Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants Matchup Preview (9/14/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream

Steelers fans will be thrilled for the return of Ben Roethlisberger as their 16-year starting quarterback hasn’t played in almost a year after a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2 of the 2019 season. Head coach Mike Tomlin worked his magic and still managed to have Pittsburgh at 8-8 on the year, despite starting Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback. Big Ben will be much more of a game-manager this season than in previous years as one of the Steelers’ biggest strengths is their dominant defense. In the 14 weeks after the arrival of Minkah Fitzpatrick in a trade from the Miami Dolphins last season, the Steelers allowed just 17.2 points per game.

Without a traditional offseason and preseason, the Steelers will have an enormous advantage as one of the best franchises in football. The Giants will be debuting Joe Judge as their new head coach, a former special teams coach at Alabama under Nick Saban and with the Patriots under Bill Belichick. Jason Garrett, the former Cowboys’ head coach, will take over as the team’s new offensive coordinator, a move the Giants will be hoping can unlock the potential of Daniel Jones and the team’s young skill talent. The last time these two teams played was in December 2016 as fellow draft classmates Roethlisberger and Eli Manning started at quarterback. The Steelers won that game 24-14 in Pittsburgh, and while the Steelers will be on the road for this matchup, I’m expecting them to beat a transitioning Giants squad. For detailed historic statistics on this matchup, head over to the Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants matchup page.

TV Schedule

Date: Monday, September 14, 2020
Time: 7:15 PM EST
Location: MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
Coverage: ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants Live Stream

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Injury Report

Pittsburgh Steelers: DB Justin Layne (out), DB Arrion Springs (out), WR Diontae Johnson (questionable), QB Ben Roethlisberger (probable), QB Mason Rudolph (probable), TE Eric Ebron (probable), DE Stephon Tuitt (probable)
New York Giants: WR Amba Etta-Tawo (questionable), TE Evan Engram (probable), LB Ryan Connelly (probable), K Graham Gano (probable), S Xavier McKinney (active), WR Corey Coleman (active)

Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis

Pittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers finished with the 5th-best defense in points allowed and the 3rd-best defense in yards allowed last season. They boast the elite pairing of Fitzpatrick, one of the best safeties in football, with a tremendous defensive line that features T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Bud Dupree. The Giants will be relying on a first-year head coach and multiple young starters, including both of their starting offensive tackles. I’m expecting this defense to dominate Week 1.

Pittsburgh will also be bringing back Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, a much-needed upgrade for an offense that sputtered all of last year. After having the 6th-best scoring offense in 2018 with Big Ben, they dropped to the 5th-worst scoring offense in 2019 with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges under center. If the offense can approach at least league-average play, this team should be back in the playoffs. JuJu Smith-Schuster is the big name in the receiving corps, but Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and rookie Chase Claypool have the potential for big seasons as well. The Steelers also have a talented tight end duo in Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald.

On the ground, the Steelers will be starting James Conner, a talented runner albeit one who has struggled to stay on the field so far in his career. Head coach Mike Tomlin has consistently preferred a workhorse back in the offense, although Pittsburgh has plenty of options to back him up between Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, and rookie Anthony McFarland. In the short term, Samuels is a very talented pass-catcher and Snell is solid, but McFarland has the best long-term upside out of the group and is talented enough to be the team’s starter next season. All of these running backs will benefit from running behind one of the better offensive lines in the league.

Under Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have never finished with a losing record, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. The AFC North is not an easy division as the Ravens are one of the odds-on Super Bowl favorites while both the Browns and Bengals should be better than last season. However, the NFL is introducing an additional Wild Card spot for each conference this season, so the Steelers should be considered odds-on favorites to make the playoffs. With their talented defense and stable offense, the Steelers have a chance to be playing football well into January.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Jaylen Samuels
WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR2: James Washington
WR3: Diontae Johnson
TE1: Eric Ebron
TE2: Vance McDonald
LT: Alejandro Villanueva
LG: Stefen Wisniewski
C: Maurkice Pouncey
RG: David DeCastro
RT: Matt Feiler

DE: Cameron Heyward
DT: Chris Wormley
DE: Stephon Tuitt
OLB: T.J. Watt
ILB: Vince Williams
ILB: Devin Bush
OLB: Bud Dupree
CB: Joe Haden
CB: Steven Nelson
CB: Mike Hilton
S: Minkah Fitzpatrick
S: Terrell Edmunds

K: Chris Boswell
P: Jordan Berry

New York Giants Analysis

New York GiantsThe Giants will be debuting two rookies at either starting offensive tackle spot in Week 1 and they could not be throwing their guys into the fire any more with this matchup. After Nate Solder opted out of this season due to COVID-19 concerns, the Giants will be starting Andrew Thomas, a first-round pick, and Matt Peart, a third-round pick, at either tackle spot. Both players have tremendous upside, and I think Thomas could become an All-Pro player, but in their debut NFL game it’s a tough ask against the Steelers’ defensive front.

The lack of proven ability on the offensive line does not bode well for Daniel Jones’s ability to shine in his sophomore season. The introduction of Joe Judge and Jason Garrett should help Jones theoretically, but their arrival also means he has to learn a new playbook during a bizarre league offseason. Daniel Jones flashed great potential last season, but he held onto the ball for too long too often and had far too many turnovers. With a weak offensive line and a new offensive system, the signs all point to a sophomore slump for Daniel Jones this season after an impressive rookie year.

On the other hand, the Giants do have a ton of talented skill players in Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton. While I’m not confident in this team’s defense in the slightest, the offense still has the potential to be an above-average scoring unit, especially when considering the game script. These players all have some intriguing fantasy potential this season and I expect this offense to be surprisingly solid, although the pass-blocking is a major question mark.

Defensively, the Giants made a handful of veteran acquisitions over the offseason, most notably cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez. Despite their lofty contracts, I see both players as average at their respective positions. The Giants allowed 28.2 points per game this season, the third-most in the NFL, and I don’t see their defense making a massive turnaround. One big storyline for the Giants is the recent arrests of cornerback DeAndre Baker and kicker Aldrick Rosas – both of whom are expected to be cut from the team shortly. This is a team with some exciting young talent but plenty of roster holes that will hurt the squad all season.

New York Giants Depth Chart

QB: Daniel Jones
RB1: Saquon Barkley
RB2: Dion Lewis
WR1: Golden Tate
WR2: Sterling Shepard
WR3: Darius Slayton
TE: Evan Engram
LT: Andrew Thomas
LG: Will Hernandez
C: Spencer Pulley
RG: Kevin Zeitler
RT: Matt Peart

DE: Leonard Williams
DT: Dalvin Tomlinson
DE: Dexter Lawrence
LB: Markus Golden
LB: David Mayo
LB: Blake Martinez
LB: Lorenzo Carter
CB: James Bradberry
CB: Julian Love
FS: Xavier McKinney
SS: Jabrill Peppers

K: Graham Gano
P: Riley Dixon

Betting Corner

Spread: Steelers -3.5, Giants +3.5
Moneyline: Steelers -180, Giants +175
Over/Under: 47.5

I’m betting on some season-long props for the Steelers and I’m expecting them to get off to a strong start in Week 1. Playing on the road doesn’t help, but the betting market has yet to fully adjust to how home-field advantage will be affected by the lack of fans at games. The Steelers are almost certainly more talented on the offensive side of the ball – while they don’t have anyone as good as Saquon Barkley, they have proven, veteran talent across the board. The Giants are also much worse than the Steelers on the defensive side of the ball, regardless of their big investment in a handful of free agents. The biggest discrepancy in this game is going to be when the Giants’ offense is on the field. Sure, they have plenty of fantasy-friendly skill talent, but their offensive line is a massive question mark. There may not have been a worse matchup for them to draw than the Steelers who had the most sacks per game last season. Pittsburgh has the makings of a savvy, veteran team that grinds out the clock on offense, forces mistakes on defense, and limits turnovers. That doesn’t bode well for Daniel Jones, one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in football, especially behind this offensive line. The Steelers should win this game, but I’m a little hesitant to bet on them to win by more than a field goal on the road. If you can get the line down to -2.5, go for it, but I’m also going to be using the Steelers’ Moneyline in some Week 1 parlays. I would bet on the under, as well, as I expect the Steelers to go for a clock-control approach on offense and for the Giants to struggle to find the end zone against this stout defense.

My prediction: Steelers win 20-17, Giants cover the spread, under 47.5 points scored

Daily Fantasy Picks

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cookís injury could hinder his fantasy ceiling on Sunday. Given that the Minnesota Vikings have a great run-blocking offensive line, they will have success leaning on any of their backs. In addition, the Saints defense ranks in the top five in terms of limiting opponent rushing yards per game. Therefore Cook is a low-end RB2/decent flex option this weekend.

Kyle Rudolph

Fantasy owners should stray away from Kyle Rudolph on Sunday. Over his last four games, Rudolph has failed to record a touchdown reception, which is alarming, considering Rudolph excels the most in the red zone. Additionally, the Saints have held tight ends to five touchdowns this season, which further lowers his ceiling. Therefore, he is solely a TE3 option, who should be avoided if possible.

Stephon Diggs

Stephon Diggs is a reliable WR1 option on Sunday. Over his last five games, Diggs has been a reliable fantasy receiver who is averaging nearly 15 fantasy points per game. Given that Diggs has 94 targets along with a 4.3% drop rate, Kirk Cousins is likely to look for him since he is dependable. Also, since Thielen is struggling post-injury, Diggs is expected to have one of his best outings of the season this weekend.

Drew Brees

Over the last month, Drew Brees is averaging an outstanding 28.3 fantasy points per game. Brees has been both productive and efficient by throwing for 250+ yards and 3+ TDs in five of his last six games. Despite a matchup against a daunting Minnesota defense, you can expect Brees to perform well since he has been effective this season against tough defenses like the 49ers. Therefore, Brees is slated to be a QB1 in most leagues.

Jared Cook

As of right now, Jared Cook is a high-end TE2 in most leagues. Even though Cook hasnít received a high number of receptions since Week 13, he has been able to maximize his yards per reception by exploiting favorable matchups against slower linebackers. With Eric Kendricks possibly inactive for Sunday, Cook is likely to continue this same success against the Vikings defense. Especially considering that Cook has scored 10+ fantasy points in nine of his last ten outings, he is a dependable TE with a higher floor than the average tight end.

What's up, I'm Jacob. I grew up watching Peyton Manning play and stuck with the Broncos after he retired. I'm also probably the only Clippers fan you'll ever meet. I'm from Southern California but I'm a junior at the University of Michigan studying sport management. Beyond my passion for sports I play guitar, grill a mean rib eye, and enjoy gambling on pretty much everything.

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