The Steelers had an uninspiring performance against a depleted Baltimore Ravens team just 5 days ago, and now will face off against the Washington Football Team. The Football Team is one that is on the rise, riding a strong defensive performance built around the league’s second best pass rush.
The Steelers are 11-0 and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory, while the Washington Football Team is 4-7 trying to keep pace with the New York Giants in their division after a surprise victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Steelers vs. Redskins all time record: 33-42-3
Steelers vs. Redskins (at home): 20-22-0
Last match result: 38-16 Steelers (2016)
Notable free agent addition: CB Ronald Darby, CB Kendall Fuller, QB Kyle Allen
Notable draft picks: EDGE Chase Young, OT Saahdiq Charles, RB Antonio Gibson
Steelers Inactive Players:
QB Joshua Dobbs
CB Steven Nelson
K Chris Boswell
TE Kevin Rader
DT Carlos Davis
OL Derwin Gray
Washington Inactive Players:
WR Robert Foster
S Cole Luke
DE Ryan Anderson
WR Jeff Badet
LB Jordan Kunaszyk
Chris Boswell is unfortunately out today, which was expected given the injury report throughout the week. Matthew Wright was elevated from the practice squad to fill in. Maybe the team is more aggressive on 4th downs today?
James Conner should be good to go against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday Night.
Another cold game in Pittsburgh. 34 degrees this time. Should drop to around freezing at 32 as it gets darker.
The Washington Football Team (WFT) won the toss and deferred to the second half. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense to get the ball first.
Dustin Hopkins kicked off, and it sailed through the back of the end zone. Touchback, starting at the 25 yard line for the Steelers offense.
The first play, Ben Roethlisberger tossed it deep to James Washington, but it sailed out of bounds. Ben was hit after the play. On 2nd, a quick catch and run by Ray-Ray McCloud. He took it 6 yards to set up a manageable 3rd and 4. Eric Ebron made the catch on 3rd down, but former Steeler Jon Bostic stopped him short of the first.
The Steelers will punt. Jordan Berry is money on the punt – 53 yards with plenty of hang time. Washington to start at the 14. Terry McLaurin on 1st down goes for 12 yards with Joe Haden in coverage. A quick 1st down pickup.
Antonio Gibson for 1 yard on 1st down, and an incomplete pass with Robert Spillane in coverage on 2nd. 3rd and 9 for the Football Team. A hard hit on Alex Smith as he scrambled and completed the pass to Steven Sims, but he came up just short of the first. The Steelers get the ball back after another quick series.
Benny Snell ran into a brick wall on 1st down for a gain of zero. The running game hasn’t had success against bottom-of-the-barrel run defenses, so they certainly won’t against this WFT front.
Juju Smith-Schuster received a short screen pass and was tackled for no gain. 3rd and 10.
False start on the offense, everyone but the center. JC Hassenauer forgot to snap it. 3rd and 15. Juju appeared to have caught the ball for the first down, but the first drop of the day. Not something we want to see much more of. Juju upset on the sideline spiking his helmet to the ground.
Another deep punt by Jordan Berry and there was a block in the back. The field successfully flipped back to neutral at the Washington 25 yard line.
Antonio Gibson with a nice cutback for the quick first down pickup, but he limped off. Robert Spillane came in on the next play for a sack and a loss of nine yards. 2nd and 19, and Logan Thomas with a nice one handed catch to make up the sack yardage.
On 3rd and 11, Logan Thomas got the ball back again for 6 yards. Well short of the first down. Washington will punt again.
The sack from Robert Spillane ties the NFL record.
Marcus Allen called for roughing the kicker. It was a lame call, but called nonetheless. The Football Team with a fresh set of downs.
Peyton Barber up the middle for a loss of 1 on first down. On 2nd, Cameron Sutton with a tremendous pass break up.
3rd and 9, and Logan Thomas caught the pass for no gain. Cameron Heyward with the pressure on Alex Smith.
Khaleke Hudson called for holding as he tossed Jordan Dangerfield down away from the play. The Steelers will get the ball at the 23 yard line.
Anthony McFarland Jr. getting involved on 1st down, as the running game gets held to no gain once again. On 2nd down, Ben Roethlisberger connected with James Washington for 30 yards along the numbers with Ronald Darby in coverage. A spark of life for the Steelers offense.
McFarland on first down again. He demonstrated a little more patience and found a hole for a gain of 7. On 2nd down, McFarland tried to bounce outside, but was held to no gain, so it will be 3rd and 3.
Deep right to Diontae Johnson along the sideline, but he caught it out of bounds. Perhaps should have been a penalty as Ronald Darby’s slight shove forced him out of bounds prior to the ball arriving.
The Steelers punt from the Washington 40 and pin the team inside their own 10 yard line. A punting duel is taking place so far today. Given the strength of the two defenses, perhaps this isn’t that surprising.
Peyton Barber up the middle for two yards on first. Alex Smith fired to Isaiah Wright on 2nd, but he failed to secure the catch. 3rd and 8. There is something in the air in Pittsburgh as the Football Team dropped two in a row to seal the drive. Washington punted from their own end zone.
A strange sequence as Ray-Ray McCloud was drilled after calling for the fair catch. They are saying the gunner was blocked into him, but the Steelers recovered the fumble. A holding back near the line of scrimmage moves the Steelers back ten. These special teams penalties are effectively resetting any field position advantage on either team respectively.
Sean Davis, who was signed and released by the Washington Football Team was the one to recover the loose ball on the punt.
At the end of the first quarter, 0-0 ball game.
Eric Ebron with a nice catch and run for 13 yards on 1st down. A penalty called for defensive holding, but it was declined.
Ben goes back to Ebron on the subsequent first down play for a short pickup of 4 yards. Diontae Johnson for five yards on 2nd down, tackled by Kendall Fuller. Snell able to pickup the 3rd and short for a fresh set of downs.
Another drop for the Steelers. This time Diontae Johnson. He was able to redeem himself the next play with the 3rd and 12 conversion for 17 yards.
Benny Snell was lined up as a wide receiver and got involved in the passing game for a pickup of 4 yards on first down. The ball was batted at the line of scrimmage on 2nd. Another 3rd down attempt for the Steelers. This time, Roethlisberger floated one up to Eric Ebron for a 15 yard pickup. The Steelers move into the red zone for the first time.
On 1st, Diontae Johnson on a quick WR screen for 8 yards. Steelers on the 5 yard line with a 2nd and 2. A touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson, but it was nullified by ineligible man downfield. Alejandro Villanueva lunged on his block and missed which put him upfield.
On 2nd and 7, Ben with an excellent throw to thread the needle to Eric Ebron in the endzone. Ebron giving the Steelers another drop. Ben cannot get help out here the last 5 days of football.
On 3rd, Ben extended the play and put the ball up to Chase Claypool who converted the 1st down. The very next play, Diontae Johnson for the touchdown reception on a nice timing throw on the comeback route.
Matthew Wright nails the extra point. 7-0 Steelers.
Wright’s kickoff went through the back of the end zone. So far, so good for the fill-in kicker.
Washington called for a false start and then a delay of game on back to back plays. 1st and 20 to start out now from the 15 yard line.
On 1st, Alex Smith to Logan Thomas for 5 yards with Avery Williamson in coverage. Terry McLaurin on 2nd down, but a great hustle play by Alex Highsmith held him to only 2 yards.
Logan Thomas received the 3rd and long play and stretched his arm for the near first down. The Washington Football team is challenging. A great effort by the tight end to get the first.
Mike Hilton the culprit on the missed tackle. The ruling on the field stands, so it will be 4th and inches. Washington lining up to go for it.
Complete chaos at the line of scrimmage for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, and Mike Hilton redeems his missed tackle for the 3 yard tackle for loss in the backfield. The Steelers get the ball back deep in Washington territory.
A dump off to Jaylen Samuels went nowhere on first, but Roethlisberger stepped up under pressure on 2nd to deliver a 30 yard pass to Chase Claypool.
1st and goal for the Steelers on the five yard line.
Ben tried to hit Benny Snell in the flat for the touchdown, but it was batted down. There was an unnecessary roughness, though so another first down for the Steelers.
The Steelers went in their jumbo package and Benny Snell had nowhere to go on first down. Similar story on 2nd down as well. Snell nearly got the touchdown, but he was just barely short. The Steelers call a timeout to come up with a game plan. 3rd and inches. The Steelers cannot get stuffed three straight times from the inches line, that is the type of things that can shift momentum.
A single tear just fell from Zach Banner’s eye wherever he is watching from. Jerald Hawkins dropped the ball reporting as eligible. Even if he caught it, he didn’t get enough depth. A nice stuff by Montez Sweat to blow that play up.
The Steelers went for it on 4th down, and were stopped. 4 straight plays from the 1 inch line and the Football Team stuffed them. Deflating for the Steelers offense. A huge boon to the momentum of Washington.
The Steelers defense, not to be outdone, trying to stuff Washington from gaining a yard from the half yard line. The 1st down run stuffed for no gain and 2nd down was an incomplete pass. Alex Smith dropped back on 3rd down and hit Logan Thomas for a six yard gain. They will be forced to punt from the back of their own end zone.
A nice punt from Washington, but Ray-Ray McCloud returned it 17 yards to the midfield mark.
James Washington caught the ball short and broke a tackle to go all the way for the touchdown. Fifty yards, two broken tackles, and a touchdown. Matthew Wright got the extra point. 14-0 Steelers.
Mike Hilton shot out of a cannon flew into the flats to hold the receiver on 1st down to a minimal gain. Logan Thomas for a 16 yard reception and a 1st down. Terrell Edmunds with nice coverage, but Logan Thomas with an excellent catch.
Mike Hilton with an extremely athletic near interception. Instead, just a pass breakup on what would have been a large gain.
Avery Williamson brought down J.D. McKissic on 2nd down for a three yard gain. 3rd and 7 coming up after the two minute warning break.
Washington will get the ball back after the half, so a stop here on third down gives the Steelers a chance to add to their lead.
A deep pass to Terry McLaurin was dropped with Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick in coverage. Minkah rolled over Haden and it looks like he was hurt on the play. Hopefully just a dead arm or something. He looks mostly fine on the sideline.
Ray-Ray McCloud back to receive the punt and he called for a fair catch.
The Steelers, from their own 10 yard line. Jaylen Samuels up the middle for maybe a yard. Diontae Johnson received the catch on 2nd down for 6 yards to set up 3rd and 3. Vance McDonald thought there was an unnecessary hit after Diontae was down, but the refs did not agree.
Juju caught the ball on 3rd and turned to his outside. It looked like he was stuffed short of the first down, but the refs gave a generous spot. The sticks are coming out to measure. Washington fans have to be heated, given the measure that happened earlier. The Steelers are quite literally an inch short.
Jordan Berry’s punt gives decent field position to the Washington Football Team with 1 timeout and 00:50 remaining in the half.
Cam Sims with a catch and run of 30 yards to put the Washington Football team on the 30 yard line. McKissick on the next play for 10 yards. Gaining nearly 33% of their yards in the half on the last two plays.
Justin Layne getting some burn in this game with Steven Nelson out, bringing down McKissick in the flats for a gain of one. TJ Watt and Stephon Tuitt in on the sack. A loss of seven that makes the potential field goal (a little) more interesting. TJ Watt up to 12 sacks on the year.
Stephon Tuitt notches his 8th sack of the year the next play as the clock winds down. No more timeouts to stop play. The refs giving Washington a free timeout? It should have been end of half on the sack, instead the Football Team gets a free eight seconds. Pretty lame.
The field goal is good. 14-3 Steelers. Halftime.
Join us in the second half thread here.