Week 1: NY Giants vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The frustrations started early for the Giants in 2020. T
he season started off with the Giants receiving the opening kickoff for Week 1 of Monday Night Football.
After moving the ball early, the drive stalled and the team punted it to Pittsburgh. New York’s punt led to an instant gift for the team, as the returner muffed the punt and gave Daniel Jones and the offense a very short field to work with.
Starting from the Pittsburgh 2-yard line, the Giants were unable to capitalize on the season-opening drive to punch in a touchdown for six. The frustrating sight of Graham Gano jogging onto the field was an early sign of things to come for the NY red zone offense.
The game remained a close affair through the second half. The Giants trailed 16-10 when they got the ball with over 12 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. They started the drive from their own 9-yard line before orchestrating an impressive 19-play, eight-minute, 50-second drive. The Giants picked up five 3rd down tries on the drive and a 4th down conversion as well.
The Giants had not come near the endzone at all since their lone touchdown earlier in the game, a 41-yard strike from Jones to Darius Slayton.
Daniel Jones on the drive’s 19th play effectively ended the game.
On 2nd and 3 from the Steelers’ 4-yard line, Jones scrambled to his left and made an awful decision. Instead of throwing it away or taking the sack or going down himself, Jones forced a horrible pass attempt as he got drilled by Bud Dupree and the ball lofted into Cameron Heyward’s hands at the goal line.
This play effectively ended the game and killed any shot of a comeback attempt for Big Blue. Had they finished the drive with a touchdown, it probably would still stand today as their most impressive drive all year. Instead, it’s their most frustrating and disappointing drive of the season and could have led to a very interesting 4th quarter instead of the Steelers cruising to a double-digit road victory.