Three Downs On the Redskins/Steelers Game

stephen rileyCorrespondent IAugust 24, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 22:  Charlie Batch #16 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hit by Cornelius Griffin #96 of the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field on August 22, 2009 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Bounceback win by the Washington Redskins last Saturday night against the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. I had the pleasure of covering the game live so here are three things I took away from the game.


First Down
The Redskins' defense is going to be top flight again this season. The addition of a few athletic pass rushers is going to do wonders for a unit that couldn’t get to the QB last year. Washington’s secondary is lined with some blue chip athletes, stocking the front seven with some strong and fast rush men should make for a good equation: Athletic Secondary + Athletic Front Seven = Havoc & Terror.


Second Down

Regardless of what the defense does, if the offense doesn’t improve it’s going to be a long season for the Redskins. I’m trying not to make too much about the ‘Skins last two games, because playing against the Ravens and Steelers in back to back weeks would make any offense look anemic.

But still, the Skins are sceduled to play the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants six times this season. The Cowboys led the league in sacks last year and the Giants might just do that this year with all the rush men they have suiting up for them. Although the Eagles won’t have the late Jimmy Johnson devising their scheme this season, their unit is still stockpiled with some of the finest defensive standouts in the league.

Washington has its work cut out for them this year, playing two of the top defenses is no excuse to be anemic compared to all the heat their divisonal brothers are going to put on them. Although Washington scored two touchdowns against last year’s No. 1 unit in Saturday’s game, the starters were only capable of notching a field goal against the Steelers first team. Including their shutout against the Ravens, Washington’s first team offense has averaged 1.5 ppg in the last two weeks. Egh.


Third Down

Chase Daniels showed moxie, poise and playmaking ability in limited time. Several players can stand out against a team’s second and third team unit, so Daniels’ performance could be a bit overrated. But for a player who had a spectatcular college career and a guy who’s resting behind a couple of incumbents, Daniel's future may come sooner if not later.

Campbell is in the last year of his contract, Todd Collins, his backup, obviously isn’t the long term answer. Last year’s sleeper pick, Colt Brennan, has already been forgotten and quarterbacks don’t just sit in free agency waiting for the phone to ring. Daniels has a lot of factors going in his favor so he might want to start taking this opportunity as a serious one.