By: Joe Dillard Jr.
Headline Photo Courtesy: Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team faced an impossible task ahead traveling to Pittsburgh on a Monday night game. In all fairness, this is the biggest gap that teams have rested prior to the game. Washington coming off a Thanksgiving thumping had 11 days rest while Pittsburgh is in the middle of 3 games in 12 days. One thing for sure is that Head Coach Mike Tomlin would never make that an excuse and stated that Washington was not going to lay down in sympathy either. Washington did everything but show sympathy as the number 8 defense wanted to stand tall as all the talk went to Pittsburgh’s stout defense and with just due.
However, with the injury bug biting away at Pittsburgh’s defense Washington did what they have been doing all year, which is, don’t show up until the 2nd quarter and play from behind. With a 14 to nothing deficit, this was all but wrapped up as Pittsburgh was 78-1-1 when leading by 14 at home. Due to the collective efforts of the front 7, Washington made numerous big stops to keep the game close. That gave Alex Smith and the offense enough time to recover from the loss of Antonio Gibson as Smith threw for 296 and a Touchdown. Between J.D. McKissic, Logan Thomas and Cam Sims they were all Alex Smith needed as they combined for 24 catches totaling 260 yards and a TD by Thomas who is starting to find his place as Tight End coming from Virginia Tech as a quarterback.
Washington fought back and took the momentum right after a 14-yard quick hitch to Cam Sims to open up the Pittsburgh defense at the beginning of the second half. As they continued to chip away it was obvious that Pittsburgh does not have a running game with James Conner out. Having a lead for almost the whole game, Pittsburgh only ran the ball 13 times which allowed Washington to adjust defensively as Big Ben was releasing the ball under 2.5 seconds. This adjustment paid dividends as a tipped ball was intercepted by Jon Bostic former Steeler to ice the game after Washington took the lead with 2 minutes left, 20 to 17. Another field goal and you have it. The Washington team I’m sure will be receiving love from that 72 Dolphins team as they pop another bottle as the only team to go undefeated and win the Superbowl. With Smith feeling more comfortable each week, Washington has started to gain some momentum as they are tied for first place in the division but as of now those 2 losses to the Giants may prove costly.
Washington is looking to continue this run as they head West to Arizona to face the 49ers. Yes, that is correct San Francisco will host 3 home games at Arizona’s stadium. As Rivera has stated “We can only worry about the games we have and not worry about the rest of the division.’ Seems like riverboat Ron has his boat parked in front of the Ferris Wheel and MGM as the nation’s capital has someone to stand behind.