Steelers linebacker James Farrior had seen such precision from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots before, but that didn't make the latest dose he and his teammates were forced to absorb any easier to take.
"Very frustrating," Farrior assessed after the Patriots routed the Steelers, 39-26, on Sunday night at Heinz Field. "We just have to go back to the lab and keep working.
"We can't put all our hopes and prayers on one game. This was just one game. We still have a long way to go. It's a long season. We just have to keep working hard."
Brady scorched the Steelers' defense No. 4 in the NFL in total defense and No. 24 against the pass coming in for 350 passing yards and three touchdowns. He completed 30 of 43 attempts and was not sacked. He also rushed 3 yards for a touchdown on a quarterback sneak.
"He was hot (Sunday night)," Farrior said. "And any good quarterback, if you give him time like that and let him sit back there he's going to eat you apart like Brady did.
"We have to do a better job of getting pressure and running our schemes a little bit better and not giving our looks away. It was a little bit of everything. It wasn't just one thing that you can put your finger on. It was a combination of a lot of things at the wrong time.
"We tried to blitz him. We tried to lay back. We tried a little bit of everything. I think it was a lack of execution on our part. We didn't execute our defenses the way we're supposed to. It caught up with us (Sunday night). We just made too many mistakes and didn't make enough plays. It was a combination of a lot of things at the wrong time."
Brady improved to 6-1 in seven career starts against the Steelers, and that record includes the playoffs.
The Patriots also snapped the Steelers' NFL-record streak of holding eight consecutive opponents to 75 or fewer rushing yards to start a season. New England amassed 103 yards on 24 rushing attempts, led by 87 yards on 18 carries from BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The Patriots' 453 total net yards surpassed the 327 produced on Oct. 17 by Cleveland as the season-high total against the Steelers.
"It's incredibly humbling," Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said.
Farrior said the Steelers' defense needs to rebound, and quickly. "We have to. We don't have any choice. I haven't got my butt whupped around here in a long time like that. It's definitely something new for us.
"Give New England credit. They deserved it. They really put together a good game plan and really out-executed us.
"We better be ready to go back to work. We just weren't consistent enough all night everywhere. We have to play a lot more consistent and be a lot better. Guys have to make the plays they're supposed to make. We can't make these mistakes."