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Dazzling D.C. 2016 Debut for the Steelers; Beat Up Redskins 38-16

Pittsburgh Steelers v Washington Redskins

An early start for the Steelers are more than easily overcome on Monday night, as the black and gold laid a good old fashioned prime time beating on the defending NFC East Champion Redskins 31-16 to kickoff the 2016 campaign.

The usual suspects all had big nights for the Steelers, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger going 27-for-37 for 300 yards with three touchdowns.

Two of those TD’s went to Antonio Brown, who caught a 29-yard touchdown to put the Steelers up for good 7-6 in the second quarter. The play came on a 4th-and-1 in which Ben went up top in double to coverage to hit the best wide out in the league.

The second score to Brown came on the second drive of the second quarter, as leading 17-6 Brown ran under a Ben pass for a 26-yard score to make it 21-6.

The other Ben score was more lucky than good, as up 7-6 in the final seconds of the first half, Roethlisberger was looking for Sammie Coates in the end zone, but the ball bounced off Coates into the hands of Eli Rogers, who grabbed it for his first NFL touchdown.

Ben and Brown were not the only two with a big night, as running back DeAngelo Williams grinded out yards all night long, going for 143 yards on 26 carries, a 5.5 per carry average with two TD’s, with 73 yards in the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Washington RedskinsHe put the game away on a 15-yard TD run with 5:48 left after a long drive that killed the will of the Redskins.

He split between two defenders on the run and galloped into the end zone for the score that made it 31-16 after the Skins scored their only TD of the game.

The Steelers D lowered the boom on the Redskins offense, holding them to six points in the first half, and not allowing quarterback Kirk Cousins to get comfortable all night.

Cousins was 30-for-43 for 309 yards and two picks, and the Redskins offense just never got going due to a great scheme by Keith Butler and the Steelers defense.

The Redskins ran for just 55 yards on the night, with Matt Jones rushing for 24 yards on seven carries to lead the Skins in rushing.

Overall the Steelers outgained the Redskins 485 to 384. They also held the time of possession 33:18 to 26:42.

Lawrence Timmons led the Steelers with eight total tackles in the win to lead the Steelers.

Next week the black and gold will be at home for their opener at Heinz Field as they play the rival Bengals at 1pm.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dave B.

    September 12, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Overall , a great team win against a bad Redskin team . The competition will be tougher next Sunday when the Bengals roll into town . The big question I have is , why late in the fourth quarter and up by more than two touchdowns was Ben , Antonio and Deangelo still in the game ? I’d love to know Tomlins thought process on that because theres no justification for it , at all . If Ben or Antonio goes down its game over and probably season ending for the Steelers .

  2. DrGeorge

    September 13, 2016 at 8:15 am

    The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Beautiful

    The Good.

    O-line. The offensive line played better than it has in years, protecting the QB and opening holes for the running backs. Coach Munchak deserve a gold star for this improvement. The only real deficiency was the block of Jesse James at TE. But then no one can replace Heath Miller all at once, and James did make some key catches.

    Running game. We rushed for 147 yards. Most of them by D. Williams’.

    Balance. Of our 68 plays, 30 of them were rushing plays. This is what we’ve been waiting to see, an offense not wholly dependent on Ben R.’s arm.

    QB Play. Ben played within the offense, threw quickly, and took short open receivers when he had them. He distributed the ball and let other players make plays. He also took only one sack for -12 yards. A big improvement all around.

    Passing Yards. Ben threw for only 288 yards. That is good because it indicates balance. When Ben throws for more than 350 yards, it usually means we must, and the offense is generally not as efficient. A. Brown was spectacular, and Coates and Rogers stepped up.

    Red Zone Production. Up. The Steelers are finally able to run a ball into the end zone. We scored more TDs than field goals. That is the hallmark of a good team.

    Conversion Efficiency. On 3rd down, 9 of 14. On 4th down, 2 of 2. Superb.

    The Bad
    Pass Defense. While we held the Redskins to 55 yards rushing – we gave up 384 total yards. The Redskins had 329 yards passing, averaged 7.7 yards per pass, and Cousins had a completion average near 70%. This does not augur well. Once we got a lead, Butler played a version of the prevent defense (zone coverage) because he hasn’t got the talent to play man to man. Short crossing routes were open all night, and Cousins exploited them.

    Run defense. The Redskins averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt. The total rushing yards would have been much higher if the Redskins weren’t behind most of the game and forced to pass often.

    Sacks. Our front 7 never got to Cousins. Zero sacks. Not good.

    QB Decision Making. Ben R. threw into double coverage twice in the end zone. Brown bailed him out twice. Against a better defense, both of those TDs would be picks.

    The Ugly.
    Penalties. We committed 4 penalties for 81 yards. Chalk this up to first game eagerness if you like, but they also reflect inadequacies on the defense (players who lose coverage or position tend to hold and interfere). Against a better team, these numbers would be higher. Butler needs to correct this.

    Substitutions. The team is a bit thin at D-line and running back. The coaches need to give our better players more rest or they won’t hold up over a 16 game season. In theory, D. Williams only needs to last four games, but in reality, we don’t know how long Bell will hold up when he returns. Let other RBs take some of the hits and spare William’s 34 year old body for more important games.

    The Beautiful.
    A. Brown. Those two end zone receptions were pure magic, and his wresting the first TD pass from the arms of the defensive back was a training film highlight.

    D. Williams. All night long, Williams made good decisions, finding openings, making crisp cuts. If only he were 24 instead of 34. Bell wasn’t missed.

    O-Line Play. It was good to see those pulling guards and double teams of old laying waste the Redskins defense. Our OTs manhandled their DEs. The O-line plays makes everything else on offense possible.

    Summation.
    Enjoy the win! This was an excellent start to the season. After losing 4 of the last 5 opening games, it is nice to win one convincingly. However, the Redskins are not the Ravens or the Bengals, and they certainly aren’t in the same tier with the Seahawks, Packers, and Patriots. Next week, we get the Bengals at home; that game will give us a better idea of how good (or bad) we are on both sides of the ball.

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