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Ben Roethlisberger leads Steelers over Giants in return

Sept. 14 (UPI) — Ben Roethlisberger was sharp in his return to the field, guiding the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 26-16 win over the New York Giants on Monday night at an empty MetLife Stadium.

Roethlisberger, who missed the final 14 games last season after undergoing elbow surgery, tossed three touchdowns in the Steelers’ season-opening victory. It was the Steelers’ first win in a Week 1 game since the 2017 campaign.

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“I am just so excited, I am just thankful,” Roethlisberger said after the game. “I told the guys in the locker room before the game that I’m back because of them. I don’t need to accomplish anything personally anymore.

“It’s about being with a defense that I think is as good as any I have ever played with, skill guys that are young and fun to play with and then, of course my line, who I love to death and they love me. They are the reason I came back to play.”

Roethlisberger’s successful debut was aided by running back Bennie Snell — who ran for 113 yards on 19 carries — and a swarming defense that wrecked havoc up front throughout the game.

The Steelers’ defense held Giants star tailback Saquon Barkley to six yards on 15 carries and picked off quarterback Daniel Jones twice. The Steelers also notched three sacks and constantly pushed back the Giants’ offensive line.

Roethlisberger completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and also had a key 11-yard scamper for a first down in the second quarter to set up a touchdown. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team with six catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns.

Jones was 26-of-41 passing for 279 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Darius Slayton had six receptions for a team-best 102 yards and two scores.

The Steelers host the Denver Broncos in Week 2, while the Giants travel to play the Chicago Bears next week.

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Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (L) celebrates with Logan Thomas after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17, in Landover, Md., on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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