For the upcoming edition of the print edition of Warpath, I wrote a filler piece about the Redskins-Giants game in 1966 that Washington won 72-41. I wrote that the 113 points scored still stands as an NFL record for a game.
The Browns and Bengals nearly rendered that statement false before it saw the light of day. Their game ended at 58-48, their 106 combined points coming within at touchdown and an extra point of tying that record.
On their last possession the Browns, trailing by 10, had the ball and managed to get near midfield before giving it up on downs with 12 seconds left. Cincinnati then killed the clock, preserving their win, the Redskins' record, and my credibility.
Fourth Quarter and Analysis
Quick Analysis: The Redskins hung in there in a game that could have been a blowout. They were much more aggressive offensively than last week, although they did pretty much abandon the running game early. Ramsey suffered at least five drops and his one interception was a desperation pass after nearly having his head taken off. He got hit a lot, but not very hard (yeah, I know, easy for me to say). A loss is a loss, but this one was a step froward.
That third-down stop by the Steelers could prove to be huge if they put a drive together. We will see.
Passes to Ward, run by Betts has Pitt well into
Bettis is running much better bouncing outside than I thought he could be able to. He gained eight on second and ten doing just that.
Jeff Reed gets his third FG of the game to make it 16-7 with just under 10 minutes left to play.
Cooley catches a first-down catch, giving him six for the game. Two incompletes follow, however, and it's another, well, you know.
A penalty kills another long Randle El return. Need a three and out, clock running under eight minutes.
Fourth sack of the game, this one by Marshall, sets up third and long. Solid hit by Taylor separates receiver from a ball the receiver was juggling anyway, fourth down. Redskins get ball near midfield after punt with 6:54 to play
Ramsey completes a fourth and two with a pass to Cooley, but throws a pick on the next play while under severe pressure. That will just about do it.
Ramsey has been rushed hard, but hasn't been hit hard a lot. That bodes well for the future considering what a brutal pass rush the Steelers have had.
The Redskins WR's seem to be too worried about getting the PI flag and not worried enough about catching the ball anyway. They're making the throwing the flag motion after almost every pass.
Redskins get second-half kickoff. If they're going to get back into it, now's the time.
Cowher is 86-1-1 when his team has been leading by at least 11 points at any time during the game.
Tell you what, assume that a Redskins possession is a three and out, like the one just concluded to open the second half. Figure it's draw, dropped pass, and sack; I'll let you know if anything else happens.
I just isn't going the Redskins' way. Washington is so free blitzing in on Ben that he just overruns him and the pass is completed to Ward for a first. It was Ward's first catch.
Skins get 15 in their direction. Steelers downed a punt inside the five, but one of them threw the ball at Lemar Marshall, drawing the flag. They'll start at around the 20.
After McCants has his hands on a long one (would have been a spectacular catch). Cooley takes a shot but holds on to a pass for a first down. That's about four catches for him.
Betts breaks a 26-yard run on second and one. It went off the right side behind Wilson. They follow it up with a false start, naturally. He's running well from scrimmage as he picks up a second and two.
Pass to Coles sets up first and goal at the three. This just in, receivers are catching the ball and not having to beg for flags.
After a PI sets up first and goal at the one, Skins will go for it on fourth and goal at the one and a half after a timeout. Two dives with Betts went nowhere and then Ramsey overthrew Kozlowski whi was wide open down the middle.
TD pass over the middle to Cooley. Drive 79 yards, 14 plays, 13-7 with 3:23 left in the third. That drive provided a much-needed rest for the defense, it looked like Bettis was starting to wear them down a little.
Roethlisberger is mixing in some good plays with some rookie ones. The pass rush doesn't seem to rattle him, but it is hurrying him somewhat.
He was hurried on a third and five play and threw incomplete. Skins' ball at the 25.
Portis ran for seven on first down, then is replaced by Betts. Portis has just six carries for 17 yards through three quarters. Betts carries for two then one but is an inch or two short of the first. Oops, another three and out.
Steelers ball second and four at their own 21 at the end of the third.
Another big punt return by Randle El, this one 43 yards, so Pitt starts in Washington territory again at the 40. Steelers convert a fourth down after a nice ankle takcle by Taylor on Roethisberger set up a fourth and short. Redskins had 12 on field, but Bettis made it anyway.
Big Ben is not sharp at all, he is missing on some fairly easy passes.
Steelers get a TD after a dumpoff to Bettis gets them to the our and the Bus takes it in on the next play. That's 10 points set up by two punt returns. Need to kick away from Randle El. Better yet, need to put together a drive and not have to punt at all.
The great WR screen is back as Coles snares one for two yards.
Gardner needs to catch balls that are in his hands. He just dropped a first down pass on third and eight. Another punt, but Betts wraps R-E up on this one.
Pressure on Ben is diminishing, but he's still not very accurate. They're forcing him to throw from the pocket.
Nice third and ten pickup by Steelers. Pull off a screen against the blitz, Roethlisberger (forgive me if I misspell that one on the fly a time or two) had a nice sidearmed throw to the back and they picked up 25.
Taylor flagged for another personal foul, costing the Redskins 15 and giving the Steelers a first down instead of third and five. It was barely a bump, but the guy has a reputation now so he got the laundry thrown on the field. Sets up a 36-yard FG to make it 13-0.
It's hard to say this, but Ledell Betts returning kickoffs makes one nostalgic for Chad Morton.
Coles limped off the field, will update when it becomes available. My speculation is hamstring injury.
Gardner picks up a first then drops a bomb. Tough catch on the long one, but he needs to make that catch.
Dumpoff to Betts picks up 20 to the Steeler 41 at the two-minute warning. It looked like the defender fell down; will take anything we can get.
Coles is back in. He dropped one, seemed to be too worried about drawing a PI flag.
Sack on second down follows.
Redskins will go for it on fourth and three at the 37 after timeout. Thrash may have been interfered with, but he still should have caught the pass from Ramsey.
Dropped pass count so far is four.
Sack leads to a three and out for Pittsburgh's first series. Roethisberger rolled out on third down but missed on the pass.
Ramsey harried by blitz on second and third downs and Skins go three and out. Need to find a way to slow down the blitz. It looked like they had a nice draw set up to Portis on second and seven, but Coles moved.
From Pittsburgh five, Redskins line up with 4 DL and 4 LB, stop Bettis on first down. They get out of trouble, though, with a 27-yard pass to Randle El. (In case you didn't hear, they decided to make Staley inactive about an hour before game time).
Who are these guys? Chris Clemons makes a sack on third down (he's a linebacker just signed when Barrow went on IR). That was after Boeschetti tackled Bettis on second down. I'd double check the spelling on the latter's name, but he's not listed on the roster in this morning's paper.
Another three and out for Redskins; the familiar old three-yard pass on third and six.
Marcus Washington made a TD-saving tackle at the end of a 60-yard Randle El punt return. The Steelers do muster a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The way the Redskin offense is playing, that lead could hold up.
Portis is running hard, but he needs to slip a tackle; as aggressive as the Pitt defense is, he could go a long way.
Redskins get initial first down on a pass interference. Following that, Ramsey is sacked and fumbles, but Redskins recover on the last play of the first quarter.