What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Giants

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers defer.

7:17 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After giving up a couple of first downs via completions from Daniel Jones to Sterling Shepherd, the Steelers forced the Giants to punt after New York failed to draw them offside with a hard-count on a fourth-and-1. But then disaster struck when Diontae Johnson muffed Riley Dixon's punt at the 10-yard line, and the ball was recovered by linebacker Devanta Downs at the 3-yard line.

7:21 p.m. – What Went Right: In its first serious test of the 2020 season, the Steelers defense came through. After a 1-yard gain by Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones threw incomplete on both second and third downs, and he was under pressure from T.J. Watt on the first of those. Graham Gano's short field goal gave the Giants a 3-0 lead with 10:37 left in the first quarter.

7:41 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers tied the game, 3-3, with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter when a 41-yard field goal by Chris Boswell capped a 13-play, 59-yard drive. The big play came on a 28-yard completion to Chase Claypool to convert a third-and-9. On the play, Claypool's first NFL catch, the rookie receiver did a nice job to get both feet down while maintaining possession of the ball through the end of the play.

7:52 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Giants scored the game's first touchdown on a 41-yard pass from Daniel Jones to Darius Slayton that gave the Giants a 10-3 lead with 13:54 left in the first half. The touchdown pass was made possible by a pass interference penalty on Joe Haden that allowed the Giants to convert a third-and-12. On the play, Jones' pass was off target, but Haden was flagged for making contact with Evan Engram's helmet as he dove to break up the play.

8:00 p.m. – What Went Right: First takeaway of the season was turned in by T.J. Watt, who sensed a quick pass by Daniel Jones on first-and-10 from the Giants 35-yard line and dropped into the throwing lane instead of continuing with his rush. Watt went up and got two hands on the ball and completed the catch at the Giants 36-yard line.

8:05 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers cashed in the interception with a 10-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster that would have tied the game with 9:07 left in the first half had Chris Boswell not clanked his extra point attempt off the right upright. Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-6 with an 18-yard completion to Eric Ebron, and then on a subsequent third-and-7 was when Roethlisberger hooked up with Smith-Schuster.

8:36 p.m. – What Went Right: It took almost the entirety of the first half, but by the time there were only seven seconds left in the second quarter, the Steelers offense was looking like the Steelers offense. Starting at their 20-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger drove the team 80 yards in eight plays to cap it off with a 13-yard touchdown to James Washington and the Steelers left the field with a 16-10 halftime lead. Roethlisberger completed a 21-yard pass to Washington, then two more to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 17 and then 14 yards, and then Roethlisberger scrambled for 11 yards to put the ball at the 13-yard line with 14 seconds left. On the touchdown play, Washington caught the ball at about the 2-yard line, then broke a tackle by Adrian Colbert and powered through an attempted tackle by Julian Love to get the ball across the goal line.

HALFTIME: Steelers 16, Giants 10

8:44 p.m. – What Went Right: One of the most critical jobs facing the Steelers defense on Monday night was controlling Giants running back Saquon Barkley. In the first half, Barkley had nine carries for minus-3 yards. A key contributor in this area was Bud Dupree, who finished the half with four tackles, including two for loss. The defense also record two sacks – by Vince Williams and Stephon Tuitt – and the takeaway was an interception by T.J. Watt.

8:56 p.m. – What Went Right: The possession didn't end with any points, but the Steelers flashed some things at the start of the second half that they hadn't been able to do to that point in the game. Ray-Ray McCloud returned the kickoff 34 yards and was just tripped up before he broke into the clear, and then Benny Snell ripped off gains of 3, 14, and 5 yards on the first three offensive plays. The drive stalled, but Dustin Colquitt's punt was fair caught at the 9-yard line.

9:10 p.m. – What Went Right: It was a possession that began on the Giants 9-yard line, and it would end on the 19th play when Bud Dupree hustled into the left flat to hit Daniel Jones' arm as he was attempting a pass and Cam Heyward intercepted the flutterball at the goal line for a touchback. The Giants had converted a third-and-14, a third-and-5, a fourth-and-1, a third-and-6, and a third-and-3.

9:21 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers extended their lead to 19-10 with 14:19 left in the fourth quarter when a 36-yard field goal by Chris Boswell capped a nine-play, 62-yard drive. Maybe the biggest play on the possession was a 21-yard run by Benny Snell, but near the end of the play the ball was stripped loose and was bouncing among a group of Giants defenders. But JuJu Smith-Schuster dove into the pile and came out with the football to preserve possession for the Steelers.

9:26 p.m. – What Went Right: It started with an unforced error of the worst kind when Chris Boswell's kickoff went out of bounds to give the Giants the ball at their own 40-yard line on the ensuing possession. But on a third-and-7, Mike Hilton snuck through the trash to sack Daniel Jones for a 9-yard loss to force a Giants punt. The Steelers had the ball back after a three-and-out at their 25-yard line.

9:42 p.m. – What Went Right: An 8-yard touchdown pass to a wide open JuJu Smith-Schuster capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive that extended the Steelers' lead to 26-10 with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger converted the first third down with an 11-yard pass to Diontae Johnson, and that opened the gates for what would come later.

9:57 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Giants drove 75 yards in 13 plays and scored a touchdown that cut their deficit to 26-16, and it was too easy. Daniel Jones completed eight passes on the drive, including the 7-yard touchdown to Darius Slayton. The only thing that seemed to go right for the Steelers was Joe Haden breaking up the attempted two-point conversion pass for Sterling Shepherd.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 26, Giants 16

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