Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes in his first game in a year as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Giants 26-16 in the NFL’s Monday night season opener.
Roethlisberger, who played in just two games in 2019 before needing season ending elbow surgery, completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards in the empty Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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“Awesome. Feels good,” said Roethlisberger. “We were able to pick up the tempo. We dictated a little bit more of the coverages and the guys gave me enough time to pass the ball.”
The Steelers need Roethlisberger to return to his 2018 form if they are to make the playoffs in the American Football Conference.
Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster (10 yards) and James 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 travelled 78 yards on eight plays.
Smith-Schuster caught two touchdown passes, while Benny Snell rushed for a career-high 113 yards on 19 carries for the Steelers, who finished 8-8 last season.
Quarterback Daniel Jones was 26-for-41 for 279 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Giants, who played their first game under 38-year-old rookie head coach Joe Judge.
The Steelers defence contained Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who finished with just six yards on 15 carries but did have six receptions for 60 yards.
Darius Slayton caught six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants.