The Pittsburgh Steelers have to be excited about a big win at home against the Washington Redskins.
The Steelers may have played their first complete game with the exception of a few special teams problems remaining.
The offensive line continued to get it done again this week. It appears as though Willie Colon will continue to attempt to bury guys. Last week in Cincinnati he tried to end Vontaze Burfict and this week was another victim.
The passion he has been playing with the last two weeks is just one of the reasons the Steelers boasted a rusher with back-to-back 100-yard weeks for the first time since 2008.
Mike Adams looks to have found a home at right tackle, maybe even after Marcus Gilbert is 100 percent. On one of Pittsburgh’s bigger runs it was Mike Adams in the second level throwing blocks not just Maurkice Pouncey.
Also, Adams appears to be considerably more natural on the right and his pass protection is ten-fold better than what we’ve seen on the left.
Did I forget to mention that Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t even hit against Washington?
While on the subject of Roethlisberger staying on his feet, he went 24 for 33 for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Not Big Ben’s best statistical day, but there are plenty of good numbers in there.
No turnovers, 72 percent completion rate and – not sure I can stress this enough – NO sacks! With the running game’s ability to pound the ball and solid defensive play, Roethlisberger’s stats will benefit.
The offensive line held the pocket and Ben was rarely forced to maneuver his way through the pocket to find a receiver, a true credit to the O-line.
Another man owes the offensive line a big thank you would be Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer is the first Steelers back since Willie Parker in 2008 to have two straight weeks rushing for over 100 yards.
Dwyer rushed for 122 against Cincinnati, but the big number for him was 114 after contact, making the comparisons to Jerome Bettis relevant. This week wasn’t a whole lot different for the third-year back out of Georgia Tech. Dwyer went for 107 yards on only 17 carries for a 6.3 average.
Perhaps the best part about Dwyer’s rushing attack is his punishing technique with the ability to break a big play. In the last two weeks he has had a run of 30-plus yards.
Defensively, this may have been one of Pittsburgh’s best games of the season.
The entire secondary stepped their game up for a tough play-action week. The unfortunate of the week in the back-end was Ryan Clark suffering a concussion. Ryan Mundy filled the role with a solid performance.
Keenan Lewis had his best week of the season against the Redskins. Many will say that Washington dropped a lot of passes, but re-watch the game and look for a Keenan Lewis hand in the mix with the ball. You will see more pass break-ups than drops.
The front seven were able to bottle up the Redskins rushing attack for just 86 total yards. The most important part was keeping rush lanes and not worrying about hurrying Griffin.
Pittsburgh did manage to compile one sack and five hits on Griffin. The Redskins quarterback entered the day with the league’s highest completion rate of over 70 percent. However, the Steelers limited him to a 47 percent completion in less-than-optimal weather conditions.
Things went so well for the Steelers that I even liked the uniforms. Not only can I appreciate the heritage but I think they look good enough to wear once a year, especially the pants and socks.
Pittsburgh will need to continue to make strides forward in the running game and the secondary. The Steelers will host the New York Giants for a 4:25 p.m. kickoff.
The Giants held on for a win over the Cowboys this weekend, but did allow Tony Romo to throw for 437 yards.