What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Washington

COIN TOSS: Washington wins the toss and elects to defer. The Steelers get the football first.

5:17 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers went three-and-out on each of their first two series. On the second, JuJu Smith-Schuster dropped a third-and-15 pass very close to the line to gain.

5:27 p.m. – What Went Right: A very nice seven plays over two series by the Steelers defense. On the first set of four plays, Robert Spillane's sack allowed the Steelers to tie an NFL record with at least one sack in 69 straight games, but Washington got new life when Marcus Allen was penalized 15 yards for roughing the punter. On the next three plays, Peyton Barber was stopped after a 1-yard gain; Cam Sutton broke up a second down pass, and then Mike Hilton made the tackle for no gain on a short completion to tight end Logan Thomas. The Steelers took over following the punt at their 23-yard line.

5:41 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After the Steelers defense put together three-and-out, the offense lost considerable yardage on the punt, because there should've been a flag for fair catch interference when Ray-Ray McCloud was hit in the process of fielding the punt, and then Ola Adeniyi was penalized 10 yards for holding. Instead of starting at the Washington 44-yard line, the Steelers started at their 28-yard line.

5:57 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers took a 7-0 lead when Ben Roethlisberger capped a 14-play, 72-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson. It was the second time that Roethlisberger hooked up with Johnson in the end zone on the possession, but the first was nullified by an illegal man downfield penalty on Al Villanueva. The Steelers converted four third downs on the drive. There was 10:33 left in the first half.

6:15 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After Mike Hilton tackles J.D. McKissic for a 3-yard loss when Washington elected to go for it on fourth-and-1 from its 34-yard line, the Steelers had a great chance to take a two-score lead. A 30-yard pass to Chase Claypool set up a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line, but the Steelers ran seven plays from there and ended up with nothing. They got a second set of down when Tim Settle was flagged for a post-possession roughing penalty.

6:22 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense forced Washington to punt after a three-and-out, and Ray-Ray McCloud's 17-yard punt return had the offense start at midfield. On the first play, James Washington caught a short pass in the flat and broke tackles by Kendall Fuller and Deshazor Everett to complete the 50-yard touchdown play. It was 14-0 with 3:54 left in the first half.

6:46 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Some poor tackling by the Steelers and questionable decision-making by the officials combined to help the Redskins get into position and then get a 49-yard field goal attempted to cut the Steelers lead to 14-3 at halftime. On a 30-yard catch-and-run by Cam Sims to start the Washington possession, both Joe Haden and Justin Layne failed to get Sims on the ground in bounds which gained a bunch of yards and saved valuable time. After consecutive sacks by T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt, time expired before Washington could get aligned and attempt the field goal, but referee John Hussey said the officials couldn't find the K-ball for the attempt, and he added eight seconds and allowed Dustin Hopkins another chance. He was successful.

HALFTIME: Steelers 14, Washington 3

7:12 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Washington closed the gap to 14-10 with a 14-play, 82-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Peyton Barber with 8:16 left in the third quarter. Washington committed back-to-back offensive penalties to start the possession, but it converted a third-and-14 with a 31-yard catch-and-run to Cam Sims. Alex Smith converted a third-and-6 with a 9-yard pass to Steven Sims, and two plays later, a 30-yard completion to Logan Thomas put the ball at the 1-yard line. A holding penalty on T.J. Watt on fourth-and-goal gave Washington second life, and Barber scored on the next play.

7:20 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers "answer" to the Washington touchdown drive was not an impressive one. After a 1-yard run by Benny Snell, Eric Ebron dropped a pass. A holding penalty on third down gave the Steelers a fresh set, but after a 1-yard pass to JuJu Smith Schuster, a bad snap by J.C. Hassenauer set up a third-and-13, and Diontae Johnson dropped another pass to bring on Jordan Berry for a punt.

7:41 p.m. – What Went Right: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Matthew Wright converted his first field goal attempt in his NFL career, from 37 yards, to extend the Steelers lead to 17-10. The drive had some good and some bad, with the bad including a holding penalty on David DeCastro and two more dropped passes – one each by Eric Ebron and Diontae Johnson. But the good included a 16-yard catch by Johnson to convert a third-and-14, and Chase Claypool drawing a 14-yard pass interference penalty to convert a third-and-2.

8:00 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Washington tied the game, 17-17, on a 53-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas with 9:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. During the possession the Steelers lost cornerback Joe Haden, and without Steven Nelson and Robert Spillane, the defense seemed to be out of sorts with Washington able to get receivers more open than they had to that point in the game.

8:18 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 45-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins gave Washington a 20-17 lead with 2:04 remaining in the fourth quarter. The drive covered 45 yards in nine plays, with the big play being a one-handed catch by Cam Sims for a 29-yard gain to convert a third-and-4 from the Washington 44-yard line.

8:21 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After the ensuing kickoff went for a touchback, Ben Roethlisberger's pass on first down was batted into the air by defensive end Montez Sweat and was intercepted by Jon Bostic with 1:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.

8:28 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Dustin Hopkins kicked a 45-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to extend Washington's lead to 23-17.

FINAL SCORE: Washington 23, Steelers 17