- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Almost as an afterthought last week, Jim Zorn predicted the Washington Redskins‘ game against Pittsburgh would be feature more brawn than beauty.

“It’s going to look bad for awhile,” he said.

The Redskins’ coach was absolutely correct. It was ugly…for his team.

Unable to capitalize on two early breaks, keep quarterback Jason Campbell upright, collect a sure interception or stop the Steelers on third down, the Redskins crawled into their bye week with a 23-6 loss before a crowd that included an estimated 30,000 Terrible Towel-waving Pittsburgh fans.

After the Redskins kicked two field goals in the opening five minutes, the Steelers flummoxed the offense, and took advantage of a blocked punt and interception.

District native Byron Leftwich replaced an injured Ben Roethlisberger at halftime and completed 7 of 10 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Wearing all burgundy uniforms for the first time in recent memory, the Redskins couldn’t build on their best start since 2000 and couldn’t keep pace with the streaking New York Giants. The Redskins (6-3) could be two games out of the NFC East lead when they host Dallas on Nov. 15.

The Redskins’ first two drives ended in field goals; their last 10 ended with six punts, a blocked punt, the end of the first half, an interception and losing the ball on downs at the Steelers’ 1-yard line.

The Redskins’ 221 yards were their fewest since Week 1 and well below their average of 364.3 per game. Campbell (23 of 43 for 206 yards) was sacked seven times and threw his first two interceptions of the season, and Portis’ streak of 120-yard games ended at five with only 51 yards on 15 carries.

The Steelers took control of the game on the opening series of the second half. Roethlisberger sustained an injured right shoulder late in the first half and in came Leftwich.

On the fourth play of the half, Leftwich threw 50 yards to Nate Washington, who had gotten behind Fred Smoot. Three plays later, a Leftwich fastball to Mewelde Moore converted a third-and-7 from the Redskins 8. Willie Parker’s touchdown extended Pittsburgh’s lead to 16-6 (Jeff Reed missed the extra point).

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