New York Giants Behind Enemy Lines: What’s going on in Steelers nation?

New York Giants, David DeCastro, Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York Giants have a difficult matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one of the regular season. With a strong defense and solid offensive playmakers, it will be tough to stop them on both sides of the ball. However, the Giants do have some strong units, like running back and a deep wide receiver corps. With an unproven offensive line, they will have a tall task against a strong pass rush.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look behind enemy lines and see what’s going on with Pittsburgh prior to Monday’s opener.

How the New York Giants can take advantage of the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 1:

1.) Shake Big Big early

Ben Roethlisberger missed all of 2019 with a shoulder injury, which could be an advantage for the Giants. Given his lack of game-play lately, putting pressure on Big Ben will be the priority. If they can get after him and rattle his bones early on, it might throw him off his game. Rothlisberger stated that he is nervous and the jitters were undoubtedly starting to take hold.

“You always have a little bit of jitters and nervousness for the first game, but the way I feel now is more than I’ve felt in a very long time,” Roethlisberger said during a virtual meeting with the media on Wednesday. “I’m sure it’s only going to intensify as the week goes on. And then, Monday night, I’m sure I’m going to be shaking like a leaf. It’s one of those things where you get out there and hopefully it all comes back to me really quick. There’s going to be rust, there’s no doubt about it, but hopefully, we can get it knocked off sooner rather than later.

2.) The Steelers’ offensive line is gashed

Reports have indicated that the Steelers might be without star guard David DeCastro, meaning Stefan Wisniewski would earn the start. If that’s the case, overload the right side of the line with big bodies, including Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and Dalvin Tomlinson. Also, use your best pass rushers and creative tactics to exploit this weakness.

With a spotty offensive line, the Giants’ pass-rush must come to play and collapse the pocket early. It will force Big Ben to throw the ball prematurely, meaning the secondary must also hold up in coverage.

3.) More injuries for Pittsburgh

WR Diontae Johnson: Questionable (calf)

RB Anthony McFarland Jr.: Questionable (concussion)

FB Derek Watt: Questionable (shoulder)

LS Kameron Canaday: Questionable (knee)

Aside from Decastro, none of these injuries are significant.

4.) Quick throws for Daniel Jones and plenty of running the football

With a very strong defensive front, the Giants will have issues in the pocket. Jones will have to get the ball out of his hands quickly and utilize his slot options like Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard. Adding 9 pounds of muscle mass should increase his awareness and pocket presence, but getting rid of the ball early is one way to mitigate fumbling issues. Of course, Saquon Barkley must be utilized heavily on the ground, keeping the defense honest and opening up play action.