Monday Night Football is finally back after almost an eight-month break. The Washington Redskins will host the Pittsburgh Steelers as the two teams close out Week Two of the 2013 NFL preseason.
Just like in the first preseason game, the Redskins will be without Robert Griffin III in this one. The quarterback is still recovering from surgery that repaired the torn ACL and LCL the he suffered in last season’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite his desire to play before the start of the regular season, it appears that head coach Mike Shanahan will keep Griffin out for all four exhibition games.
In Griffin’s place, Kirk Cousins will handle the starting job. The second-year player did the same last season when Griffin battled injuries. Cousins has proven to be more than an adequate signal caller and is, possibly, the best backup quarterback in the league. Last week against the Tennessee Titans, he completed all but one of his seven pass attempts for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Against the Steelers, Cousins could play most of the first half. He’s been so impressive in his time on the field that ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden said if he was coaching and in need of a quarterback he’d trade a first-round draft pick for Cousins.
Washington will be without their starting quarterback, but Griffin will be in a Redskins uniform in Week One. Pittsburgh will be missing several star players from last year that have moved on to other teams.
On the defensive end, the Steelers didn’t bring back James Harrison and Casey Hampton. On the other side of the ball, wide receiver Mike Wallace left for the Miami Dolphins as a free agent. Pittsburgh will also have a new starting running back since Rashard Mendenhall went to the Arizona Cardinals. LaRod Stephens-Howling, Le’Veon Bell, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer are all competing for a spot atop the depth chart. The rookie Bell will get the start after missing the contest against the New York Giants with a knee injury.
The Redskins are 2.5-point favorites at most Las Vegas casinos. They’re expected to go 2-0 in the preseason, while a loss for the Steelers would keep them winless.
Kickoff for the game is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN. Not only will the contest air nationally, but viewers can watch a free live stream online with watchespn.com.
Prediction: Washington 24, Pittsburgh 10