Preseason NFL Betting: Rookies Archer, Tuitt Look To Impress In Steelers’ Debut
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are two proud franchises that failed to play to expectations a year ago. On Saturday, a new season begins for both teams. The Steelers will make their way to MetLife Stadium with a number of new faces set to make their debut after bringing in a strong talent haul through both free agency and the draft. The Giants took a similar approach this past offseason and get their first shot at earning a measure of redemption in front of the home fans after slipping below the .500 mark last season.
Players We’re Watching
Dri Archer, Pittsburgh Steelers – The rookie third-round pick out of Kent State is listed at just 5’8, 173 pounds but he has blazing speed and is absolutely electric in the open field. Archer has received rave reviews in Steelers’ camp and will get the opportunity to prove he belongs as both a running back and kick return man. LeGarrette Blount was signed in free agency to bolster the run game behind Le’Veon Bell but it might be Archer that breaks through as a major player in Pittsburgh this season.
Stephon Tuitt, Pittsburgh Steelers - Injuries in the defensive front-seven have given rookie second-round pick Stephon Tuitt a chance to practice extensively with the first team and he will get his first taste of NFL action in this one. Tuitt will get extensive playing time in this one and it will be interesting to see how he holds up as he tries to make a case to be a starter this season.
Ryan Nassib, New York Giants – The Giants upgraded a number of positions in the offseason but quarterback isn’t one of them. Eli Manning is the man in New York but he struggled a year ago and Nassib could very well be the top option off the bench in the event of an injury. A fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, Nassib will have to prove throughout the preseason that he is the best option to be the Giants’ No. 2 ahead of veterans Josh Freeman and Curtis Painter. That shouldn’t be too difficult, but Nassib is an unproven commodity that is learning his second playbook in as many years.
Preseason Coaching Trends
The Steelers had finished 3-1 or better in every one of Mike Tomlin’s first six seasons before going 0-4 a year ago. That poor performance may not have had any major impact on their season but Pittsburgh struggled out of the gate early on and never seemed to fully recover so maybe Tomlin will preach a greater sense of urgency this preseason. Meanwhile, the Giants haven’t had a preseason record above .500 since 2006.
Giants’ fans didn’t have much to cheer for a year ago when their team struggled to seven wins and this preseason game won’t be much fun for them. The Steelers enter this season with a renewed focus and dedication to working hard and making every snap count, and even though they are dealing with injuries their roster has been significantly upgraded this past offseason. Pittsburgh also has the better quarterback and running back depth, with Archer in particular ready to shine after dominating in camp.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5