EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Notes and statistics from the Giants' 26-16 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in MetLife Stadium.
*The Giants are 50-41-5 in openers, 50-43-3 in home openers, 3-8 in MetLife openers and 17-14 in season-opening home games, including 1-3 in MetLife.
*This was the Giants' 11th season opener against Pittsburgh – but the first since 1968 and the first at home. They are 6-2-3 in openers vs. Steelers.
*This was the Giants' first Monday night season opener since 2014, when they lost in Detroit; their first Monday night home opener since 1995, when they lost to Dallas; and the first time their opening home game was played on a Monday night since 2011, when they defeated the St. Louis Rams in Week 2.
*The Giants rushed for 29 yards (on 20 attempts), their lowest total since they ran for 23 yards at the Jets last Nov. 10.
*Each team converted eight of 15 third-down opportunities (53%).
*The Giants had a third-quarter drive in which they ran 19 plays and consumed 8:50. It was their longest drive by number of plays since they had a 19-play possession on a touchdown drive in Jacksonville on Nov. 30, 2014 and their longest in terms of time since Dec. 1, 2019, when they took 9:31 off the clock on a field goal drive vs. Green Bay.
*Joe Judge, the 19th head coach in Giants history, lost his debut. The record for head coaches and interim head coaches in their first games with the Giants is 9-9-1.
*Quarterback Daniel Jones completed 26 of 41 passes for 279 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2. The picks – by linebacker T.J. Watt in the second quarter and defensive tackle Cameron Heyward in the third – led to nine Steelers points. It was Heyward's first interception in 140 regular-season and postseason games.
*Jones has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 13 career starts, the fourth-longest streak among quarterbacks who started their careers since the 1970 merger:
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (23 starts) 1999-2000
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (17) 2018-19
Brad Johnson, Minnesota (15) 1996-97
Daniel Jones, Giants (13) 2019-20
*Jones led the Giants with 22 rushing yards on four carries.
*Saquon Barkley had a tough start to the 2020 season with 15 carries for only six yards. It was his second-lowest rushing total in a full game (he ran for one yard at the Jets last season). Barkley did tie Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard for the team lead with six receptions, for 60 yards.
*Slayton, the second-year wide receiver, gained 102 yards and scored both of the Giants' touchdowns, on passes of 41 and seven yards. It was the third 100-yard game of Slayton's 15-game career and his fourth two-touchdown outing.
*Slayton scored his first touchdown with 13:45 remaining in the second quarter when he beat cornerback Steven Nelson and Joe Haden arrived too late to help. The play immediately followed a pass interference penalty on Haden that kept the drive alive on third-and-12. Slayton scored his – and the Giants' – second touchdown with 1:52 remaining in the game.
*Safety Jabrill Peppers returned three punts for 39 yards.
*Middle linebacker Blake Martinez led the Giants with12 tackles (eight solo) in his debut for the team. Cornerback Corey Ballentine had nine tackles (seven solo).
*The Giants twice sacked Ben Roethlisberger, both by defensive linemen: Dexter Lawrence for a two-yard loss and a 12-yarder by Leonard Williams, his first full sack with the Giants.
*The Giants fell to 25-42-1, including 9-12 at home, on Monday Night Football. They will host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, Nov. 2. This is the first time the Giants will host two Monday night games in the same season in the 51-year history of Monday Night Football.
*Less than four hours before kickoff, the Giants announced they had activated offensive lineman Chad Slade and safety Sean Chandler from their practice squad.
*The Giants' inactive players were wide receiver Golden Tate (hamstring), defensive tackle RJ McIntosh, offensive lineman Jackson Barton and four 2020 draft choices: guard Shane Lemieux and linebackers Cam Brown, TJ Brunson and Tae Crowder.
*Peppers and Roethlisberger were the only captains in the center of the field for the coin toss.
*The Steelers have won three in a row and four of the last five games in the series, which the Giants lead, 44-31-3.
*Nick Gates made his first career start at center. He started three games last year, two at right tackle and one at right guard.
*Devante Downs' fumble recovery when Pittsburgh muffed a Giants punt on the game's opening possession was the first of his career.
*Players who made their NFL debuts Monday night: Andrew Thomas, Darnay Holmes, Carter Coughlin.
*Players who made their professional starting debuts: Andrew Thomas, Darnay Holmes, Devante Downs.
*Players who made their Giants debuts: Andrew Thomas, Darnay Holmes, Carter Coughlin, Dion Lewis, Levine Toilolo, Cameron Fleming, C.J. Board, Damion Ratley, Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell, James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Adrian Colbert, Isaac Yiadom, Austin Johnson, Nate Ebner, Brandon Williams, Graham Gano, Casey Kreiter.
*Players who made their Giants starting debuts: Andrew Thomas, Darnay Holmes, Levine Toilolo, Cam Fleming, Devante Downs.
*Backup quarterback Colt McCoy and offensive linemen Spencer Pulley, Matt Peart and Chris Slade did not play.
*Prior to the game, the entire Giants team lined up on the goal line nearest their locker room. The stadium's four video boards showed a clip highlighting the organization's #TogetherBlue campaign before a video of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was shown. During the national anthem, approximately 15 Giants players kneeled. Joe Judge stood between two captains who kneeled – Jabrill Peppers and Dalvin Tomlinson – and placed a hand on the shoulder of each of them.
"Nothing was scripted in terms of who stood next to me and who I was touching," Judge said. "We made a decision as a team we're going to respect everyone. And as a team, the thing that makes it special is you respect everybody's unique background and you can move on. We went out there, we respect our players' right, we respect our players' choice in how they want to handle it. I'm proud of the way our team handled it in terms of sticking together and not letting anything externally divide us. We moved on from the anthem and then we played 60 minutes of tough football.
"To me, the players have a choice. We talked about it as a team. We had a lot of conversation and we were very transparent as a team. I respect everybody in that locker room and they respect each other. And that's what's important."
View photos from the Week 1 matchup between the Giants and Steelers on Monday Night Football.