The final game of Week 2 of the preseason features a team with a star who wants to play, but will not play in the preseason, and its opponent, which looks to make it back to the postseason after a .500 2012 season. Both teams are set to compete for a championship this season, given the solid rosters of both teams.
Here is a complete breakdown Monday night’s game.
Where: FedEx Field
When: August 19, 2013, 8:00 PM ET
Watch: ESPN, WRC-TV 4 (NBC – Washington D.C.), KDKA 2 (CBS – Pittsburgh)
Live Stream: NFL Preseason Live, WatchESPN
Redskins Player to Watch: Bacarri Rambo
Bacarri Rambo did not have a good showing against Tennessee in Washington’s preseason opener last week. He was juked out of his skin by Chris Johnson, failing to make a tackle, which led to Johnson breaking a 58-yard touchdown run.
On Monday, Rambo will be tested in the running game as well as in the passing game early and often. With fellow rookie Phillip Thomas out for the season with a foot injury, Rambo is a candidate to start at safety. He will need to prove his worthiness as a starting player.
Steelers Player to Watch: Le’veon Bell
After letting Rashard Mendenhall go, Bell is expected to start at running back. Washington’s run defense showed some holes last week, and it will be interesting to observe if Bell can exploit those holes.
Bell was a solid college back – his transition to the Steelers offense and the pace of the NFL is key.
Matchup to Watch: Redskins Secondary vs. Steelers Receiving Corps
Washington’s secondary was sub-par last season, allowing big plays that cost the team big time. The secondary is now revamped, with rookies Bacarri Rambo and David Amerson attempting to gain significant playing time.
They will be facing a Steelers’ receiving corps that lost its best player (Mike Wallace), but the unit has viable replacements in Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Their play against a new secondary will be an interesting matchup to keep an eye on.
As this is just a preseason game, the deeper team normally wins. Washington’s quarterback depth is unparalleled, and with the starters slotted for more playing time, I’ll take the team from Ashburn, Virginia in a close one.
Redskins 27, Steelers 23