Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Steelers roll to opening victory

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LANDOVER, Md. — Ben Roethlisberger recovered his own fumble at a pivotal moment and didn't look back, throwing for three touchdowns to lead Pittsburgh past Washington 38-16 on Monday night.

Roethlisberger was 27-of-37 for 300 yards, with two scores to All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown and another to Eli Rogers. Often playing on the opposite side from All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman and tormenting Bashaud Breeland, Brown had eight catches for 126 yards.

Starting in place of the suspended Le'Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.

"We're confident in that group," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I know we were missing some pieces tonight, but we had 7 (Roethlisberger). And when you got 7 you got the chance to put together performances like that."

Washington led 6-0 late in the first quarter when linebacker Ryan Kerrigan sacked and stripped Roethlisberger deep in Pittsburgh territory. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey knocked the ball out of Kerrigan's hands, and Roethlisberger dived on it at his 13-yard line.

Roethlisberger then guided Pittsburgh 87 yards down the field, finishing the drive with a 29-yard touchdown to Brown on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call.

"It's always pretty good to dial his number," Tomlin said. "He is Antonio Brown, and he lived up to it tonight."

One Pittsburgh's passing attack got clicking, Kirk Cousins and Washington couldn't keep up. Former Gators running back Matt Jones was grounded and Cousins, though he threw for 329 yards, was intercepted twice.

The Steelers are 44-24 on Monday night, No. 3 behind Seattle (23-6) and San Francisco (47-25).

More MNF: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid again knelt during the national anthem before San Francisco's game against the Rams. Linebacker Eli Harold and safety Antoine Bethea stood but held up their right fists during The Star-Spangled Banner, as did Rams players Robert Quinn and Kenny Britt.

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