Steelers halftime notes

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are leading the Washington Redskins 10-6 in a big game for both teams.

Here are some first-half observations:

  • Pittsburgh is playing with reckless abandon on special teams. After trying an onsides kick on the opening kickoff in the first quarter (it failed), the Steelers successfully brought the pressure for a punt block in the second quarter. It was Pittsburgh's first punt block since Dec. 17, 2006 and set up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 1-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds left in the second quarter.

  • The Steelers are getting good pressure off the edges with outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. Woodley has a sack and Harrison is attacking Washington's left side and has two sacks against Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels, who is returning from injury.

  • Monday marked the returns for Pittsburgh starting tailback Willie Parker and receiver Santonio Holmes. Parker showed some good shiftiness and had 45 rushing yards on 10 carries in the first half. Holmes looked the most rusty of the two, missing a hot read on one play in the first quarter. Holmes had one catch for nine yards.

  • The Redskins have played the Cover 1 defense on third down three straight times in the first quarter and the Steelers failed to figure it out all three times. It's been a common pressure package for Washington all season. Pittsburgh began attacking it deep a couple times in the second quarter with a little more success.