Thursday night in front of 55,189, the Steelers played like a team ticked off after their rather ugly outing a week ago against the Washington Redskins. They were hitting on all cylinders all night, as the self-proclaimed “dream team” of the Philadelphia Eagles were no match for the defending AFC Champs as the Steelers won with ease 24-14 to even their preseason mark at 1-1.
There was so much good about the game it was almost hard to count, but here’s most of the important stuff in a tidy little nutshell:
* The offense was on fire, going for 181 yards on 28 plays in their first two possessions with the starters in going up 14-0 with 11:06 to play in the first half.
* Ben Roethlisberger looked to be in mid-season form, going 8-for-12 for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
* The defense made Mike Vick and the Eagles look like a high school team, as they picked off Vick three times, forcing him to go 5 of 12 passes for 47 yards.
* The picks were good to see, as was the play of last seasons Defensive MPV Troy Polamalu, who was all over the place and had a 36-yard return of a pick late in the half that set up another touchdown.
* The three Steelers QB’s were 20-for-30 (Antonio Brown threw a long incomplete on a trick play) for 282 yards with three scores and no turnovers.
* The four Philly possessions in the first half – punt, interception, interception, interception, end of half. Wow.
Bottom line, this was the type of outing the Steelers needed to put last week behind them, and Mike Tomlin knew it. “That’s the desired response we were looking for,” Tomlin said in the postgame.
There wasn’t much bad to talk about, and while you’d like everyone to keep it in perspective as it is just the preseason, here’s hoping that the team will look as good Thursday on September 11th in Baltimore. If they do, the Ravens don’t stand a chance.