STEELERS 38, REDSKINS 16
Steelers' record: 1-0
One year ago: 0-1
Series record (including playoffs): Redskins lead, 43-34-4
Coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that the opener is a game that's different from the others during a regular season. "It is different, and the most significant way it's different – and I have shared this with the team over the past few days – is it's less about the opponent you play and what they're capable of doing to you, and it's more about you being you and minimizing the negativity that we do to ourselves. We have to be assignment-sound. We have to be a detail-oriented group. We have to do fundamental things well. We can't be highly penalized. One of the key ingredients to having a good game the first week out is doing those things that make you a tough team to beat. And by that I mean not beating yourself."
HOW THE STORYLINE PLAYED OUT, PART I
Even though the first half included one turnover and almost a second, the Steelers ended up playing the much cleaner half in terms of the self-inflicted wounds. The Steelers weren't penalized in the first half, they had to burn no timeouts. They converted 58 percent on third downs, and were 2-for-2 on fourth downs. The Steelers converted 63 percent on third downs, and they were 2-for-2 on fourth down. All in all, it was a positive, if not perfect, opening 30 minutes to the regular season.
FIRST HALF STAT THAT STANDS OUT**
Le'Veon Bell rushed 10 times for 38 yards, and the significance of those numbers become very clear when it's noted that he finished with 143 yards on 26 carries, with two touchdowns. That means Williams rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries in the second half when the Steelers were in the process of protecting/extending their led over the game's final 30 minutes.
HOW THE STORYLINE PLAYED OUT, PART II
During the second half, the Steelers continued their solid play in the areas Tomlin had talked about. They finished by converting 64 percent on third downs, to 30 percent for the Redskins; and even more significantly, the Steelers were 3-for-3 in the red zone, while the Redskins were 1-for-4 in the red zone.
Also, in their six offensive possessions of the second half, the Steelers went: field goal, touchdown, punt, touchdown, touchdown, victory formation. The Redskins had five offensive possessions in the second half, and they went: interception, field goal, touchdown, turnover on downs, interception.
Game action from Week 1 against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.
There are many ways an offense distinguishes itself over the course of a game, and the Steelers' came through in a big way after the Redskins scored early in the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 24-16. The Steelers responded with a 13-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 15-yard run by DeAngelo Williams, and with just under six minutes remaining the lead was back to 31-16 and Pittsburgh was back in control of the game.