As the Washington Redskins prepare to take on the Steelers at 1 p.m. ET today at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, here's one reason for Redskins fans to feel good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: The Steelers' defense is not at full strength, as injuries continue to keep star safety Troy Polamalu out of action. The Redskins' offense is fast and complex and unlike anything the Steelers have seen this season, and Polamalu could have been an equalizer of sorts due to his instinctive ability to make plays on the ball at any spot on the field. The Steelers still have fearsome defensive players, but they're a bit easier to scheme for without the wild card that Polamalu represents. Washington's between-the-tackles run game behind Alfred Morris and the multiple threats represented by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III should allow the Redskins to move the ball successfully against Pittsburgh.
Cause for concern: The Steelers are a much tougher team at home than they are on the road, and their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is the same kind of late-game magician as the Giants' Eli Manning, who beat the Redskins' shredded secondary late last week after Washington had taken a lead with a minute and a half to go. If the game is close in the fourth quarter, it's hard to imagine how the Redskins can make the stop they would need to make to keep Roethlisberger from breaking their hearts the way Manning did last week.