The Pittsburgh Steelers put up 43 points against the San Francisco 49ers, and many would agree it could have been much worse if the Steelers wanted to keep the pedal down and put up even more points against a very stout San Francisco defense. Accordingly to Steelers guard David DeCastro, the 49ers defense was reeling for 4 quarters.
"Their defense was holding on for dear life." DeCastro told Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The Steelers offense was able to do essentially whatever they wanted to do. Whether it was DeAngelo Williams scoring three rushing touchdowns, something which hasn't been done since Willie Parker accomplished the same feat in 2008, or the Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown connection which has now reached another world.
How good can the offense be? Well, when Williams was asked this very question he painted with a much broader brush when talking about the team as a whole.
"I said before I got here, this team right here, is a Super Bowl-contending team," Williams said. "They showed me that today. We showed that today."
Fans of the Steelers are used to the 'S.B.' term being thrown around (S.B. = Super Bowl), but after the team's Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots you would have been run out of town for suggesting just a thing; however, after the offensive output vs. the 49ers, fans are singing a different tune.
The team's success goes beyond Williams and the running game, but to players like Darrius Heyward-Bey who are making big plays with the opportunity provided to them. "We work harder than anybody in the league," said Heyward-Bey, who caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. "When Ben scrambles and the play breaks down, we just try to make a play."
There is a strong trust between every member of the offense, and that stems to offensive coordinator Todd Haley when it comes to the plays which are directed to specific players on the team. "I'm not going to shy away from that play where he scored a touchdown," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "I never would have thought of that play if I didn't have confidence in him, that he would make that play."
Regardless of what the Steelers did Sunday, it was working. The team was 5 for 5 in the red-zone, they out-did their 30 points a game goal set this preseason, totaled over 450 yards of offense and did so in just 23:01.
The 49ers defense boarded a plane to fly back to California not knowing what hit them. What hit them was an offense which proved their potential, even without Le'Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and Maurkice Pouncey. If team's are hanging on for dear life now, just wait to see what is in store for the team the remainder of this 2015 season.