Tim Benz: The first 2020 ‘Airing of Grevens / Straits of Strength’ after defeating Steelers veterans

About an hour ago

I know that 2020 has stripped away some of our most loved traditions. Thankfully not Steelers football.

At least it’s still on television, even if you can’t go to the games.

And because the Steelers are playing, you’ll continue to enjoy the postgame tradition of our favorite Steelers here on “Breakfast with Benz”. This is our weekly “strength feat” and “broadcast of complaints”.

Often, when the Steelers win, we just stick to “tricks of strength”. When they lose, it is only a “broadcast of complaints”.

In victory, however, while they still give us as many complaints as they did on Monday night, we have agreed to vent.

The Steelers won their season opener by the New York Giants 26–16. It wasn’t pretty for the first 28 minutes or so. But, as we have chronicled in the past, any win in September is a blessing for this bunch.

So let’s do it. Good and bad from week 1 in 2020.

Oh, and the most important positive note? At least there is a way to play NFL games!

Strength features

Beating barclay: We warned that if the New York Giants running back Saquon Barclay loosened up, the Giants might be upset.

The Steelers defense was not letting this happen. He was held to six yards on 15 carries.

“We had a commitment,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. “We were not worried about that commitment. We thought that he was a catalyst for whatever they were going to do aggressively. We put our secondary in harm’s way to do something. But we accept that challenge. We needed to stack Scrimz’s line. “

It was the second-lowest run of Barclay’s career.

The linebackers – all of them – were superb in all aspects of the game.

There was an interception of TJ Watt. Vince Williams had a sack. Devin Bush had seven tackles. Bud Dupree was a disruptive force all night. Ola Adeniyi made an agreement to lose from the bench. And Alex Highsmith also landed in the backfield once at the end of the game.

Good juju: Juju Smith-Schuster showed a strong game with six catches, 69 yards and two touchdowns.

He also threw an important block and Benny Snell hit a swoop.

“O o! Can you smell that snail?”: James Connor left the game with an injury (have you heard that sentence before?), Snell came in and made a powerful contribution.

In addition to that fumble, he had gained 113 yards on 19 carries.

Dating to the conclusion of the 2019 season in Baltimore, Snell now has 204 yards in his last two games.

Two minute drill: The Steelers offense was really bad in the first 28 minutes of the game. Offensive line was kept under scrutiny. Ben Roethlisberger was targeted. And a lot of jet speed, misscarages, Matt Canada stuff wasn’t fooling anyone.

But when Ben Roethlisberger got the ball with 1:32 remaining in the first half and led the team to 78 yards, this brilliant James Washington score was concluded.

That gave the Steelers a 16-10 lead.

“We were able to take the tempo,” Rothlisberger told ESPN after the game. He said, “Dictate some of the coverage we were going to see. People gave me enough time. In those situations, how fast I get the ball out of my hand and let those guys make plays. “

Roethlisberger had five of those eight plays on that drive. He also threw for 11 yards.

Cam hand: As good as the Steelers defense was, it bounced on a 19-play third-quarter drive by the Giants. It lasted 87 yards in eight minutes and 50 seconds. But at the 4-yard line, linebacker Bud Dupree – who excelled all night – upset veteran quarterback Daniel Jones in a wobble throw, which…

… Cam Hayward ?? !!

Yes. That’s why the Steelers gave Hayward a huge contract just before the season started.

His hands.

Look out, minkah!

I swear, nothing matters the rest of the season. Hayward Boxing has already highlighted Robert Spillane out of the year for an interception in the end zone.


Sports injuries: Conner was hurt. Again. already.

This time, ESPN reported that it was a left ankle injury. He only had nine yards rushing before being replaced by Snell.

Stefan Wisniewski suffered a pectoral injury. And, as Zach Banner, I’m not sure Matt Feller had the right thing to do to move and give him the right tackle job.

But Banner worked really hard to earn it. And his knee injury in the fourth quarter looked much worse. Hopefully, he can come back from it. He deserved better than this.

Special teams: Chris Boswell missed an extra point. He also hit the ball out of bounds on a kickoff.

Dionte Johnson stumbles a punt. A pair of good punt returns was the Jabril Papers.


Dionte Johnson: Johnson lit the punt. He had a drop. He had a really bad miscommunication with Rothlisberger in a way at one point.

He rebounded well in the second half, although he had six catches and 57 yards on the night.

third quarter: After scoring at the end of the first half, the Steelers appeared to be marching for second. Rothlisberger then threw an unnecessary, deep 50-50 ball to Washington on 3rd and 5th.

Washington made a good game on it. But the Giants deftly overtook James Bradberry, making a defensive comeback.

The Steelers then allowed 19-play Giants to drive, before Hayward turned into his best Donnie Shell impersonation.

At least his second drive that quarter ended in the fourth with a field goal.

Crowd noise: Making noise of fake crowds is not an easy task. But it has been done better than before. It flared wild applause many times during the broadcast.

Even when the Steelers did something right.

When Ray-Ray McCloud almost popped a second-half kick return, I think all those “Giants fans” were rooting for a touchdown.

Referee: It wasn’t a very bad game. But officials blew up some important calls. A third-down pass interference over Joe Haden in the first quarter was a joke. It kept a campaign alive and allowed New York to throw a touchdown pass in the next match.

That 19-play drive was aided by a missed hold from one of the Giants, which saw Watt trying to complete Saquon Barclay on fourth-and-1.

However, the Steelers also got away with one. Ask Mike Hilton about Ziant tight end Evan Engram with a band on his wrist.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

Game | Steelers / NFL | Breakfast with Benz