LANDOVER, Md. — Two more weeks without Le’Veon Bell doesn’t sound so bad for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh’s starting running back wasted no time tweeting “1-0” after the Steelers’ 38-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night. That came with Bell serving the first game of his three-game drug suspension and DeAngelo Williams filling in more than admirably like he did last season.

Williams rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries during the Steelers’ offensive onslaught that also featured three passing touchdowns from Ben Roethlisberger, who set the tone after a stumbling start. All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown impressed under the lights with eight catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, but coach Mike Tomlin was quick to single out Williams’ play.

“You can’t say enough about DeAngelo Williams and his performance,” Tomlin said. “But we’ve come to expect that from him. That’s why we’re completely confident in his ability to deliver during the time that Bell is out. We’ll continue to ride with him.”

Williams showed no signs of being 33 years old as he cut through Washington’s defense and kept the pressure off Roethlisberger, Brown and the Steelers’ passing game. It looked like a continuation of Williams’ 2015 season, in which he tied for the NFL lead with 11 rushing touchdowns and also put up 1,274 total yards from scrimmage.

“The offensive line does a great job of opening holes,” Williams said. “I was running through a lot of holes tonight.”

Here are other things we learned as the Steelers beat the Redskins:

BIG MONEY WASTED: All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman spent most of the game on the opposite side from Brown, leaving Washington teammate Bashaud Breeland on him. Breeland had a rough night when the Redskins didn’t shift gears to put their $75 million cornerback on Brown.

“I’m not going to lose faith in Breeland,” coach Jay Gruden said. “He got beat by a great player today and some great passes that I don’t know what corner could defend, really.”

RED-ZONE D: The Redskins got inside the red zone five times and came away with one touchdown and three field goals. Pittsburgh was at its best close to its goal line, including an interception in the final minute by veteran linebacker James Harrison.

“That’s kind of been our M.O.,” Tomlin said. “That kind of defined us a year ago (and) hopefully it’s still a strength of ours in terms of being able to stand up when the field is short.”

BROWN DELIVERS: Of Brown’s eight catches, his best came with double coverage on him on fourth-and-1 from the 29 and the Steelers down 6-0. Tomlin said the Steelers “play to win,” and Roethlisberger overlooked two other open receivers to throw to Brown.

“Great throw by Ben,” Brown said. “Great situational call by coach Tomlin. That’s the way to make them right and make a play.”

LOSING BALANCE: The Redskins passed 43 times and attempted only 12 runs. Sure, they spent much of the game trying to come from behind, but that kind of imbalance usually spells disaster for an offense.

“I may be ignorant, but it seemed to me that we just weren’t in a situation in the game where we had a lot of run attempts,” Kirk Cousins said.

Washington gained only 55 yards on the ground. Starter Matt Jones carried only seven times for 24 yards.

NOT MEASURING UP: After failing to defeat a team with a winning record on the way to the NFC East title last season, the Redskins got off to a rough start in their attempt to change that trend in 2016.

“The Steelers have been consistently good for a long time and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Gruden said. “We thought we were ready to compete. We competed there for a while and then didn’t make some plays and they made the plays.”


AP Sports Writer Dave Ginsburg contributed to this report.


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