Steelers boot Redskins, 12-10

Down 7-3 in the first half, the Steelers' reserves battled back to defeat the Washington Redskins 12-10 in Saturday night's preseason contest.

LANDOVER, Md. – Head coach Mike Tomlin gave the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-team offensive and defensive units their most extensive playing time of the preseason Saturday night against Washington.

And he wasn't altogether pleased with what he saw.

Playing the entire first half, the Steelers offense could manage only one field goal against the Redskins.

Part of the reason for that was a first-string defensive unit that couldn't get off the field as Washington was 7 for 10 in third down conversions in the first two quarters.

But the end result of that poor play was just a 7-3 deficit and the Steelers rallied with three field goals in the second half to earn a 12-10 victory here at FedEx Field.

Washington grabbed a 7-0 lead on its second possession, taking advantage of a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on Steelers' defensive end Brett Keisel. Keisel beat his man at the line of scrimmage, but lost his footing as he advanced on quarterback Jason Campbell. Keisel hit Campbell just below his left hip after he released the ball, bending the quarterback's knee at an awkward angle.

Campbell's pass was complete for 29 yards to tight end Chris Cooley, but Campbell was forced to leave the game with a bruised knee.

Backup quarterback Todd Collins replaced Campbell and finished the drive with a seven- yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd that gave Washington a 7-0 lead with 1:32 remaining in the first quarter.

The Steelers sputtered on offense until going to their hurry-up with just over 5:40 remaining in the first half.

An offense that had managed just 27 yards and one first down to that point drove from its own 31 to the Washington 3 with five seconds remaining in the first half. But Ben Roethlisberger's third-down pass to Cedrick Wilson in the end zone was broken up by Carlos Rogers and the Steelers settled for a 21-yard Jeff Reed field goal that cut the Redskins' lead to 7-3 at the half.

Roethlisberger completed 8 of 12 passes for 87 yards and also scrambled four times for 17 yards in his most extensive playing time of this preseason.

For the third consecutive game, the defense – which at that point was made up of second- team players – allowed the opposing team to score points on its opening possession of the second half.

This time, it was a 48-yard Shaun Suisham field goal with 6:38 left in the third quarter that extended Washington's lead to 10-3.

But the Steelers trimmed that lead to 10-6 on a 28-yard Reed field goal with just over 12 minutes remaining.

The Steelers then got a break when linebacker Clint Kriewaldt forced a fumble by rookie tight end Jake Nordin and cornerback Ricardo Colcough recovered the ball at the Washington 24.

Pittsburgh stalled for a third time inside the Washington 10, however, and settled for 22- yard field goal from Connor Hughes that cut Washington's lead to 10-9 with 7:20 to play.

The Steelers got the ball back at midfield with just over six minutes and Hughes booted a 19-yard field goal after rookie Gary Russell was stopped short on third-and-goal from the 1. That lifted the Steelers to a 12-10 lead with 1:31 remaining on the game clock.

Rookie William Gay then sealed the victory with his second interception of the preseason with no time left on the clock.

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