The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have Le’Veon Bell, and they didn’t have Martavis Bryant. But if Monday night was any indication, they’re not going to need them.
The Steelers overwhelmed Washington, 38-16, as Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown were about as unstoppable as it gets.
“This is a very talented football team,” former Steelers quarterback and current Steelers radio analyst Charlie Batch said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Watching these guys since the spring, they’ve been lighting our defense up. You’re just like, ‘Wow, is our offense that good or is our defense that bad?’ But when you talk about the weapons they don’t have, they set a goal: they want to average 30+ points a game, and they’re well on track to do so.”
Williams had perhaps the best performance of the night. He rushed 26 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns and caught six balls for 28 yards.
Not bad for a 33-year-old.
“They really feel around here that he has two or three years left,” Batch said. “Of course people are quick to point out (his) age. The problem is because he was in that two-back system (in Carolina), they looked at his carries and they said, ‘Wait a minute. He’s not a guy who’s a 30-year-old back right now.’ You can see him complementing right now. He stepped in last year (and had) over 900 yards, and he picked up right where he left off last season. This organization really feels like he’s probably one of the best free-agent signings they’ve had around here since James Farrior in the early 2000s.”
Brown, meanwhile, was his usual breathtaking self. He finished with eight catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, torching corner Bashaud Breeland on more than one occasion.
“Antonio is so good,” Batch said. “He realizes, ‘Listen, I’m going to get double-teamed every single play,’ and he’s worked to get open. You can see Ben trusts him (and says), ‘Listen, I understand he’s double-teamed and my read is telling me to go to the opposite side. But I know Antonio is going to get open.’ That is the beauty of him and you can see that rapport between those two continue to grow. Another 100-yard receiving day for Antonio. He really and firmly believes that he can get 2,000 yards and over 143 catches. He’s on his pace right now.”
Pittsburgh (1-0) will face a stiffer test this Sunday when it hosts Cincinnati (1-0) in a playoff rematch. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.