The New York Giants fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one of the 2020 regular season, but there were some positive takeaways from their performance. Ranging from a speedy defense to a solid passing attack, the Giants showed glimpses of progress and improvement across the board. An injection of youth in the offensive line and new faces in the secondary proved to be tumultuous, but it was always going to be with no preseason snaps and the development of a new scheme on both sides of the ball.
Ultimately, second your quarterback Daniel Jones showed pros and cons, including pinpoint accuracy but also throwing two interceptions. One major positive was that he didn’t fumble the football, which he did on a regular basis last season. There were a number of hits that would have jarred the ball loose, but he held on with both hands and took new head coach Joe Judge’s opinion seriously.
Judge noted the mistakes his team made, at least the major ones, including an interception on a 19-play drive that resulted in seven points for the Steelers. Despite his noticeable frustration regarding losing the turnover battle and untimely penalties, he did harp on one positive thing.
“I’ll just tell you right now that I’m proud of how this team fought for 60 minutes,” Judge told reporters after the game. “That’s something I really wanted to see – you guys asked me earlier in the week what I wanted to see from this team, I wanted to see a team that played together for 60 minutes and fought regardless of score, circumstance or situation, and I saw that. I’m proud of how our guys played. Now, obviously there are some things that we have to do to clean up. The mark of a good team is improvement you can make moving on from Week 1. This next week we’ve got a big test, but we’ve got to stop with the turnovers, we’ve got to eliminate the unnecessary penalties, we have to do better at the end of the half, we have to finish ourselves in the red area, so those are the big things that stuck out right there.”
The Giants were always going to be in for a dog fight:
The Giants were severe underdogs entering the contest and were very close to keeping the game in check until Jones’s second interception. Aside from a nonexistent running game and poor run blocking, Jones managed to thread the needle on multiple third-down conversions and move the ball well with his receivers.
The passing game doesn’t seem to be a problem, but Saquon Barkley must be more effective, and the offensive line must do a better job opening holes for him to run through. I expect them to improve gradually as the season progresses, and it is important to remember they are still rebuilding. There were many positives to take away from the game, which is all we needed to justify this team is moving in the right direction.