 2020
JuJu Smith-Schuster told us he was going to have fun again and he did. Six receptions for 69 yards and two scores was a solid night but his recovery of a Benny Snell fumble was easily his biggest moment of the night… Speaking of Snell, He rumbled for over 100 yards on the night and showed some burst that was not there last season. I honestly don’t know how Mike Tomlin goes away from him right now… Bud Dupree was a man among boys last night. What an effort… Same for Tyson Alualu who spent most of his evening in the Giants’ backfield… Hello Rook! Chase Claypool had a terrific first career catch then capped the game by taking a jet sweep for a first down and then he slid before hitting the sideline to kill the clock… How could you not love Cam Heyward getting his first career interception? And at such a crucial time…
Obviously the injuries, see above. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Steven Nelson had ‘OK’ games. Nelson got beat twice (admittedly he had no help) for touchdowns and Fitzpatrick guessed wrong on the Giants’ first TD. It happens… No one feels worse about James Conner than James Conner. If you find yourself ripping on this young man because he just can’t stay healthy then please stop and think about it. He doesn’t deserve it… Chris Boswell looked a little shaky at times last night but managed to make his FGs. His missed PAT clanged off the upright. Keep in mind he’s dealing with a brand new holder in Dustin Colquitt too…
The Broncos come to Heinz Field Sunday off of a 1-14 loss to the Titans. It should have been worse considering Stephen Gostkowski missed three field goals and a PAT. Denver has injury issues of their own with Von Miller out for the season likely and WR Courtland Sutton dealing with a leg issue. Pittsburgh must resolve their offensive line woes. Does Matt Feiler move back to right tackle? Does Kevin Dotson get the start at right guard? Can Chuks Okorafor get the job done allowing Feiler to stay at LG? As of right now there will be no fans in the stadium either.
Alejandro Villanueva made the choice to have a different name on his helmet than the other 52 members of his team. The name ‘Alwyn Cash’ was written with a marker. Cash was a service member who helped rescue his fellow soldiers despite being on fire himself. Al’s choice is totally fine with me but I have to ask, did his teammates know he was going to do that? The idea was to be a unified front and if Al did that without discussing it with team captains or teammates then this could be a problem. I’m certainly hoping it doesn’t go in that direction.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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