Before Monday night's game turned into a blowout in the second half, the story of the early game could have been told on fourth downs.
On the Redskins first drive against Pittsburgh, head coach Jay Gruden decided to punt on a 4th & 1 at the Steelers 40-yard-line, a conservative decision.
Conversely, the Steelers would score their first touchdown on a similar fourth down, only Mike Tomlin sent his offense back out and Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown in the end zone.
With a night to sleep on the decision, Gruden said he made the wrong call.
"As a coach that's the one I regret the most," Gruden said on a media conference call. "I should have gone for it."
Gruden explained that it was more than a yard to convert, closer to two yards, and he was excited to see his defense out on the field.
While the punt did not result in many net yards, the defense did hold the Steelers on that ensuing possession, but it was a chance for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense to build momentum and perhaps get on the board.
"It was a good scoring opportunity for us squandered," Gruden said. "I will second guess that one."
Later in the first half - after the Steelers had scored on their own fourth down call - Gruden elected to go for it on a fourth down with nearly six yards needed for the first. On the play, Cousins completed a pass to Chris Thompson, but the running back was about a half yard short for the conversion.
"I decided to go for it there just because I thought we had a good 4th & 5 call," the coach said.
For the game, Pittsburgh converted both chances they took on fourth down. The 'Skins also took just two chances on fourth down, but converted neither.
"Two bad decisions after I look at them," Gruden said.
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