The three biggest plays of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 34-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons: a 77-yard touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown that was nearly broken up by Brent Grimes, a 44-yard score to Brown that Grimes nearly picked off, and a 95-yard Crezdon Butler interception return of a Chris Redman pass.
Obsess over the score if you like, but Atlanta's first team hung with the AFC champs' first team, down by a score by the time backups came in. The Falcons put 405 yards on Pittsburgh, outgaining the Steelers by 85. Yayyy, preseason stats!
And no major Falcons injuries occurred, at least that we know of yet. Former Atlanta quarterback Byron Leftwich suffered a broken arm, however.
Falcons coaches definitely established the weekend's areas of focus. Matt Ryan passed 42 times in right around one half of play, throwing 220 yards and a pick but almost finding Julio Jones on a long bomb. Roddy White caught a 10-yard strike with Troy Polamalu in coverage and produced 101 yards on the day, with Jones adding 59.
Jacquizz Rodgers was the star of the second half, putting up 50 squirrelly yards on nine touches, his most extensive activity yet. Considering he did some of that against Pittsburgh's starting defense, which might be the NFL's best, count his performance as one of the brightest spots of the preseason so far. We didn't get to see much of him in weeks one and two -- worth the wait? I'd say so.
Ray Edwards' debut didn't feature anything eye-popping, but Atlanta's pass rush looked strong early on. Jonathan Babineaux and Vance Walker each contributed a sack.
Atlanta wraps up its preseason Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.