Games played in downpour’s usually are not things of beauty, and that case could not be more made than Saturday night in Washington as the Steelers fell for the first time in the preseason, losing to the Redskins in an ugly outing 17-13.
This is one that most of the team won’t want to see again, as without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was out nursing a foot injury, the offense was off step all night, putting up just 238 yards. The teams focus is something else all together that will fire up coach Mike Tomlin, as they committed 13 penalties for 89 yards, and had the ball for just 24:32.
The first and only Steelers only TD came after a 9-play, 50-yard drive that was capped off by a three-yard run by Willie Parker that gave the Steelers a 7-3 lead with 3:10 left in the first quarter. Jeff Reed kicked a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 10-3, which was the score at the half.
Chase Daniel took Washington on 14-play, 60-yard drive to make it 10-10 Washington after he hit Marko Mitchell with a three-yard touchdown. Piotr Czech’s 41-yard field goal made it 13-10 Steelers, but the Skins took the lead for good after rookie Joe Burnett fumbled a punt with 13 minutes left, and Daniel hit Fred Davis with an 18-yard TD to make it 17-13.
The Steelers best chance in the final quarter came with 4:04 left when backup Mike Reilly led the team from their own 32 to the Skins 35. With a fourth down situation, the Skins threw at him a blitz and a desperation pass fell incomplete for the finale of the loss.
Charlie Batch started for the Steelers, going 5-for-14 for 63 yards. Dennis Dixon was 8-for-16 for 68 yards, but left the game with a shoulder injury. Reilly was 2-for-5 for 17 yards. Rashard Mendenhall led the team with 26 yards on five carries. The team put up 99 yards rushing on the night.
The defense allowed 304 yards, and way too many third down conversions, giving up 9 of 18 chances to the Skins. Washington was also 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions. Washington pounded the Steelers run defense with 167 yards, putting up 4.1 yards per carry.
The Steelers third and final home preseason game will be next Saturday when they welcome Terrell Owens and Buffalo at 7:30pm. D