While you were filling out your absentee ballot, they played a game of tackle football in the nation's capital. Here's what you missed.Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder/finger) left the game at halftime after a messy 5-for-17 performance, and surprise surprise, Byron Leftwich actually looked sharp in the second half (7-for-10, 129 yards, one TD, no turnovers). The slow-as-molasses release is still there with Leftwich, but with results like this, the Steelers can't complain. Roethlisberger will have an MRI Tuesday and Mike Tomlin didn't say anything juicy about the injury in his post-game comments. PBI on Leftwich: 80 percent.
Willie Parker didn't show a lot of juice - his longest carry was 13 yards - but he was able to touch the ball 21 times, an encouraging sign that he's safe to use going forward. Parker gets the Colts, Chargers, and Bengals next three weeks. Mewelde Moore went nowhere on the ground (four carries, -2 yards) but did add three catches for 45 yards.
Santonio Holmes (three catches, 30 yards) left some plays on the field, but he also caught a short touchdown pass from Leftwich, and he set up another score with a long pass-interference penalty. Hines Ward (3-39) also was fairly quiet, though one of his catches stopped inches short of a TD. Nate Washington had a key 50-yard reception early in the second half, the fourth straight game he's hauled in a pass of 48 yards or more. Heath Miller blocked for most of the first half, then missed the second half with an ankle injury; he's unlikely to go next week.
Pittsburgh's defense had another dominant night, collecting seven sacks and picking off Jason Campbell twice (the first time anyone's done that all year).
Redskins: Jason Campbell had his worst game of the year by far (49.2 rating, two interceptions), but it wasn't really his fault - Washington's line couldn't figure out the Pittsburgh pass rush (seven sacks, in between a handful of holding flags). When Campbell did have time to throw, nothing was open downfield; Santana Moss (two catches, 14 yards) and Antwaan Randle El (3-22) were non-factors. Most of Campbell's completions were short pitches to Chris Cooley (8-78), or dump-offs to Clinton Portis (7-73, and 124 total yards).
Shaun Suisham found his best foot again, drilling a couple of field goals in the first period (43, 44 yards). The Washington defense collected a season-high four sacks and held Pittsburgh to 229 yards, but it didn't force many negative plays against Leftwich in the second half, after harassing Roethlisberger for 30 minutes.
It's a good time for the Washington bye, no question on that. The Redskins host the slumping Cowboys in Week 11, then head to Seattle.
Photo via US Presswire
- Jason Campbell