--The burgundy on burgundy look is going to take some getting used to. I like it at first glance, but it looks just like the Redskins Band uniforms.
--The Steeler black and gold is quite prevalent here tonight. I'll guess there may be as many as 30,000 Pittsburgh fans here tonight. Monday nights are always big for invading fans, I'm guessing that a lot of tix get sold on eBay and StubHub.
--Samuels and Moss both are starting, a good sign for the Skins. Samuels will help keep the heat off of Campbell so that he'll have a shot at getting the ball to Moss. I'm not going to change my prediction, but I'm considerably more confident that I'll be wrong (if that makes any sense).
--The ESPN crew went four for the Skins and four for the Steelers. That's about where I am, I think it's a tossup.
14:55—Redskins get great field position after a failed surprise onside kick attempt. I like the move by Tomlin but obviously it backfired big time.
13:18—Zorn declines to gamble on his first opportunity and calls on Suisham on fourth and one.
FG Suisham 44
Redskins 3, Steelers 0
You could almost call that a gift three points since the Skins got it without the benefit of a first down.
--The Redskins have Rogers lined up on Santonio Holmes while Smoot is on Hines Ward.
--Finally one of those tips at the line results in a turnover. Carter with the tip and Griffith with the pick.
--I like going for the end zone right after the turnover, even though it came close to ending in Campbell's first interception of the year.
FG Suisham 43
Redskins 6, Steelers 0
--Another scoring "drive" without a first down for the Redskins. I don't remember a time when the Redskins have had the first two possessions of the game, no first downs and two field goals.
14:43—It's turned into a defensive struggle as neither team can sustain a drive. Campbell took a sack on third and five to kill the Skins last drive before it ever really got started.
12:43—London Fletcher smelled out a flat pass to Moore and dumped him, knocking out the ball for a harmless third and two incompletion. Another three and out for the Skins defense. I swear that Fletcher hangs out in the offensive huddle from time to time.
11:13—A 43-yard pass interference penalty on Rogers gives the Steelers their best scoring threat so far. Rogers didn't see the ball and Hines Ward did and Carlos hit him early. Even if they don't gain another yard they're in field goal range for Jeff Reed.
8:40—A Demetric Evans sack on third and two puts the Steeler field goal team out.
FG Reed 35
Redskins 6, Steelers 3
The Steelers gained 62 yards on the scoring drive, 43 of which were on the PI call.
7:08—So far, Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers' $100 million man, is 3 for 13 for 27 yards.
6:00—Jason Campbell isn't a whole lot better, 6-13 for 38.
5:33—Rogers drops a pick six. Just a flat-out drop. You have got to make that play. A 13-3 lead in this game would have been enormous.
4:16—The Redskins are settling in to more of a traditional West Cost scheme with short passes in running situations. It's not working very well so far but if Moss breaks a tackle. . .
2:11—The Redskins don't get the pick six out of Rogers. The Steelers do get a blocked punt and now they have a first and goal at the 13. This after Cooley is tackled about a half a yard short of the first down line on third down. A big sequence there.
Roethlisberger 1 run (Reed kick)
Steelers 10, Redskins 6
The Redskins had their chance to make a big play and turn around the defensive struggle but Rogers dropped the ball. The Steelers take advantage of their chance with a blocked punt to set up a TD and they will have the lead going into the locker room.
End of the first half
Steelers 10, Redskins 6
The Redskins have done little to nothing offensively. That's the bad news. The good news is that they're still in it.
14:50—Byron Leftwich is in at QB for the Steelers. Big Ben hit his hand on Golston's helmet just before halftime. We have yet to receive an update in the press box.
12:28—His first pass is a doozie, 50 yards to Nate Washington for a first down at the 11.
Parker 1 run (kick failed)
Steelers 16, Redskins 6
The defensive struggle is over, at least on one side of the ball. That was pretty easy for the Steelers with their backup QB hitting on the bomb and then zipping one to Moore for a third-down conversion. The missed extra point could well come into play but, again, the Skins have to score.
As to Allen's comment on Rogers' hands, yes, but the offense needs to score. They now have one offensive touchdown in six quarters and counting.
8:50—A second-down sack kills the Redskins initial drive of the half before it even gets started. The sacks are starting to mount and the Skins just can't keep operating from the hole.
7:16—The Steelers run a draw on second and 17 from about their own 40. They seem to be content with their 10-point lead. The way the Pittsburgh D is playing, I probably would be, too.
4:10—The Skins have a little something going on offense here after getting their initial third-down conversion of the game.
3:41—But it ends on Campbell's first interception of the year. The ball went through the hands of Portis and into those of Townsend.
3:41—Zorn challenges that the ball was intercepted. It's very close but it does look like Townsend had control just before Portis knocked it out.
1:31—Things are starting to look grim as the Skins waste a sack by Horton by giving up a third and 15 conversion. Another big third down coming up here with four to go.
0:10—The Steelers convert as the third quarter ends.
End of third quarter
Steelers 16, Redskins 6
15:00—Anthony Montgomery is out with a sprained ankle.
14:44—Nobody was within 20 yards of Moore as he caught a short pass from Leftwich. If they score a touchdown here, it's over.
13:30—It's a last gasp for the Redskins here. Third and eight at the 20. If the Skins can hold them to a field goal here, they would be alive, but just barely.
Holmes 5 pass from Leftwich (Reed kick)
Steelers 23, Redskins 6
The rout is on. Holmes made a nice dive over the goal line after catching the pass at the line of scrimmage. The first interception of the year leads to a touchdown, along with almost seven minutes coming off of the clock.
9:44—The Redskins get a cheap first down on a roughing the passer penalty on a fourth-down play. The drive stays alive but as sloppy as it's been it's only a matter of time. Moss has not bee in on this drive and you have to think that he has tweaked his hamstring. Hopefully it will rest over the bye week.
8:44—The Skins pick up their second third down conversion in 12 tries with a pass from Campbell to Cooley. The Redskins then immediately have to burn a timeout, perhaps stunned by the development. If they can score quickly—and that's unlikely—they can get back into the verge of sort of being partway into the game.
7:19—Campbell gets credited with a TD but it looks like his knee was down when the ball was a good yard shy of the end zone. It's probably going to be fourth and goal at the one.
7:19—That's the call, a good reversal. Now the Skins have to score.
6:55—Campbell tries to go to Lorenzo Alexander, but the ball was knocked down. Steelers take over and the Redskins' last chance fades away.
5:23—Moss is back in the game and looks spry, so he must be doing OK. Can't say the same for the Redskins' chances here.
3:40—Even a miracle chance gets swallowed up with a 14-yard sack on fourth down.
The Steelers were a bit more focused and, as covered in the second-quarter blog here, they made the plays when they have the opportunity. Even after the sequence of dropped INT by Rogers and blocked punt by the Steelers, they converted on third down and maximized their chances. Going back to the first quarter when the Skins had a shot at opening up a nice working margin they twice settled for three, it just wasn't going to be their game.
Another pick by Campbell ends a shot at a cosmetic score with 20 seconds left. It would either have been his second INT or his eighth sack as a Steeler was bearing down on him hard.
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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