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Week 9 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Washington Redskins 6

What you need to know

Pittsburgh Steelers

After a tough first half in which he completed only five passes for 50 yards with one interception and one rushing touchdown, Ben Roethlisberger sat out the final two quarters with what was reported as a shoulder injury. Byron Leftwich quarterbacked the Pittsburgh offense during the second half and led the Steelers on two scoring drives that resulted in 13 points. Leftwich finished the game seven of ten for 129 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

After missing the last four games because of a knee injury, Willie Parker made his return and had himself a busy game getting 21 carries that he took for 70 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers didn't seem interested in easing Parker back into the offense as he was the only running back to receive a carry in the first half and he finished the night with all but five of the team's 26 rushing carries. Backup Mewelde Moore had only four runs, but he did contribute on offense by catching three passes that went for 45 yards.

After giving up a couple of first quarter field goals, the Pittsburgh defense shut down the Washington offense for the rest of the game. Surrendering only 221 yards, the Steelers picked off two passes and recorded seven sacks. The team's special teams also came up big when a blocked punt near the end of the second quarter gave Pittsburgh the ball at the Redskins' 13 yard line and set up the team's first touchdown of the game.

Washington Redskins

In a game in which points and yards were tough to come by for Washington, the Redskins' offense struggled to move the football and pick up first downs. Jason Campbell had a rough night, completing only 56% of his passes for 206 yards with zero touchdowns and his first two interceptions of the year. Contributing to the quarterback's problems was a steady pass rush by a Pittsburgh defense that kept Campbell from delivering the ball down the field.

Clinton Portis came into this contest as the NFL's leading rusher, but had a rough time picking up yards against a Steelers' run defense known for its stinginess. Carrying the ball 13 times, Portis gained only 51 yards after surpassing 120 rushing yards on the ground in his previous five games. Though stymied in the run game, the Redskins' running back did haul in seven passes that went for a total of 73 yards.

Chris Cooley led all Redskins' pass catchers with 11 targets that went for eight catches and 78 yards. Washington wide outs had a quiet night combining to total only 55 yards on nine grabs. Santana Moss was out of the game for most of the second half, but he did see a target late in the fourth quarter.


What you ought to know

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pass: 5 - 17 - 50 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 1

Through the team's first five drives, Roethlisberger completed only one of nine passes for nine yards and an interception. The pick came on a batted pass that bounced off an offensive lineman and popped into the arms of a Redskins' defender. Roethlisberger scored from one yard out on a quarterback sneak that gave the Steelers a 10--6 lead near the end of the second half. He missed the entire second half with what was reported as a shoulder injury.

QB Byron Leftwich, Pass: 7 - 10 - 129 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0

Leftwich came into the game at the start of the third quarter after starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder in the first half. His first pass of the game was a beautiful deep ball to WR Nate Washington that went for a gain of 50 and helped set up the team's second touchdown. Later on in the game, the backup quarterback led a 12 play, 77 yard drive that he capped with a five yard touchdown toss to WR Santonio Holmes.

RB Willie Parker, Rush: 21 - 70 - 1

Though he didn't rack up big yardage numbers on the ground, Parker proved he was healthy enough to return from his knee injury by rushing the ball 21 times in this contest. On a second quarter run, Parker showed no effects of the injury when he made two defenders miss on a couple of quick moves that resulted in a pickup of six yards. His one yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Steelers a 16-6 lead and was his first touchdown since week one.

RB Mewelde Moore, Rush: 4 - -2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 45 - 0 (4 targets)

Though serving as the backup running back, Moore's biggest contribution in this game was in the passing game. Catching three of his four targets, he had one catch that he took for a gain of 25 yards and another reception that he took down to the Washington one yard line. In addition to his duties on offense, Moore averaged 20 yards on three kick off returns.

RB Najeh Davenport, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0

His only carry of the game came on the team's first drive of the second half when he received a rush on a third and one play.

WR Hines Ward, Rec: 3 - 39 - 0 (6 targets)

Ward's first target of the game fell to the ground incomplete, but on the play he was able to draw a 43 yard pass interference penalty. He had a 14 yard catch that he took within inches of the end zone, but he was unable to get the ball across the goal line for the touchdown. All of Ward's grabs came on third down plays that resulted in first downs.

WR Nate Washington, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 2 - 59 - 0 (4 targets)

Washington's big play of the game came when he hauled in a 50 yard pass from QB Byron Leftwich early in the third quarter. His only other catch came in the first quarter and went for a pickup of nine. Washington also received a rush on an end around, but he ended up losing six yards on the play.

WR Santonio Holmes, Rec: 3 - 30 - 1 (12 targets)

Though targeted a team high 12 times, Holmes only had three catches in the game. His five yard touchdown catch and run was the wide out's second score of the season. Holmes was also targeted a couple of times in the end zone, but both of those passes were incomplete. In addition to his contribution on offense, he also averaged 7.5 yards on four punt returns.

TE Matt Spaeth, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)

Spaeth's only grab of the game came in the second quarter and went for a pickup of six.

TE Heath Miller

Miller did not have a ball thrown his way in this game. Near the start of the third quarter, it was reported that the tight end was on the sideline with ice on his right calf and ankle.

PK Jeff Reed 1 - 1 FG, 2 - 3 XP, 5 points

Reed made his only field goal of the game from 35 yards out. He connected on only two of his three point after attempts.

PIT Rush Defense

The Steelers held the Washington ground game to only 60 yards on 15 rushes for an average of four yards per rush. The defense did allow RB Clinton Portis to rip off a 22 yard gain in the first quarter.

PIT Pass Defense

The Steelers' pass defense held QB Jason Campbell to 24 completions on 43 attempts for 206 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Pittsburgh also frustrated the Redskins' passing game by recording seven sacks.


QB Jason Campbell, Pass: 24 - 43 - 206 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0

Under constant pressure throughout the game, Campbell struggled to throw the ball down the field as his 24 completions averaged just over nine yards. Having a hard time completing passes to his wide receivers, Campbell threw a lot of short passes to TE Chris Cooley and RB Clinton Portis. Campbell did come close to scoring a touchdown, but he was stopped at the one yard line on a fourth quarter rush.

RB Clinton Portis, Rush: 13 - 51 - 0, Rec: 7 - 73 - 0 (11 targets)

Portis finished the game with only 51 yards on the ground and 22 of those came on a first quarter run on the team's third drive of the game. Though he struggled picking up yards on the ground, the running back did contribute in the passing game by averaging ten yards on seven grabs including a long gain of 29. Portis was the intended receiver on QB Jason Campbell's first interception of the game.

RB Shaun Alexander, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0

Alexander's only rush of the game came on the team's fourth drive.

RB Rock Cartwright

Though not involved in the offense, Cartwright averaged 18.8 yards on four kick off returns.

WR Antwaan Randle El, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (5 targets)

Randle El led all Washington wide outs with 22 receiving yards on his three catches. He also averaged 6.3 yards on three punt returns.

WR Devin Thomas, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (5 targets)

All of Thomas' targets came in the fourth quarter with Washington trying to make a come back.

WR Santana Moss, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (7 targets)

Moss had a quiet night averaging only seven yards on two catches. Moss wasn't in the game for much of the second half through he was the intended receiver on a fourth quarter pass with four and half minutes left in the game.

WR James Thrash, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (4 targets)

Thrash's only grab of the game came on Washington's second series. He was the intended receiver on QB Jason Campbell's second interception of the game.

TE Chris Cooley, Rec: 8 - 78 - 0 (11 targets)

One of the few bright spots for Washington in this game, Cooley hauled in nine of his 11 targets. Four of his catches went for gains of 12 yards or more with his long reception going for a pickup of 14. Cooley was targeted near the end zone late in the game, but the pass fell incomplete.

TE Todd Yoder (1 targets)

Yoder's only target of the game came in the second quarter.

PK Shaun Suisham 2 - 2 FG, 0 - 0 XP, 6 points

Suisham made good on field goals from distances of 43 and 44 yards. He had no extra point attempts in this game.

WAS Rush Defense

The Redskins rush defense did a good job against the Pittsburgh ground game as they gave up 64 yards on 29 carries for an average of 2.2 yards per rush. The defense did allow one yard rushing touchdowns to QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Willie Parker.

WAS Pass Defense

Washington allowed Pittsburgh quarterbacks to complete 12 passes for 179 yards with one touchdown and one interception. In addition to intercepting one pass, the defense also recorded four sacks.


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