Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three passes of 20 yards or more to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the first three possessions against the Titans in Week 1 of the 2013 season. The Steelers had two points at halftime, the result of a kickoff gaffe on the first play of the game.
He hadn't thrown a pass longer than about eight yards in the air through his first six throws against the Cleveland Browns in Sunday's season opener. A beautiful mix of short throws and space running produced a field goal on the opening drive, and plays of 30 yards and longer from Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
Roethlisberger looked over at Markus Wheaton and made some type of call. Wheaton ran a fly pattern up the sideline, and hauled in a perfect throw just over his outside shoulder, managing to drag his second foot, giving the Steelers their first 40-plus yards in the air pass completion.
Markus Wheaton had arrived.
The second-year receiver from Oregon State hauled in six passes on the day - matching his career total - and 97 yards to go with it, topping his career yardage total by more than 30 percent in the process. While his biggest play was the most impressive - excellent catch and body control in a very tight space - he sealed off the backside run support on LeGarrette Blount's seven-yard touchdown run and made two grabs on the Steelers' game-winning drive, the last one being another audible from Roethlisberger designed to exploit Wheaton on the rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert.