Steel City Underground presents "Steelers Throwback Thursday" featuring plays from recent seasons which you may have forgotten about! Now we're "bringing them back!"
In front of the home crowd at Heinz Field as well as a national audience on Thursday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers were looking for a statement game.
That search nearly backfired, when Steelers Nation gasped at what appeared to be an early season collapse, as the Panthers marched to an easy touchdown on their opening offensive drive. Undaunted, however, was Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers had won the coin toss and deferred. The defense could not quite keep Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey from getting the first points on the board.
But that didn't seem to have an effect on Big Ben, who led Pittsburgh's offense onto the field for their opening possession of the game... and would lead them right back the sideline after making it look all too easy.
From his spot as the field general, Roethlisberger took the snap at the Steelers' 25-yard line from the shotgun and hit JuJu Smith-Schuster, in stride, for a one-play, 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Smith-Schuster's touchdown brought Heinz Field to its feet and marked the second-longest reception of the young receiver's NFL career; he caught his longest, for 97 yards, on Oct. 29, 2017.
The play, per Dom Rinelli and Elias Sports, marked the Steelers' longest first play from scrimmage in a game in team history (the previous record having been 72-yards - the last time between Tommy Maddox and Hines Ward in 2002). Roethlisberger would finish the night having thrown five touchdowns; his fifth touchdown pass was the 350th of his NFL career.