The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field for a Week 13 matchup.
The offense averaged 4.9 yards per carry, threw for 364 yards, amassed 522 total net yards and contributed 38 of the Steelers' season-high 45 points on Sunday night, but Ben Roethlisberger wanted more.
And the Steelers' quarterback maintained the offense will continue to expect even more after a 45-10 thrashing of Indianapolis.
"We left points out there and we left yards out there," Roethlisberger insisted. "Whether I missed throws, whether guys missed catches, whatever it was. And all of us, we will take that upon ourselves. We want to be perfect. We want to catch every ball, I want to make every throw and when we don't do it it's frustrating.
"We need to have that approach, strive for perfection and settle for excellence. We'll just keep trying to get better."
The Steelers have scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games and have averaged 35.8 points per game in that span.
They also tied an NFL record by gaining at least 450 yards for a fourth consecutive game in a single season (Houston 1961, Miami 1984 and Kansas City 2004).
"Guys are growing," Roethlisberger said. "We're all getting better together. Whether it's at practice when we're on the field, whether it's at practice when the defense is on the field and we're on the sideline talking, communicating in meetings, communicating between meetings, I just feel a chemistry growing between all of us on offense.
"Things just seem to be working."
THE BOYKIN EFFECT:** The Steelers got cornerback Brandon Boykin involved as a regular participant on the defense, something that hadn't happened previously.
They started as they had ended on Nov. 29 at Seattle in terms of the rotation at cornerback. William Gay and Antwon Blake played in the base defense and Ross Cockrell came on to play outside, with Gay moving into the slot, in the five-defensive backs "nickel" package.
For the Colts' third possession they went with Gay and Blake outside and then brought Boykin in for sub-package sets.
On the Colts' fourth series the three-cornerbacks sets featured Gay, Cockrell and Boykin.
Eventually, the Steelers settled on Blake and Gay in the base and Gay, Cockrell and Boykin (slot) in the "nickel."
The game ended with Cockrell and Blake playing outside and Boykin in the slot after Gay left to be checked for a concussion.
"I thought it was positive," head coach Mike Tomlin said of the pass defense. "But it wasn't because of the change. You can make that the story but we played collectively.
"Hard rushing and coverage work together, and minimizing big plays, and that's a formula for playing well back there."
The Steelers allowed 186 yards passing, which snapped their streak of three consecutive games of giving up more than 300.
So they might be onto something.
"I don't know, honestly," Boykin said, "but I'm going to be excited if I'm on the field."
For a night, at least, Boykin's patience was rewarded.
"I'm a firm believer, what's meant to be will be," he said. "For me it's been a little bit of adversity but it's all about how you respond to it. You have to be a great teammate and stay in the mindset that at any moment you could get in. It's really hard, honestly, but at the same time I've grown a ton just from going through a little bit of adversity and excited that now I'm finally able to play."
Blake had no complaints, especially with the way the game ended.
"I'm willing to do whatever's going to help out the team," he said. "We got a victory, that's all that matters."
Added Cockrell: "We got a win and at the end of the day that's all that matters. You just have to continue to work on your communication. You just have to go out there and make plays. It felt good, it felt comfortable. The schemes are still the same.
"Our front (seven) just played out of their minds. When you get pressure on the quarterback like they were, my sister could probably go out there."
DO-IT-ALL DeANGELO:** Running back DeAngelo Williams led all players with 165 yards from scrimmage, including 134 on the ground.
"What I like and what I'm sure Steeler Nation likes is the second effort, the yards after contact," Roethlisberger said. "He doesn't go down easy."
Williams gained 33 yards on 10 carries in the first half and 101 on 16 second-half attempts.
"It's all about rhythm and timing," Williams said. "The more they believe in me, the more they put the ball in my grip, the easier it us. We are creatures of habit. After you run the ball for so long or so many times, you know exactly what the defense is going to do."