The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 8 meeting with the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field ready to make a statement. By taming rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III of Washington, the Steelers were able to control four quarters of football and secure their 400th win since the merger, in 1970, between the American Football League and the National Football League. Dick LeBeau is now 14-1 against rookie quarterbacks since becoming the head defensive coach in Pittsburgh, and Ben Roethlisberger advances to the same rating against NFC teams since his start in 2004.
In a major victory, the Steelers defense kept hearing “contain” from the sidelines, and they were able to hold Griffin III to 177 yards passing. Griffin completed less than half of his passes, going 16 of 34 for one score and just 10 yards rushing. The Steelers didn’t bite on the pistol offense and managed to keep Griffin III scrambling to find open receivers.
Roethlisberger had few problems with the Washington defense. He was able to complete 24 of 33 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns with only one sack. In the first quarter he found tight end Leonard Pope for a touchdown pass that was Pope’s first in his NFL career. Roethlisberger was able to find tight end Heath Miller, who had four catches for 46 yards on the day, open in the end zone during the second quarter to put the Steelers up by 17-6. It was Miller’s sixth touchdown pass of the 2012 season.
Shaun Suisham had two field goals in the first half for 6 points and made both PATs. For the game, Suisham scored a total of nine points – a perfect game for the kicker who suffered from a sore ankle going into the game.
In their second consecutive win of the season, the Steelers looked as if they’d brushed off the dust of the past games and put on the jerseys of their regular play. Wearing the ‘throwback’ jerseys introduced for the first time in celebration of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 80th season, the Steelers looked great. If the ‘clothes make the man’, the Steelers certainly showed it by dominating in nearly every aspect of the game against Washington.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer had his second 100-plus rushing game of his career and became the first Steelers rusher to do so since the days of ‘Fast’ Willie Parker. All total, Dwyer had 107 yards rushing in only his second NFL start.
Three Steelers receivers had very productive games. Mike Wallace led the team with seven receptions for 62 yards. Antonio Brown added four receptions for 38 yards. And the ‘young money’ teammate, Emmanuel Sanders recorded three receptions for 56 yards. The Steelers had 215 net yards passing.
Adding another exciting moment, fullback Will Johnson had his first career touchdown on a 1-yard pass from Roethlisberger.
The Steelers’ defensive leader against Washington was linebacker Larry Foote who logged 6 tackles and a big sack against Griffin III in the second half of the game. Foote was aided by tough play by his fellow linebackers and the defensive front who had a combined 22 tackles. James Harrison was hungry for a sack, and although he didn’t get one, he was effective in disrupting the Redskins offense for most of the game. Keenan Lewis had a good game, nearly intercepting a pass before it was ruled an incomplete pass.
In a great defensive stand, the Steelers were also able to block a Forbath PAT after a scoring drive by the Redskins in the second quarter. Showing strength, the Steelers kept Alfred Morris and Josh Morgan out of the end zone. Ike Taylor knock a pass down that was intended for Santana Moss that forced the Redskins into a third-and-five situation that forced Griffin III to try to run the ball himself. Stopped short by Keenan Lewis and Ziggy Hood, Griffin III then went back to Moss for the Redskins’ only touchdown of the game.
The Steelers move to 4-3 on the season looking to move in on the Baltimore Ravens’ AFC North lead. The Steelers will face the New York Giants in an away game on November 4, 2012.
- An 80-season history of Steelers-Redskins
- Dwyer is Digest Player of Week
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