"I told Chuck, 'Let's kick the field goal right now and get out of here,' " Bradshaw said later, "but he wanted the running play. I said, 'Well, let me throw it then. We could get a fumble on a running play.' He said O.K."
Stallworth was wide on the right side. Calvin Sweeney, Swann's replacement, was slotted inside him. Sweeney went in motion to the outside, then cut back inside. Stallworth went inside and then turned out past Sweeney. Bradshaw was rolling to his right.
"I had the option of running or throwing," Bradshaw said. "The thing is designed to get their defensive backs running into each other. It creates the biggest mess you've ever seen."
"The funny thing," Stallworth said, "is that we tried that play three times in practice Friday and didn't complete one. I still had confidence in it. It's not what they'd expect on first down. Webster told me the linebackers and defensive linemen were all pinching inside."
Stallworth made a low, lunging catch, and the nearest Bengal was three yards away. The game was history, and Pittsburgh was 2-0, with perhaps the two toughest teams on its schedule already behind it, although there's supposed to be another game against the Bengals.
The Steelers are a team with 15 first-year players, a team with a scrambling type of defense and a very sure, mature offense. Against the Bengals they picked up only one offensive penalty all day, an offsides. They're a young team on the rise; they're not all the way back yet, but they're getting there. But when they closed up shop Sunday, they were in limbo, and so was everyone else.