Steel­ers take care of Red­skins

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Stephen Whyno

DeAn­gelo Wil­liams and the Steers opened their sea­son with a win over the Red­skins Mon­day night in Wash­ing­ton.

LAN­DOVER, MD. >> Ben Roeth­lis­berger re­cov­ered his own fum­ble at a piv­otal mo­ment and didn’t look back, throw­ing three touch­down passes to lead the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers to a 38-16 vic­tory over the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins on Mon­day night.

Roeth­lis­berger com­pleted 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards, in­clud­ing two touch­downs to All-Pro wide re­ceiver An­to­nio Brown and an­other to Eli Rogers. Of­ten play­ing on the op­po­site side from Josh Nor­man and tor­ment­ing cor­ner­back Bashaud Bree­land, Brown made eight catches for 126 yards.

Start­ing in place of the sus­pended Le’Veon Bell, DeAn­gelo Wil­liams ran for 143 yards and two touch­downs on 26 car­ries.

Wash­ing­ton led 6-0 and ap­peared to have an­other scor­ing op­por­tu­nity late in the first quar­ter when line­backer Ryan Ker­ri­gan sacked and stripped Roeth­lis­berger deep in Pitts­burgh ter­ri­tory. Steel­ers cen­ter Mau­r­kice Pouncey knocked the ball out of Ker­ri­gan’s hands, and Roeth­lis­berger dived on it at his own 13-yard line.

Roeth­lis­berger then guided Pitts­burgh 87 yards down the field, fin­ish­ing the drive with a 29-yard touch­down pass to Brown on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call from the Wash­ing­ton 29. The next time he got the ball, Big Ben took the Steel­ers 67 yards on 14 plays to make it 14-6.

Pitts­burgh’s pass­ing at­tack got click­ing, but Kirk Cousins and the Red­skins couldn’t keep up. With Matt Jones and the run­ning game grounded and tight end Jor­dan Reed taken out of the pic­ture, Cousins fin­ished 30 of 43 for 329 yards and two in­ter­cep­tions.

Wash­ing­ton got it as close as 24-16 on Chris Thomp­son’s fourth-quar­ter touch­down. Then Roeth­lis­berger was at it again, tak­ing the Steel­ers 77 yards as Wil­liams put the game away with a 15-yard touch­down run to break the 30-point mark . PRIME TIME READY >> Steel­ers coach Mike Tom­lin im­proved to 11-2 on Mon­day night, in­clud­ing 6-2 on the road and 2-0 at Wash­ing­ton. Pitts­burgh is 4-1 when open­ing the sea­son on Mon­day night, and the Steel­ers’ 44-24 record on MNF is third-best in the NFL be­hind Seat­tle (23-6) and San Fran­cisco (47-25).

The Red­skins have lost 15 of their past 16 Mon­day Night home games.

HOP­PING HOP­KINS: Wash­ing­ton kicker Dustin Hop­kins made all three of his field-goal at­tempts, con­nect­ing from 31, 40 and 34 yards. Hop­kins was the Red­skins’ en­tire of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion un­til Thomp­son’s touch­down. PIN­BALL ROGERS >> Rogers’ first ca­reer touch­down catch in his NFL de­but was a pin­ball spe­cial. Roeth­lis­berger’s pass from the 3-yard line hit re­ceiver Sam­mie Coates and then Rogers’ face­mask be­fore he fin­ished the grab. SHAZIER, PLAY­MAKER >> The play af­ter forc­ing a fum­ble that the Red­skins re­cov­ered, Steel­ers line­backer Ryan Shazier picked off Cousins to set up Brown’s 26-yard TD catch in the third quar­ter. Shazier left the game with a right knee in­jury. RUN­NING ON EMPTY>> Jones was in the start­ing lineup af­ter separat­ing his left shoul­der on Aug. 19, but he lost 4 yards on his first two car­ries and fin­ished with 24 yards on seven car­ries. Wash­ing­ton to­taled 55 yards rush­ing, in­clud­ing just 28 in the first half. REED OP­TION >> Reed caught three passes for 39 yards on the Red­skins’ open­ing drive and was a non­fac­tor with four catches for 25 yards the rest of the way.

ALEX BRAN­DON — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Steel­ers re­ceiver An­to­nio Brown (84) pulls in a touch­down pass un­der pres­sure from Red­skins cor­ner­back Bashaud Bree­land (26) in Lan­dover, Md., Mon­day.

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