The 5th Quarter: Steelers
This game was void of anything even close to resembling offense. Sure Jerome Bettis ran for 100 yards, but it took 31 carries. This was definitely a winnable game for our beloved ‘Skins.
Despite holding the surging Steelers team close, in the end, it just ended up being another tough loss.
The Redskins passing offense continues to struggle. Whether it’s dropped balls, bad passes or the miscommunication of blocking assignments, the Redskins pathetic passing offense continues to be the most glaring deficiency on this team. The Steelers have been susceptible on deep routes this year, but the Redskins were unable to take advantage of the Pittsburgh secondary. While Ramsey did not look stellar in his second start, he has looked much better than his predecessor. Ramsey threw for 138 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception, completing 56% of his passes.
There is barely enough data in this area to analyze it. Clinton Portis had only 6 carries on the day. Whether he is benched for disciplinary reasons, or the announcing crew was correct in assessing the situation as improper cleat selection, the fact remains that Portis had no impact on Sunday. Ladell Betts handled most of the running back duties on the day, but as usual, the Redskins fell behind early and had to switch to a pass-happy offense again. Hopefully someday, we will see the offense that is actually installed.
The defense played better than anyone could have hoped against the Steelers. If you take away the 10 points the “special” teams gave them, the Redskins defense only allowed 6 points to a 10-1 team. Ben Roethlisberger was routinely harassed and sacked 4 times, including 2 from Marcus Washington. Chris Clemons saw limited action in this game after being signed early last week and accounted for another sack. It’s amazing how Gregg Williams can seemingly plug anyone he wants into this defense and never skip a beat. If only the defense could score a touchdown or two every week, the Redskins might be undefeated.
The special teams, and more specifically the punt coverage unit, were the reason the Redskins lost this game. If not for the two runbacks allowed to Antwaan Randle El, the Redskins would have won this game, 7-6. Alas, the Redskins let Randel-El have his way and were never able to recover from it. This unit had been the most improved on the team, but had a major regression this weekend. Hopefully, the team will get back to their improved ways against the Giants this upcoming Sunday at FedEx Field.
It was a great game if you like defense, and one that the Redskins could have won. Unfortunately, the Steelers made all the big plays at all the right times, and pulled out the victory. The Redskins are getting close, but they still have some work to do.
This article was released on 2004-12-01.
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