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Cousins, Washington Struggle Against Elite Pittsburgh in Season Opener

It establishes control of the line of scrimmage.

As the Steelers kept Antonio Brown away from Josh Norman, the Pittsburgh receiver caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-16 Pittsburgh victory over the Washington Redskins.

"The call came from the sideline".

"We're not afraid to take chances", said Roethlisberger about his offense, which converted two fourth-and-shots, one for a touchdown.

"My message was, 'Well, we've got Sammie Coates and Eli and all the tight ends and DeAngelo Williams.' We have guys that can make plays and they showed it".

The Steelers got under center, ran a couple of play-actions, and you could just feel the tempo setting in.

Watching the Steelers manhandle Washington last night made every Steeler fan think "Oh man if this team stays healthy this could be it!"

Conversely the Redskins were 0-for-2 on fourth down and 3-for-10 on third.

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Redskins coach, Jay Gruden weighed in on the situation before the game and said his team would "stand up and give respect". "They were doing a good job of just dropping out, forcing us to take things underneath".

Washington's offense featured DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, a pair of former 1,000-yard receivers.

Pittsburgh's retooled offense finished with five touchdowns and 435 yards, including 300 passing by Roethlisberger. The 11th and final play was a 29-yard touchdown catch by Antonio Brown, after head coach Mike Tomlin made a decision to go for it on fourth and one. The division's weakness helped them make the postseason previous year for the first time since 2012. This is what shutdown corners do, they cover the teams best receiver, not stick to one side of the field and shield the 2nd or 3rd best pass catcher, knowing the ball is not coming that way. Brown scored two touchdowns, and celebrated the way Brown only does: by dancing.

Trailing early in the second quarter on Monday night and his team well within field goal range, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin could have opted for a field goal that would have cut Washington's lead in half.

The conservative plan, especially with the score just 6-0 in favor of Washington, would have been to kick a field goal. They can simply hope that with time, continuity will help the defensive line improve. Much like last season, the Steelers should be fine with Williams filling in during Le'Veon Bell's three-game suspension.

The second quarter became a tale of fourth-down success and failure that ended with Pittsburgh ahead 14-6. Here's your Steelers Morning Huddle for Tuesday, Sept. 13. We always said that we were gonna be a good defense. The pass was intended for Coates but cornerback Bashaud Breeland jumped the quick slant and the ball bounced directly to Rogers for the score.

"I thought largely, our guys handled themselves appropriately and didn't get consumed by the emotions that comprised the recent elements of the matchup", Tomlin said. Fort filled in for LB Ryan Shazier (knee) late. Washington WR Pierre Garcon started his 100th career game.

Cornerback Artie Burns, this year's first-round draft pick from Miami, saw limited action in his National Football League debut. Chris Baker was the lone Redskins defensive lineman to record a quarterback hit on Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

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