Redskins-Steelers: Defensive storylines to follow

The Redskins return to action tonight as they play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game at FedEx Field since last year’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s what to watch when the Steelers have the ball:

David Amerson

David Amerson looks to build on a strong first outing. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

1. DB building blocks: David Amerson got off to a strong start in his first NFL action, breaking up a pass and chipping in with some strong run defense. Bacarri Rambo had some positives in coverage and in run support, but his whiff on Chris Johnson (which coaches declare wasn’t entirely his fault) stood out the most. Amerson said his goal in this second game is to show that he can be consistent and remain disciplined. Rambo, meantime, aims to show that he can learn from his mistakes. He said the biggest thing he has learned so far is that mental fortitude is a huge key to success in the NFL. Rather than dwell on shortcomings, he must develop a short memory, maintain his focus and rebound with impact performances. Rambo likely will log significant snaps once again, and his goal is to carry over the strong practice performances into tonight’s game. Can he do it?

2. Run defense: The Redskins’ defense as a whole struggled with their tackling last week. The Titans in the first half rushed for 103 rushing yards on 13 carries. Washington’s defense last season limited teams to 95.8 rushing yards per game. Brian Orakpo stressed the importance of him and his teammates playing with more discipline. Multiple defenders chalked up the shaky tackling performance to early preseason rust and predicted improvement in their next game. We’ll see if they can deliver tonight.

Coming up soon: Offensive storylines to follow

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

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