A few days ago, Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin was in Pittsburgh and asked the people there if they want to "take back Washington".
Pittsburgh then sent their Steelers went into Washington, DC on the night before Election Day and whipped the Redskins, 23-6.
The game started off great for the Redskins. They recovered an onside kick on the opening kickoff and picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass to set up two field goals and a quick 6-0 lead. Both teams would go on to play tough as nails defense and not give up anything.
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Both teams traded punches until the end of the first half when Big Ben redeemed himself by driving the Steelers down the field and scored on a quarterback sneak. Roethlisberger would re-injure his shoulder on the play, but took a 10-6 lead with him into the locker room.
Backup Byron Leftwich came in and led the Steelers on two very impressive touchdown drives. Leftwich went 7-of-10 for 129 yards and a TD pass to Santonio Holmes. The Steelers offensive line just dominated the Redskins in the second half as Pittsburgh slowly built up their lead.
The talking heads will be discussing how well Leftwich played (Big Ben completed just 5-of-17 passes for 50 yards before leaving), but the story of the game was Pittsburgh just screwing with Redskins QB Jason Campbell. Pittsburgh used blitzes to confuse Campbell early, then needed just a four man rush to get to him during the second half. The Steelers tied a season-high with seven sacks and forced Campbell to throw his first two interceptions of the season.
Pittsburgh was able to concentrate on Campbell after they shut Clinton Portis down. The NFL's leading rusher gained just 51 yards on the ground (he would catch seven passes for 73 yards) on 13 carries. That forced Campbell to throw 43 passes and allowed the Steelers to tee off on him.
For the Steelers, this was a statement win. People were critical of the Steelers for not beating any really good team and having some flaws along the offensive line.
For the Redskins, the loss puts them a game-and-a-half back of the New York Giants -- who beat these Steelers last week. Washington limps into their bye week with Dallas arriving when they get back on the field.
Steelers 23, Redskins 6: Middle America Takes Back Washington, DC originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 04 Nov 2008 00:01:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.