Ben Roethlisberger passed for three touchdowns in his first appearance in 12 months to help the Pittsburgh Steelers record a 26-16 victory over the New York Giants in the season opener for both teams on Monday night at East Rutherford, N.J.
Roethlisberger completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards in his first game since suffering a major injury to his throwing elbow in Week 2 of last season. JuJu Smith-Schuster caught two of the scoring passes, while Benny Snell Jr. rushed for a career-high 113 yards on 19 carries and Bud Dupree forced a key interception in the third quarter for the Steelers (1-0).
Daniel Jones was 26-for-41 for 279 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Giants (0-1), who played their first game under new coach Joe Judge. Star running back Saquon Barkley was bottled up all night with 6 yards on 15 carries but did have six receptions for 60 yards.
New York accumulated just 291 total yards in its first game under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Darius Slayton caught six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants.
James Washington also caught a touchdown pass for Pittsburgh, which finished with 349 yards. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward had interceptions for the Steelers.
New York trailed 16-10 in the third quarter when it embarked on a 19-yard, 87-yard excursion to reach the Pittsburgh 4-yard line. But the Giants came up empty as a charging Dupree hit Jones' hand as he threw and the ensuing second-down lob was up for grabs with Heyward catching the ball for an interception in the end zone for a touchback with 3:17 left.
Pittsburgh responded by driving 62 yards on nine plays with Chris Boswell booting a 36-yard field goal to make it a nine-point margin with 14:19 left in the contest. Later, Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster teamed up for an 8-yard scoring reception to make it 26-10 with 5:23 left.
Jones threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Slayton with 1:52 left but the ensuing two-point conversion pass was incomplete and Pittsburgh recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes to Smith-Schuster (10 yards) and Washington (13) in the second quarter to give the Steelers a 16-10 halftime lead. The scoring toss to Washington came with seven seconds left after the Steelers traveled 78 yards on eight plays.
Both teams traded field goals in the first quarter before Jones connected on a 41-yard touchdown pass to Slayton to give the Giants a 10-3 advantage with 13:45 left in the half.
Steelers running back James Conner (ankle) didn't play in the second half. He had 9 yards on six carries.
--Field Level Media