Offense gets the nod for pre-game intros.
Still can't decide between Bumblebees and Where's Waldo
The Steelers won the toss and elected to take the ball to give Ben the ball first.
Ben starts things rolling with a pass to Heath who rumbles out across midfield then hits Wallace twice to move us to the fringe of field goal range. On 3rd down from the 31, Sanders hauls one in on a crossing route that he takes down the sideline all the way into the red zone. Wallace gets us to the 5 then Dwyer puts us on the doorstep but can't pound it in. Tomlin elects to go for it on 4th down from the 1 and Ben executes a beautiful play-action fake and hits Pope wide open.
The Redskins try to go right after the Steelers tendency to over-pursue with an end-around and it gets 9 yards but the defense locks it down and forces a 3-and-out.
The next drive got off to a great start when Dwyer broke one off the right side and rumbled down into Redskins territory. Haley gets greedy and tries a wide receiver pass with Sanders who gets tackled in the backfield and the drive stalls out, but Suisham connects into the wind from 48. Great kick.
RGIII converts a few passes, including a really nice throw to a tight end coming across the field on the far numbers to move the Redskins into Steelers territory.
The Skins come out mixing runs and passes and work their way down to the goal line, where the D seemingly holds on 3rd down when Ziggy takes down RGIII, but Shanahan elects to go for it and RGIII hits Santana Moss on a quick slant for the score. Ziggy blocks the extra point for good measure.
Not to be outdone, Ben comes back out with the No Huddle and goes right to work. Sanders gets things rolling and Rainey picks up a first down across midfield. Ben zips one to AB who makes a fantastic snag away from his body to get us to field goal range.
That touchdown tied Heath with Elbie Nickel for most career touchdowns by a Steelers Tight End.
The Skins pick up one first down on a run then try some asinine throwback play with RGIII running down the sideline. Not only does Griffin push off so blatantly that every official on the field throws a flay, he gets whalloped by Ryan Clark at the end of the play. RGIII was okay, but you have to wonder what the Redskins were thinking calling a play like that.
Ben gets right back at it in the No Huddle, hitting Sanders to get us all the way into field goal range where Dwyer gets us closer but Wallace can't move the chains on 4th down. Suisham, baby.
The Redskins go 3-and-out with 2 minutes on the clock, giving the Steelers a window of opportunity to put more points up before halftime. Unfortunately, the Steelers can't take advantage of great field position after a terrible punt and have to punt it back.
The quarter ends with Washington kneeling on it.
The Redskins come out and run the only play that worked for them in the first half - rolling RGIII out to the right and having him throw back to a TE on the far numbers. They execute it to perfection and wind up with a field goal.
It was all about the backfield on the next drive. Dwyer and Batch got some carries and Will Johnson got his requisite catch as the Steelers moved out to midfield before Ben hit Heath to get us into field goal range. On 3rd and 3 from the 21, Haley goes into his video game playbook and calls a direct snap to Rainey that he takes around the right end all the way down to the 2. Great blocking up front and burst from CCR to make that happen. Dwyer still can't find his first NFL touchdown, and on 2nd down Ben goes play-action and hits Will Johnson out of the backfield for the score.
Three touchdown passes, none to WRs.
The defense locks it down again and forces a punt. AB makes a great move to get free and takes it all the way back, backpedalling his way in from the 20, which draws a flag.....but in Steelers Special Teams fashion this year, there was also a block in the back, so the return is nullified. Ouch.
3-and-out for the offense leaves the Redskins with a breath of life.
They almost squander it when RGIII fumbles a snap, but the Hogs fall on it. Makes you wonder how much cold weather RGIII has played in during his career playing high school ball in Texas and college ball at Baylor.
The Redskins work it into Steelers territory and RGIII takes a shot downfield, but Keenan Lewis breaks it up in the end zone.
The Steelers take over with 12 minutes to play looking to eat some time off the clock, but Sanders drops a pass on 3rd down that hits him right in the hands as he comes across the middle. He had a ton of open field in front of him too...punt.
Washington's receivers seem to forget how to catch the ball. The Skins convert a 4th down and drive into Steelers territory, but the defense stands and a 4th down drop by Santana Moss pretty much ends it.
Ground and Pound time for the Steelers with 4 minutes to go. DeAngelo Hall loses his mind and flips out for no reason on the refs. He gets flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct for taking his helmet off and engaging an official. The Steelers get 30 penalty yards and Hall gets an early exit.
From there's it's just a formality as Dwyer carries us into field goal range but Tomlin elects to run a play on 4th down rather than risk getting a field goal blocked and returned.
The Redskins give up and kneel it out after the turnover on downs.
Hello, winning record.
Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Ben Roethlisberger
Defensive Game Ball: Will Allen
- The uniforms were hideous, but the play on the field was beautiful. The offense got out to an early lead throwing the ball then used the running game to control the clock and keep RGIII off the field. The Steelers won the time of possession battle by nearly six and a half minutes, which was a key factor in controlling the momentum of the game.
- Jonathan Dwyer put together another impressive performance after not even getting a helmet for two weeks after the Oakland game. Some said he didn't get a helmet because of Mendenhall's return, but stories are coming out now that Coach Tomlin called him out after his fumble against the Raiders and wanted to send a message. Whatever it was, it certainly lit a fire under Dwyer and he has run like a man on a mission.
- Ben had 3 touchdown passes today, none of them to a wide receiver. Leonard Pope and Will Johnson caught their first touchdowns as Steelers and Heath Miller added another to a total that is rapidly approaching his career high just halfway through the season.
- Chris Rainey is stating to look more and more explosive. You often hear about the adjustment college players have to make to the speed of the game in the NFL. A guy like Rainey has the speed to make splash plays, and you can see he's starting to hit the holes and use his natural ability more. He is only going to improve moving forward and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get 5-10 touches per game the rest of the year.
- For being a patchwork unit, the offensive line is playing really well right now. It helps that Ben is throwing shorter passes and getting the ball out faster, but the line has also been dominant in run blocking. Mike Adams struggled in the preseason but is really starting to play well at right tackle. The line has a big task this week against the best defensive line in the league.
- Big Ben is 16-1 against NFC teams at home in his career. The only loss was in 2008 to the New York Giants.
- Keenan Lewis has had two excellent games opposite Ike Taylor. He struggled early in the season, and will likely draw Victor Cruz this week, but he has been all over the place in both run support and knocking passes away the last two games.
- Ryan Clark went down with a concussion, so it's up in the air if he'll be able to come back on Sunday against the Giants or not. That could be a big loss with Troy also out of the lineup.
- Another great performance from the defense at home. RGIII made some excellent throws where only his guys could make the catch and there's not much you can do about those. That said, they held the Redskins to 86 rushing yards and held RGIII to 177 passing yards. The Steelers are 4-0 this season in games where the defense gives up less than 300 total yards and 0-3 in games where teams break the 300-yard mark.