Roethlisberger throws for 3 TDs as Steelers beat Redskins

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks for an opening to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – Ben Roethlisberger recovered his own fumble at a pivotal moment and didn’t look back, throwing three touchdown passes to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 38-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Roethlisberger completed 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards, including two touchdowns to All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and another to Eli Rogers. Often playing on the opposite side from Josh Norman and tormenting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, Brown made 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. And when you got 7 you got the chance to put together performances like that.”

Washington led 6-0 and appeared to have another scoring opportunity 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 own 13-yard line.

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

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

The next time he got the ball, Big Ben took the Steelers 67 yards on 14 plays to make it 14-6.

Pittsburgh’s passing attack got clicking, but Kirk Cousins and the Redskins couldn’t keep up. With Matt Jones and the running game grounded and tight end Jordan Reed taken out of the picture, Cousins finished 30 of 43 for 329 yards and two interceptions.

Washington got it as close as 24-16 on Chris Thompson’s fourth-quarter touchdown. Then Roethlisberger was at it again, taking the Steelers 77 yards as Williams put the game away with a 15-yard touchdown run to break the 30-point mark .

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