Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (1,359 yds., 10 TD, 7 INT) has led the Pittsburgh offense for a few weeks now at half strength, without the services of running back Willie Parker. Mewelde Moore has filled in admirably in his absence, but the Steelers have slipped to 18th in the league in rushing (107.3 ypg) and 26th overall in total yards (291.7 ypg) without Parker and his game-breaking speed.Watch Live Online
With Zorn and his "west coast" offense you'd think the Skins would rely heavily on short passing game, but Washington ha become a dominant running team. Clinton Portis nearly has 1,000 yards already (944), and the Skins boast the league's 2nd-ranked running attack (155.2 ypg). Campbell has been terrific in his first year in Zorn's offense, putting up a career-high 100.5 quarterback rating and has yet to throw a pick.
But with all of that offense I've already spoken about, his game will still come down to defense. And this game will feature two of the NFL's best, although the Redskins will be severely shorthanded.
Pittsburgh is No. 1 in both yards allowed (236 ypg) and passing yards allowed (164.4 ypg), 3rd in rushing yards allowed (71.6 ypg) and 4th in points allowed (15.7 ppg).The unit just welcomed back the services of nose tackle Casey Hampton, but with have to go without corner Bryant McFadden who is out indefinitely with a dinged-up forearm.
Washington's defense is ranked 6th overall allowing just 278.1 yards per game, and is especially strong versus the run (82.8 ypg 5th). But the Skins will be without the services of their best pass rusher, Jason Taylor, and one of their corners, Shawn Springs, who are both nursing bad calf muscles.
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These two teams have played recently, in the preseason though, so there is a lack of good historical betting trends to read for this contest. Their last regular season game was in November of 2004 ( a 16-7 Steelers win in Pittsburgh), and their last head-to-head contest before that was back in 2000 (a 24-3 Steelers win in Pittsburgh).