The New York Giants will face off with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night to kick off their 2020 NFL season. Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones will lead the Giants’ young offense into battle against a fierce Pittsburgh defense that led the NFL in forced turnovers in 2019.
Daniel Jones struggled to keep the ball out of harm’s way in his rookie season. In 12 starts, Jones fumbled the ball 17 times. Jones and the Giants’ coaching staff have worked hard this offseason to improve on this flaw in Daniel’s game. But the Steelers have a certain sack-master on defense that is known to force quite a few fumbles. TJ Watt led the NFL in forced fumbles last season. The New York Giants have a tall task in slowing down TJ Watt on Monday night.
What Makes Watt So Dominant?
Daniel Jones is going to be under pressure in this Week One matchup. The Steelers had the best pass-rush in the NFL last season, leading the league with 54 total sacks and a 30.5% pressure rate. This is a brand new, young Giants offensive line that could struggle early on this season. Pittsburgh could exploit that and bring the heat in Week One.
The leader of that Steelers pass-rush was TJ Watt. TJ Watt is one of the best and most versatile edge rushers in the NFL, and he could cause serious problems for Daniel Jones and the Giants.
TJ Watt is entering his fourth NFL season and coming off of a 2019 campaign that saw him finish as a First-Team All-Pro. Watt recorded 14.5 sacks, 59 pressures, and 36 quarterback hits, and 8 forced fumbles in 2019. He was absolutely dominant as a pass-rusher and even against the run.
Watt typically lines up over the right tackle position, so it will be up to Cam Fleming to slow down the Steelers’ most talented defender. Fleming started three games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. This will be a tall task for him, as it will be for the rest of the Giants’ offense.
TJ Watt rushes with incredible burst and speed off of the edge. He often wins with the speed rush. The pass-rush move that Watt uses the most is the dip and rip. He uses a speed rush to get leverage on the outside shoulder of a right tackle, then dips down, and rips his right arm up to fight off the offensive tackle.
If the New York Giants want to win this game, they need to slow down TJ Watt. He is a game-wrecking, dominant force, and he could spoil the Giants’ season opener if they do not handle him properly.