Monday Night Recap
Monday Night Recap Week 13 Washington versus Pittsburgh
There it is the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the team without a name. This was going to be a defensive game from the beginning and it didn’t disappoint. Alex Smith will get the credit he deserves for leading the Washington Football Team to the victory but the Washington defense owns a lot of the credit holding the Steelers to 326 yards of total offense and only 21 yards rushing. They defended 8 passes, including an interception and two fumble recoveries.
This team has been built around a strong defense, strong run game and a don’t make mistakes QB. Alex Smith fits that mold perfectly, he threw the ball 46 times and connected on 31 for 296 yards and 1 touchdown to Tight End Logan Thomas. Thomas has quietly become one of the most productive Tight Ends in the league right now. The rest of the receiving yards was spread around to everyone not named Terry McLaurin who caught 2 balls for 14 yards.
Going into the game you probably said you was scared to start Antonio Gibson and I would have agreed with you but he’s been so productive that he is going to be in your line up every week. Then the first drive happened and on his first carry he hobbled off the field with a toe injury and never returned. We’ll find out later in the day if he will be available for your Week 14 playoff matchup. J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber filled in and combined they put up the numbers you’d hope for out of Gibson. Barber had 14 carries and 23 yards a TD; McKissic caught 10 balls for 70 yards. If Gibson loses any time, I’d expect the same type of breakdown, not anything that you can trust outside of maybe trusting McKissic as a PPR Flex option. Look out, here comes the Washington Football Team they are 5-7 and tied with the New York Giants for first place in the terrible NFC East. They proved after beating the Steelers that they can play with anybody and the rest of the schedule has 4 winnable games against, the 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers and Eagles.
The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like a team that wasn’t prepared to play the Washington Football Team. They also looked like a team that couldn’t hold onto the ball. Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception, Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled a reception and center J.C. Hassenauer fumbled a snap. This loss was because the defense didn’t show up, they only allowed 341 total yards, they hit Alex Smith 10 times and sacked him 3, and they also defended 8 passes and shut down Terry McLaurin and the Washington run game.
Big Ben Roethlisberger did have nice game, he threw the ball 53 times and connected for 33 for 305 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The big play doesn’t seem to be in Big Bens playbook anymore as his average depth of target was only 5.75 yards downfield. This has been a trend for two years now. Ben did spread the ball around, targeting Diontae Johnson 12 times, Eric Ebron 11 times, and JuJu Smith-Schuster 10 times. Johnson has slowly and clearly become the number one target on this team and if JuJu is gone next year, Johnson will be a Top 12 league wide receiver.
Like the Washington team, the Steelers couldn’t get the run game going and being with James Conner for two weeks in a row due to being on the Covid list, didn’t help. Benny Snell ( 8 carries for 5 yards) and Anthony McFarland (4 carries for 15 yards) have struggled to replace Conner this season. McFarland landed in Mike Tomlins doghouse when he dropped a pass on fourth and one on the Washington 28. This team has a solid lead in the AFC North but this is far from over, their schedule the rest of the season is a tough one, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Indy and Cleveland. They should beat Cincinnati with ease but the rest of those games are all losable.
Alex Smith: 31/46 296 YDS 1 TD 0 INT. Smith is still the QB he has always been, dink and dunk no big plays, be safe with the football. Better for real football then for fantasy.
Ben Roethlisberger: 33/53 305 YDS 2 TDS 1 INT. He has lost that big play ability. He will dink and dunk but there will not be any big plays. Also better for real football then fantasy
Diontae Johnson: 8 REC 71 YDS 1 TD. 12 targets in the game, team leader in targets this season, #1 WR on this team. Needs to be in your lineup every week.
Logan Thomas: 9 REC 98 YDS 1 TD. Has quietly put up TE1 numbers. Start him every week.
Antonio Gibson: 2 carries for 14 yards. He hurt his toe on the first drive and was out rest of the game. If he’s healthy, he’s become plug and play.
Anthony McFarland Jr./Benny Snell Jr.: 12 carries for 20 yards and 2 receptions for 5 yards. Right now they are not usable and not a replacement for James Conner.
Terry McLaurin: 2 receptions 14 yards. The Steelers took him out in this game. That doesn’t change anything, you put him in your lineup every week.