Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates running back DeAngelo Williams touchdown with teammate wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Mark Tenally/AP)
LANDOVER, Md. -- Antonio Brown's 2 Live Crew-inspired touchdown celebration got a 15-yard flag and deserves a PG-13 label, but the Pittsburgh Steelers don't care.
They turned up the heat on the Washington Redskins in a 38-16 win and seemed to confirm what many believe about them: They can be Super Bowl contenders.
The Steelers certainly look ready for the Cincinnati Bengals in what promises to be a bruising clash on Sunday at Heinz Field.
'BOOMIN," Brown calls his latest end-zone gyration.
Think about it: The Steelers were without several key offensive players on the road against a 2015 playoff team and still posted 437 offensive yards and five touchdowns. That included teardrop dimes of 29 and 25 yards from Ben Roethlisberger to Brown, who mistreated cornerback Bashaud Breeland relentlessly.
Curiously, Brown didn't get the Redskins' best corner, Josh Norman, for much of the game. Norman stayed on the left side of the field for quite a bit of the night. That seems like a football injustice. Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers "didn't care where Norman was' on the field because they don't have control over that, a thought Brown echoed when he said after the game: "Trying to beat the man across from me."
Roethlisberger and Brown have connected on 500 passes in their careers, and some things they run, particularly by the sideline, are difficult for any corner to cover. Roethlisberger said he had two wide-open players on the first touchdown but threw to Brown because "that's my guy."
Through touchdowns and mistakes, the Steelers will play fearlessly all year.
"We're not afraid to take chances," said Roethlisberger about his offense, which converted two fourth-and-shots, one for a touchdown. "That's just who we are."
Roethlisberger sensed the public questions about his offense after losing Martavis Bryant and Le'Veon Bell to suspension, but Big Ben made clear: He likes his current group.
The Steelers' most important number from Monday might be 143: DeAngelo Williams' rushing yards total after a 26-carry, two-touchdown night. Williams had everything working, including a backbreaking 15-yard touchdown run as he split two defenders like a point guard.
When games get tight, the Steelers feel they can utilize a stout offensive line to wear down defenses. They countered Washington's first touchdown with a 73-yard, run-heavy drive. If the passing windows close because of Cincinnati's defense this week, Williams could see 20-plus carries once again.
The Steelers will be tested more than this. Washington failed to stretch the field offensively, with DeSean Jackson's 33-yard reception the Redskins' only play of more than 20 yards all evening.
But Pittsburgh played to its formula defensively, and it worked: Give Washington the short stuff, shade on tight end Jordan Reed and tighten up once close to the red zone. This will be a theme.
That the Steelers failed to record a sack and still kept an above-average Redskins offense to 16 points suggests this group has grown.
They could have had an off night and it wouldn't have mattered.
The Steelers picked up where they left off in the 2015 regular season: With 30-plus points.
"We're used to that -- making plays," Williams said.