Final: Redskins 16, Steelers 7
The Washington Redskins opened the preseason with a 16-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Friday night, showcasing an efficient offense that churned out yards and a defense that largely limited damage.
In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens continued to lead the Redskins offense. He was solid in his outing on the night, completing 9 of 17 passes for 105 yards and leading Washington to two field goals – a 34-yarder and a 45-yarder.
The Redskins defense limited Pittsburgh to 186 yards of offense, including just 103 passing. Washington dominated time of possession, controlling the clock for 39 minutes, 25 seconds in the win, and racked up 452 yards of offense.
Evan Royster (Westfield) had 15 carries for 66 yards, including five rushes for 21 yards at the start of the fourth quarter to set up Graham Gano’s 34-yard field goal and provide Washington a 13-7 lead.
The Redskins defense forced a three-and-out on Pittsburgh’s next possession when safety DeJon Gomes sacked Pittsburgh QB Dennis Dixon for a loss of 15 yards on third and 7, the Redskins third sack of the night.
The two teams traded punts and Washington took over on its own 45 yard line following a 19-yard punt return from receiver Terrence Austin.
Rookie running back Roy Helu handled the bulk of the workload from there, carrying six times for 28 yards, including an 18-yard rush to open the drive, and Gano nailed a 45-yard field goal, the Redskins’ final points of the night.
Third Quarter: Redskins 10, Steelers 7
Backups took over in the third quarter, but the Redskins’ offense continued to show life – this time with Kellen Clemens taking the snaps.
After a three-and-out on the first drive, Clemens led the Redskins down the field on a 14-play, 82-yard scoring drive that finished with Graham Gano’s 32-yard field goal.
Clemens was 5 of 7 for 60 yards on the drive, hitting Donte Stallworth with two completions for 29 yards early and connecting with rookie Niles Paul for 16 yards to eventually set up Gano’s field goal attempt.
The Redskins defense again forced a three and out. Keyaron Fox stopped Jonathan Dwyer for no gain on a second and 7, and an incompletion forced a punt. Redskins rookie receiver Aldrick Robinson muffed the return, pinning Washington at its own four-yard line, but Clemens marched the team down the field.
The defense stepped up again on Pittsburgh’s second drive, forcing a punt with another incompletion on third down. That stop made Pittsburgh just 1 of 7 on third down in the game.
Robinson again muffed his return, but Washington took over on its own 15 yard line with 1:23 remaining in the quarter. Clemens’ 19-yard pass to Stallworth was the final play of the third quarter, giving the Redskins first down at the 43 yard line entering the final 15 minutes.
Second Quarter: Redskins 7, Steelers 7:
Rex Grossman continued his efficient night in the second quarter, leading the Redskins to their first points of the preseason.
The quarterback went 5 for 6 for 76 yards on an 82-yard touchdown drive that culminated with his eight-yard scoring pass to Santana Moss. Grossman finished the first half 19 of 26 for 207 yards with one touchdown, as the Redskins went into the half tied at seven.
The drive opened with Grossman finding Moss for 16 yards, then Jabar Gaffney for seven. After finding Gaffney again for seven yards on third and 3, Grossman connected with Terrence Austin for a 38-yard gain to Pittsburgh’s 14-yard line.
Two plays later, Grossman hit Moss for the eight-yard touchdown pass to provide Washington a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes 54 seconds remaining in the half.
Pittsburgh needed just 1 minute and 41 seconds to respond.
The Steelers took over on their own 20-yard line and Leftwich completed a 29-yard pass to Antonio Brown. An 11-yard completion to Brown followed, and 15 yards were tacked on for a roughing the passer penalty on Redskins’ defensive end Adam Carriker.
Two plays later Isaac Redman cut back and broke through the heart of the Redskins defense for a 22-yard touchdown run to even the score at seven with 4:13 remaining in the half.
Grossman again drove the Redskins into scoring possession during a two-minute drill, moving the Redskins from their own 14-yard line to the Steelers 31 with six consecutive completions. Shayne Graham missed his second field goal of the night however, this time pushing a 49-yarder wide right, and the Redskins went into the half tied at seven.
First quarter: Redskins 0, Steelers 0:
The Redskins looked efficient for a large chunk of their opening drive of the preseason, with quarterback Rex Grossman and running back Tim Hightower marching the team down the field,. But Washington came away with no points to show for it after Shayne Graham shanked a 29-yard field goal attempt. The quarter ended with the score tied at zero.
Grossman, Hightower and Brandon Banks all showed well in the opening quarter. Grossman looked efficient and completed 6 of 7 passes, Hightower ran for 33 yards on six carries and caught a pass and Banks returned a punt for 19 yards. The Redskins defense also looked solid with two drive-ending sacks.
Pinned on their own one-yard line by a 62-yard punt on their first drive, the Redskins took over with Grossman under center. The first play was a 16-yard completion to Santana Moss that moved Washington into more comfortable territory, and the offense continued to look good.
Hightower had runs of six, 15 and 11 yards and Grossman had completions of 12 and 16 yards to put Washington on the Steelers 10 yard line.
After a timeout, however, the Redskins’ drive stalled and Washington was forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal try. Shayne Graham, in a competition with incumbent Graham Gano, badly missed his field goal attempt wide left.
The Redskins’ defense ended Pittsburgh’s opening drive just before midfield when, on third and 7 from the 46-yard line, Kevin Barnes sacked Ben Roethlisberger for a nine yard loss.
On its second drive, Pittsburgh again found some success, driving to its own 45-yard line, before Washington’s defense again stopped the Steelers. Free agent acquisition Stephen Bowen sacked Byron Leftwich for a loss of 10 yards.