The final score was just 16-7, but the Pittsburgh Steelers were beaten badly by the Washington Redskins in their first preseason game.
Now, obviously, it’s a preseason game, so there’s no reason to freak out, but there wasn’t much to like about this one. There weren’t many skill players who did all that well – Antonio Brown had a nice game, Isaac Redman had a great touchdown run, and you could maybe add Byron Leftwich to that category, but that’s about it.
The Steelers’ defense, including its first-team defense (minus Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, it should be pointed out), was soundly beaten by Rex Grossman and the Redskins’ passing attack, and Grossman and Kellen Clemens combined for 312 yards passing. The scoring total would have been higher for the Redskins if not for two ugly field-goal misses by Shayne Graham (who was replaced mid-game by Graham Gano, who fared far better).
The Steelers’ offense couldn’t do much either. Dennis Dixon played the end of the game alongside mostly undrafted-free-agent types and didn’t get much help from them, but he still managed to go only 1-for-10, the one completion being a completion downfield to big rookie Eric Greenwood after a nifty scramble. That aside, Dixon did little to convince other teams that he should be a starter. Also, wide receiver Arnaz Battle had a very poor game, dropping at least a couple balls.
On the bright side, Cameron Heyward had a spectacular tackle that demonstrated some serious brute strength, punters Daniel Sepulveda and Jeremy Kapinos both mostly looked great, and the two teams generally played a clean game that didn’t feature many penalties. But the Steelers have a lot to work on between now and the start of the regular season.