The Steelers are back in black-and gold and ready to embark on a successful 2020. But there are many questions to be answered.
How will Ben hold up after not playing in 365 days? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner stay healthy to begin their walk years? Will the ridiculous 23-game streak of the Steelers committing a turnover continue? Can the Steelers defense harass Daniel Jones and bottle-up Saquon Barkley? Will Eric Ebron and Chase Claypool find the end zone in their Steelers debuts?
With these questions, story lines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this opening contest.
Last year, I came close, but ultimately whiffed on most of my predictions. Let’s see if I can rebound this week.
- Boujee Smith-Schuster is denied entrance to the locker room, until JuJu convinces security and the locker room attendant that the pooch is the receiver’s service animal.
- Le’Veon Bell announces that he will never perform again at halftime at Steelers games, but may make an appearance at his home stadium on his night off.
- Anthony McFarland Jr., excited for his debut, is perplexed and chagrined to find his No. 26 jersey missing from his locker and a sharpie and a roll of duct tape laying by his stall.
- Boujee is found sniffing and digging around the end zone, perhaps locating the eternal resting place of Jimmy Hoffa.
- Ben Roethlisberger airs it out on his second play from scrimmage for a 45-yard connection with Diontae Johnson, Ben concludes his day with 242 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Big Ben also throws an interception, extending the Steelers turnover streak to 24 games.
- Zach Banner, feeling anonymous and ignored after his No. 72 is not announced 47 times as eligible, asks Mike Tomlin to switch his spot with that of Chukwuma Okorafor. Bad news for him, his request is quickly denied. The good news for everybody else, Hulk does not give up a sack in his starting debut.
- McFarland’s jersey is returned to him slightly altered and a shirtless Bell is found racing out of the MetLife Stadium exit.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster catches a fourth quarter TD pass from Ben. Despite no crowd, JuJu still manages to wow the fans at home by grabbing Boujee, jumping in a gas balloon and flying out of MetLife Stadium. The celebration is to honor Joseph Kittinger, the first man to pilot such a craft over the Atlantic Ocean alone. The feat happened on this date in 1984.
- Eric Ebron catches six balls in his Steelers debut, including a 12-yard score.
- Terrell Edmunds records his second career interception in the third quarter.
- Bud Dupree gets back on the sack train with a strip sack of Daniel Jones, but T.J Watt adds two. All in all, the Steelers take down Jones on four separate occasions.
- James Conner rushes for 112 yards on 24 carries and a score.
- The Steelers hold Saquon Barkley to 74 yards on the ground. But the stud rusher still scores twice.
- The Steelers have to shake of some rust, but they outplay the Giants for a 26-20 victory.
Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.