Pittsburgh Steelers open season with impressive road win

Defense, DeAngelo, Ben, Antonio and a punishing offensive line led the Steelers to a big opening-night win

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened their 2016 season with an impressive 38-16 Monday night road win over the Washington Redskins.

The Steelers allowed only one touchdown -- a fourth-quarter, 1-yard run by Chris Thompson -- and DeAngelo Williams gained 143 yards on 26 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

It was also the Ben Roethlisberger-Antonio Brown show as Roethlisberger completed 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception. Brown caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

The Steelers got off to a slow start offensively but the defense held the Redskins to a pair of first-quarter field goals.

Even the Steelers' first scoring drive began slowly. Roethlisberger overcame a sack and converted a second-and-25 with a pair of completions to begin the drive. On fourth-and-1, Roethlisberger threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Brown to give the Steelers a 7-6 lead.

Roethlisberger converted another fourth-and-1 on the next series, this time to Eli Rogers for 19 yards, to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass to Rogers right before the half.

After a field goal to start the third quarter, Ryan Shazier intercepted Kirk Cousins to set up another Roethlisberger to Brown touchdown pass, this one for 26 yards to give the Steelers a 24-6 lead.

Shazier left the game soon thereafter with what was reported as a knee injury.

The Redskins closed to within 24-16, but the Steelers stuck the final dagger into the Redskins after Roethlisberger threw a 14-yard pass to Sammie Coates on third-and-13 and a 21-yard pass to Brown on second-and-19. It set up Williams' 15-yard touchdown run for the clinching touchdown.

Williams added a 6-yard touchdown run late in the game for the 38-16 final score.

MIKE TOMLIN (post-game)

"It was a big win. The guys made some plays tonight. We hung early. They had momentum in the early part of the game. The defense did a nice job of making them settle for three until you could get our feet under us offensively and then we were able to go on from there, but I can't underscore how important it was for us to answer that adversity in the initial stages. The guys did. They hung together. We took a couple of calculated risks in short-yardage situations that paid off for us and then we were able to go on. Guys did a nice job all the way around.

"You can't say enough about DeAngelo Williams and his performance but we've come to expect that from him and that's why we were completely confident in his ability to deliver during the time that (Le'Veon) Bell was out. We'll continue to ride with him.

"On the injury front, you guys know that Ryan Shazier went down. He's being evaluated. I don't know the extent of it. I'll have more information for you guys tomorrow."

Re: Offense

"We're confident in that group. I know we were missing some pieces tonight but we had Seven. When we've got Seven we've got a chance to put together performances like that."

Re: Antonio Brown

"It's always pretty good to dial his number. He is Antonio Brown, and he lived up to it tonight."

Re: Throwing deep on fourth-and-1

"We play to win."

Re: Brown vs. Norman

"We didn't care where Norman was. We didn't have any control over how they utilized Norman and his talents. We were concerned with what it is we did."


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