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10 things to watch on Monday Night Football

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Everything you need to know heading into Monday Night Football between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers:

Series History

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.

Kickoff Weekend

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.

Injury Report

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.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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.

Judge-Tomlin Connection

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

Expanded Playoffs

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.

Key Stat

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.

Depth Chart

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:

BASE OFFENSE

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player Player
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
FB Eli Penny
QB Daniel Jones Colt McCoy

BASE DEFENSE

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player
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

SPECIALISTS

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player Player
LS Casey Kreiter
H Riley Dixon
P Riley Dixon
PR Golden Tate III Jabrill Peppers Sterling Shepard Darius Slayton
KOR Darnay Holmes Darius Slayton Corey Ballentine C.J. Board, Dion Lewis
K Graham Gano
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