Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants 9/14/20 NFL Picks, Predictions, Betting Tips, Week 1
Game: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants
Date: 7 p.m., Monday, September 14, 2020
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Odds/Point Spread: Pittsburgh -3.5
Continuity and cohesion are two of the most important intangibles in sports. The New York Giants should get a crash course in that fact when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.
The Steelers have had just three head coaches – three – since the start of the 1969 season. Maybe they’ve been so consistent because of their continuity. Or maybe they’ve had such continuity because of their consistent success. Either way, the Steelers know exactly who they are and how they want to play.
Pittsburgh’s foundation and established culture should be a massive benefit to the organization. Following the most bizarre offseason in NFL history, I think that their players’ and coaches’ level of familiarity with one another will give this team a major advantage, especially early in the season.
Conversely, the Giants dive into the 2020 season with their fourth head coach in the last four seasons. After the disastrous tenures of Bob McAdoo and Pat Shurmur (with an interim gig for Steve Spagnuolo in between), the Giants are hoping that newly hired Joe Judge will lead them back to national relevance.
Judge has never been a head coach at any level. He’s bringing in a new offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett), a new defensive coordinator (Patrick Graham) and new schemes on both sides of the ball. Judge will be working with a first-year starting quarterback and a roster that is still full of holes on both sides of the ball.
Making matters worse, Judge will be forced to start his regime with no minicamps, no OTAs, and limited contact with his players throughout the offseason.
Contrast that with the Steelers, who are entering the 14th season with Mike Tomlin at the helm, and the differences between these two situations are stark heading into the season opener.
The quarterback situation provides another major difference between these two teams.
Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger were both members of the decorated quarterback class of 2005. However, only one of them will be on the field when their respective teams lock horns in the Meadowlands. Manning has finally retired after several years of ineptitude, while Big Ben is attempting to make his way back from a right elbow injury that prematurely ended his 2019 season.
I am skeptical about what the Steelers will get out of Big Ben this year or whether he’ll hold up over a full 16-game season. But considering the Steelers finished 8-8 last year with a wet mop and an orange traffic cone playing quarterback for most of the year, anything they get out of Roethlisberger has to be considered a bonus.
The Giants will turn to first-year starter Daniel Jones. The former No. 1 draft pick was erratic in his rookie campaign, going 3-9 as a starter while throwing 12 interceptions and fumbling 18 times. But it is his team now, and Jones will be thrown into the fire against a Pittsburgh stop unit that finished No. 5 in total defense, No. 5 in points allowed and No. 3 against the pass. I don’t expect it to end well.
The differences between the current states of these two franchises should be on full display in this primetime matchup.
Who will win the Steelers/Giants NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Take Pittsburgh -3.5.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in May. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 1 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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