What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at Washington


Game action from Week 1 against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

What went right**

  • Even though the Redskins managed two first downs on their opening possession – missed tackles by Ryan Shazier and then Ryan Shazier being largely responsible – the Steelers defense dumps Matt Jones for a 4-yard loss (Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt), and then they get Jordan Reed on the ground 1 yard short of the sticks on third-and-14 to force a punt.
  • On the next play, Kirk Cousins again tried to get the ball to Jackson, this time in the flat. The pass was tipped by Arthur Moats right into the hands of Stephon Tuitt, who dropped it.
  • On a third-and-2, Eli Rogers gets away from Josh Norman and catches a pass from Ben Roethlisberger for a 20-yard gain and a first down at the Washington 46-yard line.
  • A second Washington field goal – from 40 yards that upped the Redskins' lead to 6-0 with 1:08 left in the first quarter – came about as a result of Robert Golden making a crisp open field tackle on third down to set up a fourth-and-7, which rendered Artie Burns jumping offside on the attempt a penalty that was declined instead of one that gave the Redskins a first down.
  • Good work by Ben Roethlisberger at the bottom of a pile saved the Steelers a second turnover in the first quarter. Ryan Kerrigan slapped the ball out of Roethlisberger's hand for a sack, but the quarterback came out of the pile with the ball to maintain possession at the Pittsburgh 13-yard line.
  • After coming out of the pile with the recovery that maintained possession, Roethlisberger completed 3-for-3 for 28 yards before facing a fourth-and-1 from the Washington 29-yard line. When Mike Tomlin elected to go for it, Roethlisberger went deep for Antonio Brown, who made the catch in the end zone despite double coverage for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 7-6 lead with about 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
  • Next possession, a big stand by the defense and a turnover on downs. On a fourth-and-6 from the Pittsburgh 38-yard line, Kirk Cousins dumped the ball to running back Chris Thompson, but Robert Golden arrived quickly to make the tackle short of the sticks to turn the ball over to the Steelers.
  • Another fourth-and-1, this time inside two minutes remaining in the half, and this time Roethlisberger opted for a possession pass. He dumped it quickly to Eli Rogers, who gained 19 yards for a first down at the Redskins 15-yard line.
  • The Steelers finished off the possession – which ended with 27 seconds left in the first half – with Eli Rogers' first touchdown catch. On the play, Roethlisberger threw a quick pass on a route that had both Sammie Coates and Rogers slanting toard the middle of the field. The pass seemed to be intended for Coates, but after the ball was deflected into the air, Rogers secured it for the touchdown that upped the Steelers' lead to 14-6.
  • The Steelers took the ball on the opening possession of the second half, and the two big plays on the possession that ended with a 46-yard field goal by Chris Boswell were a 16-yard completion to Antonio Brown that converted a third-and-3, and then a 17-yard run by Le'Veon Bell that was set up by a nice block from David Johnson.
  • The Steelers needed only five plays to travel the 75 yards to cash in on Ryan Shazier's interception. A 42-yard catch along the sideline by Sammie Coates covered the most yardage, and then it was Antonio Brown who accounted for the final 26 yards and the touchdown that upped the Steelers lead to 24-6 midway through the third period.
  • Answering a score with a score is what a quality offense does to pick up the team, especially in the latter stages of the game. After the Redskins scored to cut the Steelers lead to 24-16, Pittsburgh drove 73 yards in 13 plays and ate up 7:13 minutes of the game clock to score the touchdown that restored the lead to 15 points, 31-16. DeAngelo Williams' 15-yard run accounted for the touchdown, and nice blocks by David DeCastro and Sammie Coates helped spring Williams. At the end of that play, Williams had rushed 21 times for 109 yards and a touchdown.

What went wrong

  • Maybe it was a blown assignment, but if not the idea of having Lawrence Timmons following DeSean Jackson all the way across the field was doomed to fail, and it did. Jackson's 31-yard catch-and-run moved the ball to the Pittsburgh 31-yard line on the Redskins' second possession.
  • Two plays after catching a pass for the Steelers initial first down, Eli Rogers had a pass bounce off his hands, where it was intercepted by Brashaud Breeland and returned to the Steelers' 37-yard line.
  • It would seem incongruous to list an interception by Ryan Shazier on a pass for Jordan Reed as something that "went wrong," but a penalty on Mike Mitchell for an illegal block in the back gave the Steelers possession at their own 25-yard line. Shazier had returned the interception to the Washington 9-yard line.
  • Too easy. After a Jordan Berry punt, Washington started at its own 23-yard line for the final play of the third quarter. Seven plays later, the Redskins had marched 77 yards for the touchdown that cut the Steelers lead to 24-16 with 13:01 remaining in the fourth quarter. On the drive, Kirk Cousins was 5-for-5 for 69 yards.
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