Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) tackles Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) during the first quarter on Sunday.
(AP photo / October 28, 2012)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers watched opponents panic when preparing for Robert Griffin III and vowed not to suffer the same identity crisis.
“We didn’t want to get too creative,” defensive end Brett Keisel said. “We just wanted to play the way we know how.”
Besides, why mess with a good thing?
Wearing throwback jerseys that made them resemble hulking bumblebees, the Steelers swarmed Washington’s precocious star in a 27-12 victory on Sunday.
Griffin completed just 16 of 34 passes for 177 yards and a score while managing 8 yards rushing, finding little room to showcase his brilliance against a unit used to having its way when a youngster is calling plays in the other huddle.
The Steelers (4-3) improved to 14-1 against rookie quarterbacks since 2004, doing to Griffin what they’ve done to the likes of Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.
“It is very frustrating,” Griffin said. “You want to go out, be successful, execute plays and have everything work for you and then when you have a day like today when you have almost nothing work for you.”
Griffin got little help from his receivers. The Redskins (3-5) dropped 10 passes and the Steelers kept the NFL’s top rushing team under wraps despite playing without injured safety Troy Polamalu.
Washington ran for a season-low 86 yards while Griffin’s longest run came on a seven-yard sprint in the first quarter.
“He wasn’t running all over the place,” Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote said. “The front seven got challenged by (Steelers coach) Mike (Tomlin) all week and they delivered.”
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