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Tim Benz: First 2020 ‘Airing of Grievances / Feats of Strength’ after the Steelers beat the Giants

About an hour ago

I know that 2020 has removed some of our most beloved traditions. Fortunately, not Steelers football.

At least it’s still on TV, even if you can not go to games.

And because the Steelers play, you can continue to enjoy our favorite Steelers postgame tradition here at “Breakfast with Benz.”

; These are our weekly “Feats of Strength” and “Airing of Grievances.”

When the Steelers win, we often stick with “Strength of Forces”. When they lose, it is only “Airing of Grievances”.

In victory, when they still manage to give us as many complaints as they did on Monday night, we also have to air.

The Steelers won their season opener over the New York Giants 26-16. It was not beautiful the first 28 minutes or so. But as we have said before, any victory in September is a blessing for this bunch.

So let’s have it. The good and bad from week 1 in 2020.

Oh, and the main positive note? At least the NFL figured out a way to play the game!


To beat Barkley: We warned that if the New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley got loose, the Giants could pull off.

The Steelers defense would not let that happen. He was held to a scant six yards on 15 carries.

“We had a commitment,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “We would not be ashamed of that commitment. We thought that guy was a catalyst for whatever they would do offensively. We put our secondary in harm’s way some do. But we take up that challenge. We needed to stack the line with scrimmage. ”

It was the second-lowest urgent sum of Barkley’s career.

The linebackers – all of them – were fantastic in every aspect of the game.

TJ Watt had an interception. Vince Williams had a sack. Devin Bush had seven tackles. Bud Dupree was a disturbing force all night. Ola Adeniyi was the unlucky victim and couldn’t continue the game, so FC. And Alex Highsmith also came into the backfield once at the end of the game in his debut.

God JuJu: JuJu Smith-Schuster had a strong game with six catches, 69 yards and two touchdowns.

He also threw a key block and jumped on a fumble by Benny Snell.

“Ooh, ooh! Can you sniff it fast? ”: When James Conner left the game with an injury (have you heard that phrase before?), Snell came in and contributed heavily.

Aside from that fumble, he had 113 yards on 19 carries.

Snell goes back to the 2019 season finale in Baltimore and now has 204 yards in his last two games.

Two minutes of practice: The Steelers offense was really bad in the first 28 minutes of the game. The offensive line was owned on the line for scrimmage. Ben Roethlisberger was out of goal. And a lot of jet motion, misdirection, Matt Canada stuff doesn’t fool anyone.

But that was when Ben Roethlisberger got the ball 1:32 back in the first half and marched the team 78 yards to a touchdown that culminated in this pure James Washington score.

That gave the Steelers a 16-10 lead.

“We were able to pick up the pace,” Roethlisberger told ESPN after the match. “Dictate more of the covers we should see. The guys gave me enough time. In these situations, it’s how fast I get the ball out of my hand and let these guys play. ”

Of those eight plays on this drive, five were pass finishes from Roethlisberger. He also encrypted 11 yards.

Cams hands: For as good as the Steelers defense was, it bent on a 19-game 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 was excellent all night – harassed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones for a wobbly throw that was intercepted by …

… Cam Heyward ?? !!

Yup. That’s why the Steelers Heyward gave the huge contract extension just before the season started.

His hands.

Watch out, Minkah!

I swear, nothing matters the rest of the season. Heyward boxing Robert Spillane out for a bout in the end zone is already the highlight of the year.


Injuries: Conner was injured. Again. Already.

This time, ESPN reported that it was a left ankle injury. The retreat had only nine yards on six carriers before being replaced by Snell.

Stefen Wisniewski has a chest injury. And as for Zach Banner, I’m not sure if it was the right thing to move Matt Feiler and give him the right tackle job.

But Banner worked very hard to earn it. And his knee injury in the fourth quarter seemed pretty bad. Hopefully he can get back from it. He deserved better than that.

Special teams: Chris Boswell missed an extra point. He also kicked a ball off the field at a kickoff.

Diontae Johnson fumbled a point. The Jabrill Peppers had a couple of decent point returns.


Diontae Johnson: Johnson fumbled the point. He fell. He also had a really bad miscommunication with Roethlisberger at one point.

However, he came back well in the second half with six catches and 57 yards a night.

Q3: After scoring at the end of the first half, the Steelers looked to be marching after another. Then Roethlisberger threw an unnecessarily deep 50-50 ball to Washington on a third-and-5.

Washington made a good play on it. But Giants defensive back James Bradberry smoothly floated away.

The Steelers then allowed the 19-play Giants to run before Heyward handed in his best Donnie Shell imitation.

At least their second drive that quarter bridged into the fourth with a field goal.

Audience noise: Performing the fake crowd noise is no easy task. But it has been done better than before. It seemed to break out with wild applause out of nowhere at times during the broadcast.

Even when the Steelers did something right.

When Ray-Ray McCloud almost popped the return from the second half, I think all those “Giants fans” messed up for a touchdown.

The judges: It was not a terrible official game. But officials skipped a few important calls. A third-party intervention by Joe Haden in the first quarter was a joke. It kept a drive alive and allowed New York to throw a touchdown pass at the next game.

The 19-play drive was aided by an unanswered grip from one of the Giants, who tried to block Watt at a fourth and a completion to Saquon Barkley.

However, the Steelers also got away with one. Ask Giants tight end Evan Engram about Mike Hilton holding his bracelet.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be retransmitted. All emails can be published unless otherwise stated.

Sport | Steelers / NFL | Breakfast with Benz

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