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Steelers' 'attitude' paid off vs. Panthers

They tweaked some things schematically, but the Steelers also came at the Carolina Panthers with an attitude.

"I think they rose to the challenge, to a tough task," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of the offensive line's performance in Sunday night's 37-19 victory. "They took a lot of pride and a lot of hurt to the Baltimore game. I think they kind of put all that into a little ball of rage and took it out on Carolina."

The defensive line also played with an edge.

"I definitely think we won the line of scrimmage," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "A lot of guys stepped up. You saw (nose tackle) Steve (McLendon), 'Keise' (defensive end Brett Keisel), Cam (defensive end Cam Thomas), all these different guys were able to just set the line of scrimmage and take ground from them."

The Steelers relied heavily on multiple-tight end, multiple running back sets in their 37-19 victory over the Panthers on Sunday night. They suspected they wouldn't be able to throw the ball deep against Carolina's defense so they showed up determined to run it. They wound up rushing for 264 yards and averaging 7.8 yards an attempt on 34 carries.

Le'Veon Bell had 147 rushing yards and LeGarrette Blount 118, the first time two Steelers running backs had eclipsed 100 yards on the ground in the same game since Oct. 26, 1986 (Earnest Jackson had 132 and Walter Abercrombie 109 in a 30-9 victory over Cincinnati).

Highlight photos from the last regular season match up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010. The Steelers defeated the Buccaneers 38-13.

"When you pop those runs like we had, the one with Le'Veon (an 81-yard burst), you feel things are really starting to click," offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum said. "And then you get another couple like that, it may not be as long but you're popping a 10, popping a 12, that really gets you amped up.

"You're getting guys downfield, you have bodies on the ground; it's a great feeling. And as an offensive line, we feed off each other."

Added guard David DeCastro, "We had some great stuff by the coaches, great plays called. But at the same time it was execution, guys out there playing hard and just trying to be physical and come back from that game before (a 26-6 loss on Sept. 11 in Baltimore)."

The defense rushed the passer with just three players more than it had in previous games this season and spied Carolina quarterback Cam Newton (various players handled that task from down to down).

The Panthers ended up with 42 yards rushing and the Steelers ended up with three sacks and 12 hits on Newton (two other shots were eliminated statistically by penalties but still inflicted punishment).

They had a combined three sacks and 10 quarterback hits in their first two games.

"When we're able to get that pressure it makes us a better team, it allows us to cause more havoc," Heyward said. "You get the turnovers you want. When you get them behind the chains and behind schedule it works to your advantage."

The emphasis for the Steelers this week is on duplicating the effort.

"We've been preaching attitude all year, have an attitude when we run the ball," Beachum said. "Things came together. Now the thing is to be able to stack it and continue to do the things we did in that game and carry them from game to game."

"Guys are just growing," Heyward said. "We're early in the season. This team is just getting better. I like to think we're just at the tip of the iceberg right now. I'm looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

"We've all talked this week about how we need to build on what we're doing. We can't take a step back."

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