What the Pittsburgh Steelers did last season was rather remarkable, considering they had to go without their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, the New York Giants went through another mediocre season and bid adieu to another head coach. So they made a move. And BetAnySports customers will get an idea of how that works out for them on Monday night, when these two clubs, who have an incestuous relationship to say the least, in the first half of ESPN’s doubleheader, beginning at 7:15 PM ET at MetLife Stadium.
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Some people might not be aware of this, but there is inter-marriage between the Mara and Rooney families, so there are people on either side who are a little torn, including well-known actresses Kate and Rooney Mara. The fact is, these families are two of the oldest in the NFL. But while the Steelers have shown a tremendous amount of continuity in leadership, the Giants have not. Pittsburgh has kept Mike Tomlin as head coach, and Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll had long tenures prior to that. Assistant head coach John Mitchell is in his 27th year with the team. Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner has been on staff for 14 years, and defensive coordinator Keith Butler is entering his 18th year as an assistant.
We say all that because the Giants made a coaching change in the off-season, bringing in Joe Judge, who was little-known prior to his hiring. Judge is just 38 yards old; he was neither an offensive nor defensive coordinator. He was a special teams coach, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it can be good training for something bigger. But until we see evidence to the contrary, it just looks as if another organization is hoping some Bill Belichick “magic dust” can come with one of his former aides.
So the stage is set. Here are the Monday night NFL betting odds on this game, as they have been posted at BetAnySports:
Pittsburgh Steelers -6
New York Giants +6
Over 46 points -110
Under 46 points -110
Judge hired Jason Garrett, the fired Dallas coach, as his offensive coordinator, and he’ll basically leave Garrett with the development of second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who has a big burden right away.
There is something to look forward to, since Saquon Barkley, Evan Ingram and Sterling Shepard did not take the field at the same time last year. When you add Golden Tate and Darius Slayton to that, you’ve got some real possibilities.
But the Giants have some problems that will hold them back. The offensive line has some soft spots, and one of them could be at center, where Nick Gates has very little experience. Left tackle Andrew Thomas is a first-round draft pick, but in his first NFL start he’ll face pass rushers like Bud Dupree and TJ Watt. And that is a rough assignment. keep in mind that Jones has a tendency to fumble.
The secondary has holes. James Bradberry is no shutdown corner, and they don’t have any proven entities out there with him. Logan Ryan was recently required, but he’s only had a couple of practices, so he’ll be limited. Don’t forget that with Ben Roethlisberger back after his injury, Juju Smith-Schuster should be back as an impact receiver. Who will handle him?
That the Steelers were able to stay in the playoff race after Big Ben went out for the season with his elbow injury was amazing. Also consider that running back James Conner was banged up. Tomlin insists that Conner will be a workhorse again, but the Steelers have depth in the backfield with Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels and rookie Anthony McFarland. Roethlisberger has two tight ends to throw to – Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron. They’ll move the ball, so ignore the #30 offensive ranking from 2019.
The Steelers’ defense is the most superior unit on the field. They come off a season where they led the league in sacks and turnovers and ranked fifth overall. The Giants won’t win the battle at the line of scrimmage. So we are laying the points.
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