The Pittsburgh Steelers finally played a complete game on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. While cynics will pick apart elements of the game, ranging from unnecessary penalties to Troy Polamalu's slip on Arizona's second touchdown, optimistic fans realize that the team is on the right track.
With towels waving in abundance and Black and Gold blanketing the red venue, University of Phoenix Stadium served as Heinz Field West on Sunday evening, and the Steelers didn't disappoint a largely home crowd. From the atmosphere to former players across the line of scrimmage, it was almost as though the confluence of the three rivers transplanted itself.
After deflating the scattered fans in red who arrived for a true home game via a 95-yard touchdown bomb to Mike Wallace (a Steelers passing record), Ben Roethlisberger and the offense watched Kevin Kolb and company close the gap to 17-14 quickly.
Undaunted, Pittsburgh finally responded like champions in 2011, quickly reestablishing their lead before the defense forced a safety and allowed the offense to slowly bleed away the competitive phase of the game.
With the defense, offense and special teams all playing well, this week's observations have a glow that fans of the defending AFC Champions have awaited. Here are 10 notes from Sunday's 32-20 Steelers victory in the desert.