The marquee game of the week will be the first edition of Monday Night Football in 2013, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Washington Redskins in a fierce AFC-NFC battle.
While injuries and offseason turnover have both teams trying to find an identity, this Week 2 battle should be an excellent showcase of where each franchise stands as they prepare for the regular season.
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
When: Monday, August 19 at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Preseason Live
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: 38; Spread: Washington (-1)
Betting on preseason football is incredibly tough because of the starters being pulled at various times, but this matchup should be a lock for the over. The spread proves that this is a coin flip, but you should take the Redskins giving the point to the Steelers.
Injury Report (via ESPN)
Heath Miller, TE, Out (knee)
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Questionable (knee)
Robert Griffin III, QB, Out (knee)
Brian Orakpo, LB, Questionable (thigh)
Richard Crawford, CB, Questionable (knee)
Josh Morgan, WR, Questionable (leg)
Pittsburgh’s Player to Watch: Ben Roethlisberger, QB
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost high-profile wide receiver Mike Wallace via free agency, and how Ben Roethlisberger rebounds from the loss will depict how much success the franchise has during the 2013 campaign.
After going 4-of-8 passing in the team’s Week 1 matchup with just 36 yards, Big Ben is looking to bounce back with a huge game that showcases the deep-passing ability of the Steelers and the dump-off throws that make Pittsburgh so dangerous.
The hope is that the knee injury that has plagued Roethlisberger over the offseason will not inhibit the veteran’s chances of being as effective as he needs to be for the Steelers to contend for a Super Bowl this season.
Washington’s Players to Watch: Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman
While Robert Griffin III recovers from knee surgery, the battle for the backup job will heat up between second-year star Kirk Cousins and veteran Rex Grossman.
Cousins proved his worth when Griffin was out of action in 2012 (he amassed 466 yards passing and four touchdowns in just three games), and Washington will be looking to see how much he has developed over the offseason.
As well as Cousins has played thus far in his career, Grossman is looking to secure a place on the roster with a stellar performance. The veteran didn’t take a snap in 2012, but with two previous seasons spent in Washington, he will be fighting for his career.
This will be an intense quarterback battle for the No. 2 job.
Prediction: Washington 27, Pittsburgh 24
All stats via ESPN.com.