Steelers, Redskins clash
August 19, 2013
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Monday Night Football
The Redskins and Steelers wrap up Week 2 of NFL preseason action in the nation’s capital tonight. The Redskins are still making their way through this preseason with starting QB RG III on the bench as he recovers from a knee injury, but backup Kirk Cousins proved to be more than capable in a win over Tennessee last week. Cousins will get the nod to start again tonight and he should see more action than his 6-for-7 passing in that game.
Cousins has a strong test ahead of him in facing the Pittsburgh defense, reserves or not. The Steelers have been a great defensive team for the better part of a decade now and schematically they are tough to beat. As an older unit winning in the preseason isn’t high on Pittsburgh’s to-do list, but the starters will still want to put forth a better effort than they did last week.
Pittsburgh’s top unit was responsible for allowing the Giants to put up 10 points in the 1st quarter and the 57-yard TD pass Victor Cruz hauled in was particularly troubling. Washington won’t be afraid to stretch the field either, so if Pittsburgh does want to win, they better are prepared to stop the deep pass.
Offensively, the Steelers defense showed they were still a work in progress last week with only 218 total yards of offense and no major scores. New York had five sacks vs. the Steelers in the game as the O-line continues to be a concern for Pittsburgh. As good as Roethlisberger can be at improvising, he and the other Steeler QB’s have to stay upright. Until I see a strong performance from those big guys up front, it’s tough to back Pittsburgh in any game; preseason or not. That’s why the only way I think you can look tonight is with Washington as the home favorite.
The Redskins will be looking to give Cousins and the other QB’s plenty of opportunities to show their skills tonight. Should RGIII get hurt early on this season, Washington will need one of those guys to step up right away because the Redskins have the talent around the QB position to make a return trip to the playoffs. Showing the coaching staff that they can succeed against a quality defense like Pittsburgh’s is the primary goal of tonight’s action and I believe the Redskins will get it done. The Steelers haven’t exactly thrived in past preseasons when on the road and until they get their O-line settled and playing like a cohesive unit, they’ve got to be avoided in meaningless games like tonight’s.