Great Expectations Make For Muted Celebration

Offense unhappy coming out of Detroit, but Mike Prisuta says that attitude will soon make the Steelers a dynamic force.

Ben Roethlisberger left Detroit genuinely displeased over a performance that included 13 straight completions, three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 123.9.

Bruce Arians left Detroit second-guessing himself over second-half play-calling he considered "a little greedy" in retrospect.

That's the standard to which the Steelers' offense now aspires.

The dissatisfaction had mostly to do with an inability to exhaust the remaining 4:57 upon regaining possession after the Lions closed to within 28-20. Instead of grinding it out, the Steelers went three-and-out.

Arians opted for runs by Rashard Mendenhall on first and second down, which produced a gain of 8 and a loss of 2. On third-and-4 from the Steelers' 25-yard line, Mike Wallace ran a hitch route. The Lions rushed seven and played Wallace with single coverage. Roethlisberger got the ball off with relative ease and Wallace was open. The pass was low and outside. Wallace lunged for it, but couldn't come up with a pass one official called complete and another correcctly didn't.

That's how close the Steelers came to potentially running out the clock and leaving Detroit feeling pretty good about what had taken place.

As it was, Roethlisberger produced his first three-TD game of the season, and would've had a fourth had Wallace not dropped what should have been a 71-yard touchdown pass. That gaffe preceded by two plays a pick-six that was attributable mostly to Detroit cornerback William James guessing right for a change.

The Steelers could've been more efficient in the second half, but a plausible theory being thrown around the locker room afterward said they had "falling asleep" due to a lack of snaps. And one of the reasons the Steelers didn't get more snaps is they scored from 47 yards away on their first third-quarter series.

Roethlisberger has already stated his intention for the offense to be "deadly." And Arians contemplates 500-yard days as within this unit's potential when everything comes together.

The quarterback, in particular, is determined not to settle for less.

"I don't feel like I'm playing well," Roethlisberger said in Detroit. "I'm disappointed in my performance. Even offensively, I'm disappointed in the way we played."

Tight end Heath Miller, while acknowledging the offense "didn't play up to our potential" in the second half against the Lions, can't imagine the Steelers getting much more from their quarterback than they're getting already.

"He's playing phenomenal," Miller said. "I don't know why he isn't mentioned with the best quarterbacks in the league because in my eyes he's right there at the top."

Not quite yet -- that's Peyton's Place at present -- but that's the objective.

Such goals are as realistic as they are lofty for Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

That should have made anticipation the prevailing emotion on the way out of Motown.

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