PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The first part of a MNF double Header starts in the Meadowlands as the New York (It’s Jersey… Still only one team in NY and that’s the Bills) Football Giants welcome Big Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers have got to be ecstatic that they have their Quaterback Big Ben Roethlisberger back after suffering an injury which kept him out for most of their year their offense was horrible finishing 30th overall (31st in passing & 29th in rushing) which makes their 8-8 finish last year all the more impressive and it really is a testament not only to HC Mike Tomlin who has NEVER had a losing season in his HC career (this will be Tomlin’s 14th season) but also to the top 5 defense they boasted last year who won games on their own by leading the league in Sacks and ranking 2nd in Interceptions, If Big Ben can rekindle the offense this will be a scary football team and the my favourite of their offseason additions give the Steelers another weapon on offense, 2nd round draft selection Chase Claypool was a top 5 Receiver for me coming out and a guy I was praying would fall to my Buffalo Bills but the Steelers took him 49th overall in what could be the steal of the class, Claypool is a 6’4, 238lb (107kg or 17 stone) monster who runs a 4.42 second 40-yard dash and that makes him an athletic freak and someone I expect Big Ben to utilise more and more as the season goes on.

Lets start with offense with the Giants and new OC Jason Garrett (Formerly the Dallas Cowboys HC) likes to run the ball and when you have Saquon Barkley that’s probably a smart thing to do but in Dallas more often than not he had a very good offensive line to run behind and that’s something the Giants haven’t had for a while, 1st round draft selection Andrew Thomas was the guy I had ranked as the best run blocking Offensive Tackle in the class but I also believe this line needed more than one piece to be good so whilst I don’t expect them to be a top unit they should be somewhat improved, someone else who needs to improve is Quarterback Daniel Jones who needs to protect the ball better, he threw 12 INT’s last year but the big worry is his penchant for fumbling the ball, doing just that 18 times last year and losing 11 of them, he does have some pass catching weapons, leading the pack is TE Evan Engram who when on the field is a top talent but shares a trait with other pass catchers the Giants have and seems to be the inability to stay healthy for 16 games and if the Injury bug bites them again it could be another underwhelming season for the offense. On defense I’m a fan of some of the moves made, FA signing Blake Martinez is a tackling machine and should help improve the run defense whilst 2nd round draft pick Xavier McKinney was a player I liked at Alabama but unfortunately got hurt in camp and has been placed on IR. There quietly talented across the Defensive Line and could be one of the most improved defenses in the league from last year to this if new DC Patrick Graham can make everything click.

My favourite bet for this game is for Daniel Jones to somehow give the ball to this playmaking Pittsburgh defensive unit but there’s absolutely no value in that so I’m going with our Longshot Bet of the Week here and take the aforementioned Chase Claypool to haul one in.

PREDICTION: STEELERS 24 – 10 GIANTS

LONGSHOT BET: Chase Claypool Anytime TD @ 5/1 with Betfair

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