NFL

Roethlisberger helps Steelers past Giants, Gostkowski hits game-winner after struggles

By Sports Desk September 15, 2020

Ben Roethlisberger made a successful return in a Pittsburgh Steelers win, while the Tennessee Titans also opened their NFL season with a win.

Roethlisberger played just two games last season before undergoing elbow surgery, but the veteran quarterback made a fine return on Monday.

He completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers beat the New York Giants 26-16.

Roethlisberger was full of praise for the Steelers' defense, who intercepted Daniel Jones twice and sacked the Giants QB three times.

He connected twice with JuJu Smith-Schuster, with the Steelers scoring 23 unanswered points after falling 10-3 behind in the second quarter.

Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries for the Steelers, who saw Zach Banner (knee), Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral) and James Conner (ankle) suffer injuries.

Giants star Saquon Barkley was limited to just six rushing yards on 15 carries, while he had 60 receiving yards.

The Titans edged the Denver Broncos 16-14 in their opener at Sports Authority Field.

Ryan Tannehill (29 of 43 for 249 yards) threw touchdown passes to MyCole Pruitt and Jonnu Smith, but the Titans trailed heading into the final minute.

Making his debut for the Titans, Stephen Gostkowski became the first kicker to miss his four kicks in his first game with a team since Dennis Partee did so for the San Diego Chargers in 1968, as per STATS.

But he got another chance with 17 seconds remaining and drilled a 25-yard field goal to lift Tennessee to victory.

Titans star Derrick Henry rushed for 116 yards on 31 carries.

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    Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology following the Dallas Cowboys' heavy loss to the Arizona Cardinals, admitting after two costly fumbles: "I need to be better".

    The Cardinals improved to 4-2 as they thrashed the Cowboys 38-10 in Texas, running all over their opponents as they amassed 261 total rushing yards in the one-sided contest on Monday.

    Dallas were without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Week 5 win over the New York Giants. The defeat drops them to 2-4 for the season, though they still remain top of the NFC East.

    Running back Elliott insisted the result was not down to Prescott's absence, instead pointing to his pair of fumbles in the first half as key moments. Having lost possession on back-to-back drives, he accepted responsibility for the result.

    "I don't think we can use that [Dak's absence] as an excuse," Elliott told the media.

    "I'm just going to keep saying it over and over - I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off.

    "I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better."

    Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Arizona and, after Kenyan Drake put the Cardinals 14-0 up, Tony Pollard - not Elliott - was on duty at running back for the Cowboys.

    Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made clear that despite the change during the game, Elliott remains the team's lead back.

    "Every player who plays in this league, and it's no different on our football team, if you don't take care of the football it obviously affects your opportunities," McCarthy said in his post-game media conference.

    "Tony got an opportunity, I thought he did some really good things. At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we need to get it right. He's part of the plan and he's going to be part of our success.

    "We need to get it right and take care of the football, that's for everyone who touches the football on our team."

    Elliott finished the game with 49 rushing yards on 12 attempts, while Pollard had 31 yards on 10 carries.

    The Cowboys are on the road in Week 7, taking on divisional rivals Washington.

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