The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team desperate for momentum.
After Sunday afternoon’s performance, they took a big step to building some.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes and the Steelers’ defense pressured Redskins’ rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III often as the Steelers defeated Washington 27-12 Sunday at Heinz Field, winning back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Dick LeBeau entered the game having only lost once to a rookie quarterback (13-1 record) and even though RG3 has been tremendous during his freshman campaign, the swarming Steelers’ defense turned Griffin into just another rookie signal caller. Griffin completed just 16-of-34 passes for 177 yards and a score while managing only 10 yards rushing.
That wasn’t the case for Roethlisberger who completed 24-of-33 pass attempts for 222 yards, spreading the ball around nicely to nine different receivers, with his three touchdowns coming to two different tight ends and a fullback.
Jonathan Dwyer made his case to be the Steelers’ starting running back with a second consecutive 100-yard performance, gaining 107 yards on only 17 carries.
With the physicality the Steelers’ defense played with, that way more than enough from their offense.
Roethlisberger got the Steelers on the board early in the first quarter, taking the opening kickoff 76 yards on 12 plays, finishing things off with a one-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Leonard Pope on a fourth-and-goal play from the one, a drive that took 7:05 off the clock.
Pittsburgh added a field goal by Shaun Suisham to take a 10-0 lead after one quarter, but Griffin got the Skins on the board early in the second with a two-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss, cutting the Steelers lead to 10-6.
But Big Ben answered right back hitting tight end Heath Miller with a seven-yard scoring strike to put the Steelers on top 17-6.
Each team traded field goals before Roethlisberger hit Will Johnson with a one-yard scoring pass in the third quarter to make it 27-9.
The Redskins added a field goal and Griffin tried to move the team, but his receivers did him no favors, dropping 10 passes on the day.
Notes: Antonio Brown had a punt return for a touchdown wiped out by another special teams penalty…The Steelers outgained the Redskins 355-255…Washington’s 2nd rated rush offense ran for only 86 yards…The Redskins converted only 3-of-12 third down conversions…The Steelers ran well for a second consecutive week, averaging 5.2 yards per carry….Will Allen and Ryan Clark tied for the team lead in tackles with seven.