Everything you need to know heading into Monday Night Football between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers:
Kickoff is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 7:10 p.m. ET in MetLife Stadium. This will be the 78th matchup all-time between the two clubs, with the Giants leading the series 44-30-3 all-time, including 22-16 as the home team.
The Giants have 50 wins on Kickoff Weekend, third-most among all teams, while Pittsburgh's 43 wins on Kickoff Weekend are the most among AFC teams.
New York Giants
Questionable: LB Tae Crowder (Hamstring), WR Golden Tate (Hamstring), TE Levine Toilolo (Hamstring)
*DB Adrian Colbert (illness) and LB Markus Golden (illness) appeared on the injury report this week but practiced fully on Friday and Saturday.
Out: G Dave DeCastro (Knee)
5,846 Days Since…
Monday night will be the first time in 5,846 days (16 years, 2 days) that someone other than Eli Manning will start the season opener at quarterback for the Giants. The last time was Kurt Warner on September 12, 2004 at Philadelphia. Second-year pro Daniel Jones is set to make his first opening start.
View photos of the history between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Judge & Co.
Five teams enter the 2019 season with a new head coach – Joe Judge with New York Giants, Matt Rhule in Carolina, Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland, Mike McCarthy in Dallas, and Ron Rivera in Washington. Five rookie head coaches have led their teams to the playoffs over the last three seasons: Matt LaFleur (Green Bay) in 2019, Matt Nagy (Chicago) and Frank Reich (Indianapolis) in 2018, and Sean McVay (L.A. Rams) and Sean McDermott (Buffalo) in 2017.
While Judge makes his head coaching debut, Mike Tomlin will man the sideline for the 224th time, including postseason outings. The two have been connected for years through current Giants assistant coach (special projects and situations) Amos Jones, who goes way back with Tomlin.
Judge and Jones have previously worked together at the former's alma mater, Mississippi State, from 2004-06. Judge was a senior backup quarterback and special teamer in 2004 before beginning his coaching career and a three-year stint as graduate assistant with the Bulldogs the following season. During those three years, Jones was a linebackers and special teams coach. When Tomlin, then the defensive coordinator for the Vikings, took over as head coach of the Steelers, he hired Jones as the assistant special teams coach.
"He would call Amos sometimes, Amos would say, 'Grab that phone and talk to Mike for a minute,'" Judge recalled of his days as a grad assistant. "I got to meet him briefly through the phone. Shortly thereafter, he was a head coach in Pittsburgh. To be honest with you, I immediately became a Steelers fan because amongst him and some other people that have been good to me that were good enough to give me the opportunity to tag along with them.
"I was able to visit them early in his tenure in Pittsburgh when I was a GA. There were times at the combine he allowed me to be a fly on the wall, sit there and have dinner on his check, so I'm very appreciative of that. But he was always very open for a conversation, very open to share some advice when it came up. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. He's done tremendous things in his career."
Giants Announce 6 Captains
The Giants announced six captains as chosen in a vote by the players. Saquon Barkley is the only one of the six who was a captain in 2019. Two of the captains – Blake Martinez and Nate Ebner – are first-year Giants.
The Giants' 2020 captains:
Offense: Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones
Defense: Blake Martinez, Dalvin Tomlinson
Special Teams: Nate Ebner, Jabrill Peppers
New in 2020, the NFL adopted a 14-team playoff format, with two additional wild-card teams. Since 1990, at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before. The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason.
Pittsburgh led the NFL with 38 takeaways in 2019, including a league-high 18 fumble recoveries. T.J. Watt forced eight fumbles, tied with Arizona's Chandler Jones for the NFL lead. Meanwhile, the Giants lost more fumbles (16) than any other team.
The New York Giants have released their first depth chart ahead of Monday night's season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As always, it is subject to change. It simply serves as a guide, more so for the media than the coaches.
"Everything in our program, I wouldn't say anything is ever in concrete," Judge said. "We're very clear to our players, it's a production business. It's week by week. It's whoever's playing the best at that time, whoever gives us the best chance for a game plan matchup against an opponent, that's who we're going to play."
Here is a look at the first unofficial depth chart:
|WR||Sterling Shepard||Damion Ratley|
|TE||Evan Engram||Kaden Smith||Levine Toilolo||Eric Tomlinson|
|RT||Cameron Fleming||Matt Peart|
|RG||Kevin Zeitler||Shane Lemieux|
|C||Nick Gates||Spencer Pulley|
|LG||Will Hernandez||Shane Lemieux|
|LT||Andrew Thomas||Jackson Barton|
|RB||Saquon Barkley||Dion Lewis||Wayne Gallman Jr.|
|WR||Golden Tate III||Damion Ratley|
|WR||Darius Slayton||C.J. Board|
|QB||Daniel Jones||Colt McCoy|
|SLB||Lorenzo Carter||Markus Golden||Carter Coughlin|
|DE||Dexter Lawrence II||RJ McIntosh|
|MLB||Blake Martinez||Tae Crowder|
|NT||Dalvin Tomlinson||Austin Johnson|
|WIL||Devante Downs||TJ Brunson|
|DT||Leonard Williams||B.J. Hill|
|OLB||Oshane Ximines||Kyler Fackrell||Cam Brown|
|LCB||James Bradberry||Darnay Holmes||Brandon Williams|
|SS||Jabrill Peppers||Nate Ebner|
|FS||Julian Love||Logan Ryan||Adrian Colbert|
|RCB||Corey Ballentine||Isaac Yiadom|
|PR||Golden Tate III||Jabrill Peppers||Sterling Shepard||Darius Slayton|
|KOR||Darnay Holmes||Darius Slayton||Corey Ballentine||C.J. Board, Dion Lewis|