Game 1: Pittsburgh @ Redskins

When: Monday, September 12 @ 7pm EST
Where: Fed Ex Field
Weather: Sunny 81/61
Radio: SportsTalk 980
TV: ESPN & ABC 7 -Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter)
Line: Pittsburgh -3 Over/Under 50

The 2016 NFL season kicked off on Thursday night in Denver, with a rematch of Super Bowl 50. The defending champion Broncos holding on for a 21-20 win over the Panthers. Former Redskins kicker Graham Gano missed a potential game winning 50-yard field goal as time expired that could have given Carolina the win.

FOX Sports has the doubleheader on Sunday, with an NFC East clash between the New York Giants and Cowboys in Dallas the national game at 4pm EST. Green Bay @ Jacksonville is the early game in the DC metro market, with Baltimore and parts Northeast blacked out due to the Ravens game at 1pm EST on CBS. Sunday night football features New England @ Arizona, with ESPN’s Monday night doubleheader wrapping up in San Francisco with the 49ers hosting the Los Angeles Rams.

GAME 1 OPPONENT

The Redskins lead the series (42-32-3) but the Steelers have won the last five meetings.

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2016 season after concluding 2015 with a 10-6 record and a second-place finish in the AFC North. This season marks the team’s ninth under Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

Quarterback Ben Rothlisberger starts his 12th season with the Steelers after being selected in the first round (11th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft. Rothlisberger played in 12 games last season, completing 319 passes on 469 attempts for 3,938 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Running back Le’Veon Bell will not play in the season opener because of a three-game suspension. Last season, he played in only six games and recorded 113 carries for 556 yards and three rushing touchdowns. In his first season with Pittsburgh, running back DeAngelo Williams added 200 carries for 907 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, leading the taem in all three categories.

Wide receiver Antonio Brown started all 16 games last season and tied for the league lead in receptions (136), gaining 1,834 yards and recording 10 receiving touchdowns. Markus Wheaton recorded career-highs last season in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns with 44 receptions for 749 yards and five touchdowns.

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons led the defense with 119 tackles (77 solo) and a team-high 5.0 sacks. Ryan Shazier ended his second NFL season in the league with 87 tackles (55 solo, 32 assisted), 3.5 sacks, and one interception. Safety Mike Mitchell logged 80 tackles (58 solo, 22 assisted) and led the Steelers with three interceptions.

Kicker Chris Boswell enters into his second season for the Steelers after converting 29-of-32 (90.6 percent) field goal attempts in 2015. Second-year punter Jordan Berry averaged 42.6 yards on 59 punts a season ago.

Brown handled punt return duties last season, averaging 9.6 yards per return with one touchdown on 22 punt returns last season. Markus Wheaton is listed as the team’s kick returner. Last season, he gained an average of 21.0 yards on five kick returns.

COACHES CORNER

GAME NOTES

STEELERS: Have 41 wins on Kickoff Weekend, most by AFC team…QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER led NFL with 328.2 pass yards per game in 2015 (3,938 yards in 12 games), 3rd-highest single-season avg. in NFL history. Has won 9 of past 11 starts on MNF. Is 3-0 in career as starter vs. Was…RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS tied for 1st in NFL with 11 rush TDs & ranked 3rd among AFC RBs with 1,274 scrimmage yards in 2015…Last year, WR ANTONIO BROWN had career-best 136 catches, tied for 2nd most in season in NFL history. Was 2nd in NFL with franchise-record 1,834 rec. yards. Has 265 catches in past 2 seasons, most ever in any 2-year span. Has 110+ catches in 3 consecutive seasons. Since 2013, leads NFL with 375 catches & 5,031 rec. yards…LBs LAWRENCE TIMMONS (119) & RYAN SHAZIER (87) led team in tackles last year. DE CAMERON HEYWARD led team with 7 sacks & 15 tackles for loss in 2015. LB JAMES HARRISON had 1.5 sacks in last game at Was…REDSKINS: Won NFC East in 2015. Have 48 wins in home openers, 5th most in NFC…QB KIRK COUSINS set club record last year with 4,166 pass yards. Was 1st QB in team history to pass for 4,000+ yards & 25+ TDs (29) in season. Had career-high 101.6 rating in 2015. Aims for 7th game in row with 100+ rating…RB MATT JONES had 794 scrimmage yards (490 rush, 304 rec.) & 4 TDs as rookie in 2015…TE JORDAN REED led team in catches (87), rec. yards (952) & rec. TDs (11) last season. Has 29 catches for 378 yards (94.5 per game) & 5 TDs in past 4. Since entering NFL in 2008, WR DE SEAN JACKSON averages 17.7 yards per catch (442 catches for 7,814 rec. yards), highest in NFL…LB RYAN KERRIGAN had 9.5 sacks in 2015. Since entering NFL in 2011, is 1 of 2 with 45+ sacks (47.5) & 2+ INT-TDs (2). CB JOSH NORMAN makes debut with Was. Had career-high 4 INTs & ranked 2nd in NFC with 18 PD last season with Car. S DE ANGELO HALL has 58 tackles, 2 INTs & INT-TD in past 10 vs. AFC.

INJURY REPORT

Cover Photo Courtesy @Redskins.com