The second half of today’s game between the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers got off on the right foot for the Redskins.
Trailing 20-6, quarterback Robert Griffin III found tight end Niles Paul wide open for a 37-yard pass-and-catch — a career-long reception for Paul. Two runs later — one by Griffin III and the other by halfback Alfred Morris — and the Redskins had their second first down of the drive.
But that momentum was killed three plays later, as, on 3rd and 12, Griffin III’s screen pass to Joshua Morgan only went for two yards. Kicker Kai Forbath salvaged the drive with a 48-yard field goal — an impressive kick for a first-year player here at Heinz Field — to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 20-9 with 11:52 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers began their first drive of the second half at their own 20 and promptly got a 12-yard run by Jonathan Dwyer, which was followed by a 7-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to fullback Will Johnson. Dwyer plowed his way on the next play for a 10-yard gain. Two plays later, Roethlisberger found running back Baron Batch for an eight-yard gain and another first down, which was followed by a 12-yard gain on a pass to tight end Heath Miller.
Two plays after that completion, the Steelers faced a 3rd and 3 from the Redskins’ 21-yard line. After a Pittsburgh timeout, the Steelers ran a direct snap to running back Chris Rainey for a 19-yard gain to the Washington one-yard line. Two plays later, Roethlisberger found fullback Will Johnson for the one-yard touchdown catch. After the extra point, they led 27-9.
The Redskins’ defense is making the Steelers’ offense look unstoppable to this point. That was an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took 6:39 off the clock. The Steelers have 20 first downs to the Redskins’ nine, and lead in total yards 314 to 158.
The Redskins needed to get something — anything — going on their next drive, which started at the Washington 20 with an 11-yard run by Morris. A false start penalty on guard Kory Lichtensteiger, however, about cut that run in half. On the next play, Griffin III found Santana Moss wide open about three yards shy of the first down. Though the throw was low, it was dropped by Moss — and is the Redskins’ seventh drop of the game. You aren’t going to beat good teams like the Steelers by dropping so many passes — two of which were in the end zone.
Griffin III found wide receiver Joshua Morgan for a six-yard pass-and-catch on the next play, setting up a 3rd and 9 from the Washington 32. Griffin III’s pass, intended for tight end Logan Paulsen, was overthrown and nearly picked off, setting up a punt by Sav Rocca that was taken to the end zone by Antonio Brown. But the Steelers were called for an illegal block in the back, which put the ball at the Pittsburgh 14-yard line. Brown was also called for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting the Redskins on the meaningless return, although that was declined.
The Steelers’ drive ended with a ferocious hit on running back Chris Rainey by linebacker London Fletcher for a five-yard loss. Redskins returner Brandon Banks took the 58-yard punt 27 yards to the Steelers’ 42-yard line, a season-long return for Banks.
The first play of the next drive for the Redskins resulted in a seven-yard loss after Griffin III recovered his own fumble. Griffin III found receiver Dezmon Briscoe on the next play, who got 14 yards on the catch to the 35-yard line, setting up a 3rd down and 3.
CHIME IN: What are your thoughts about the third quarter of action today? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, pittsburgh steelers, washington redskins
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