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Steelers and Titans claim NFL victories

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was rewarded for his hard work to return from a major elbow injury as he led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 26-16 win over the New York Giants in week one of the NFL.

While ‘Big Ben’ threw three touchdown passes, Giants star Saquon Barkley had one of his worst games as the Joe Judge coaching era began with defeat.

Roethlisberger, who missed the final 14 games last season after surgery, threw was dominant at an empty and eerie MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

He also got all the help he could ask for from his defence and back-up running back Bennie Snell – whose 113 yards on 19 carries was his first 100-yard performance.

“I am excited we won the game,” Roethlisberger said.

“I told the guys before the game it is not about me individually.

“The reason I came back is for these guys, this team.

“It’s a special group of football players, of men, and I am just glad to be a part of it.”

Barkley on the other hand managed just six yards on 15 carries, constantly being swarmed and thwarted by Steelers defence.

“I have to be better,” he said.

“I have to be better for the team. We have to get the running game going.”

In Monday’s late game, kicker Stephen Gostkowski avoided a disastrous debut with the Tennessee Titans in the nick of time.

The Titans escaped Denver with a 16-14 victory over the Broncos on Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds left – after he’d missed four kicks, one in each quarter.

Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said he had no qualms about sending Gostkowski out for the game winner.

“Nope. And they did, obviously, because they weren’t using their timeouts and they were banking on him missing,” Vrabel said.

“And we all got to do our job. And again, it’s not on just one player. We’ll get this stuff fixed.”

Gostkowski missed three field goals: wide left, wide right and a block, and he missed an extra point.

Gostkowski had never previously missed three field goals in a game during his 14 seasons in New England, where he won three Super Bowl rings, made four Pro Bowls and left this past off-season as the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer.

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