The second quarter today started off with the Redskins driving and into the Steelers’ red zone for the first time in the game.
After a dropped catch in the end zone by wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe — the team’s second dropped touchdown of the drive — quarterback Robert Griffin III tossed to running back Alfred Morris for a six-yard gain. On 3rd and 4 from the Pittsburgh 8-yard line, Griffin III found receiver Joshua Morgan for five yards and the first down.
Three plays later, the Redskins faced a 3rd and Goal from the 5-yard line. With the Terrible Towels waving Griffin III attempted to run it in himself, getting to the 2-yard line. This time, the Redskins attempted to go for it on 4th down, as the Steelers had done in the first quarter. Griffin III’s quick pass was caught by receiver Santana Moss for the touchdown — making the Redskins 7-for-7 on fourth down conversions this season. Moss, by the way, had two touchdown catches last Sunday against the New York Giants, and continues to be Griffin III’s go-to target.
But kicker Kai Forbath’s extra-point kick was blocked by defensive end Ziggy Hood, meaning the Redskins trailed 10-6 with 11:33 remaining in the first half. On the replay, Forbath’s kick looked low to begin with.
The Steelers got things rolling again on the ensuing drive, as their first play went for 14 yards. But two plays later, their faced a 3rd and 2 from their own 48-yard line when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in the pistol formation, handed off to running back Chris Rainey, who got the three yards needed for the first down.
The next play was a quick out to receiver Antonio Brown, which went for 14 yards down the Pittsburgh sideline. The next play, again, went to Brown, this time for 18 yards on the slant pattern. With the ball now at the Redskins’ 17-yard line, the Steelers continued their drive, this time with a hook route to wide receiver Mike Wallace, who got 10 yards to the Washington 7-yard line. Two plays later, the Steelers faced a 3rd and goal from the 7 when Roethlisberger pump faked, began to scramble, and then found tight end Heath Miller for the touchdown.
The Redskins’ defense sure doesn’t look up to containing Roethlisberger to this point of the game, as he’s completed 14-of-18 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Washington began its next drive at its 25-yard line after a 28-yard kickoff return from Brandon Banks. On the first play, Griffin III had tight end Logan Paulsen wide open down the sideline, but overthrew him. Morris answered with a 12-yard run on the next play. Griffin III tried to find another tight end on the next play — Chris Cooley, but the play was easily broken up. Morris, again, answered with a hard run, this time for six yards to the Redskins’ 43, setting up a 3rd down and 4.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan opened up the playbook on the play, giving the ball to wide receiver Morgan on the reverse, who tried to find Griffin III deep down the sideline with pass, which fell to the grass. Griffin III was flagged for offensive pass interference, although the refs declined to address a hard hit to the head that Griffin III took after the play. Things didn’t get better for the Redskins from there, as Sav Rocca’s punt was shanked for 12 yards, giving the ball back to the Steelers at their own 45.
Adding fuel to the fire was Pittsburgh’s first play of the ensuing drive — a 27-yard throw-and-catch from Roethlisberger to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Next play? A 13-yard run by running back Jonathan Dwyer. But two plays later, the Steelers faced a 3rd and 7 from the Washington 12-yard line. Roethlisberger’s pass was complete for three yards to Wallace, who was tackled on a nice play by cornerback Josh Wilson going into the two-minute warning.
After an unsuccessful attempt to draw the Redskins’ defense offsides on 4th and 4, kicker Shaun Shisham’s 27-yard field goal was good, extending the Steelers’ lead to 20-6 with 1:56 remaining in the half.
The Redskins began their next drive from their 23. Two dropped passes later, Washington faced a 3rd and 10 when Griffin III rolled out and found Santana Moss for the first dow… oh, he dropped that pass, too. TO make matters worse, the Steelers took the Rocca punt 18 yards to the Washington 46, and a five-yard penalty on the Redskins’ David Jones — who went out of bounds on his own during the kick — put the ball at the 41.
The Steelers was a 3rd and 9 from the 40 when the Redskins caught a break for once — Roethlisberger’s pass hit a referee square in the head. The breaks ended there, however, as the ensuing punt was downed at the Washington 1-yard line. Two plays later, Griffin III elected to take a knee to end the period.
CHIME IN: What are your thoughts from the first half of action today? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, pittsburgh steelers, washington redskins
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