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Insider Only Key Developments: What We Learned from the Steelers 26-16 Week 1 Win

— Opponent Aside, there was a lot to like from the Steelers 26-16 Week 1 win over the New York Giants —

Among the Key Developments:

Big Ben

All the Steelers need for them to be a team in the AFC that other teams fear is for Ben Roethlisberger to be a top-15 caliber level quarterback this season. Roethlisberger’s days as a borderline top-5 QB in the league are over, but after some early jitters and struggles to feel for the pocket in quarter one, Roethlisberger looked quite good for coming off the major injury he had and playing a live game for the first time in a year.

21 of 32 for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns, the Week 1 opener was kind of what to expect moving forward. An efficient move the chains passing game that is going to be oftly dangerous inside the 35-yard line. Slinging the ball 30-40 yards down the field isn’t going to be something Roethlisberger’s fully capable of at his age and the injury he’s coming back from. What Roethlisberger’s still going to be able to do even if the skills are diminished a bit is burn a defense in the intermediate game when he spots a matchup problem and that’s really all they’re going to need to improve by 2-3 wins this season. Roethlisberger’s too smart as a player not to be a top-15 level QB this season. Any worries are him just making it healthy through what the Steelers hope is a 16+ game season.


— Multitudes of Receiving Options

There’s no true No. 1 receiver on Pittsburgh’s roster but this has the chance of being a hell of a group from the standpoint of different capabilities each receiver brings. That might have been the biggest thing to standout from the win over the Giants. Receivers 1 through 4 in Diontae Johnson, Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool all bring a different skill-set and matchup ability to the table. When you add tight ends Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald to the mix, there’s just a ton of options to game plan each week and on a series by series basis. No excuses from this coaching staff not to have an unpredictable game plan against each opponent.


Benny Snell Bell Cow?

The Steelers might have something in Benny Snell. We saw some signs in the second half of the season where this guy looked like a future No. 1 capable back and what a week one performance rushing for 113 yards on 19 carries. Still, too many are writing James Conner off after one quarter of the season opener. He’s too well liked by Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger as a three-down back to think he’s not going to have a shot to regain the starting job. But, the clock is ticking on Conner where if he can’t stay healthy.


Arrow still pointing up for Bud Dupree

Missed assignments by the Giants O-line or not,  Bud Dupree was a man on a mission in week 1. Best player on the field and it wasn’t close. He was wrecking havoc all night. Dupree is starting to look more than just a player who some feel benefits from T.J. Watt garnering so much attention and just put up a fluke contract year season.


Weak Link on D

Above Average to great quarterbacks are going to feast on attacking Terrell Edmunds in coverage. The tape against the Giants continued to show that, even against a 2nd year pro in Daniel Jones……

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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