Second-round wide receiver Chase Claypool's physical skill set, productivity and confidence had been much-discussed subjects prior to the Steelers' hosting of the Eagles.
But what was on display for the first time in Sunday's 38-29 survival of Philadelphia at Heinz Field was Claypool's ability to adjust on the fly and do things he hadn't been asked to do previously.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appreciated, perhaps better than anyone, what Claypool was able to handle on the third-and-8 pass that became the game-clinching, 35-yard touchdown with 2:59 left in regulation beyond Claypool's ability to catch the ball and run into the end zone.
"That's a new formation we put in this week, with (wide receiver) Ray-Ray (McCloud) in the game, taking the (running) back out, and we went to it a couple times today," Roethlisberger explained. "So we expected them on that particular play to kind of go with an all-out blitz. They sat back in a 'Cover 2' zone, and it just wasn't what we expected, so I saw that and I changed the play.
"I think the coolest part about the whole thing is we've never run the play I called with that formation or that group on the field. So Chase has never been in that spot. Ray-Ray has never been in that spot. The other three (wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington and tight end Eric Ebron) kind of know what they were supposed to do but yeah, we changed the play and I can't say enough about Chase getting down the middle of the field and kind of making that play for us."
Roethlisberger added he gave Claypool "a little bit of a cue" as to what to do.
Claypool characterized the pair's pre-snap communication as much more than that.
"I actually had to ask him what I was doing," Claypool said. "He just told me. He kinda told the whole defense, which is my fault, but it worked out."
Claypool's third touchdown of the day, a pass to the sideline at the back of a bunch formation that also included running backs James Conner and Trey Edmunds and tight end Vance McDonald that turned into a 5-yard score early in the third quarter, was another first.
"I've honestly never even got that ball in practice," Claypool maintained.
Added Roethlisberger: "We've run that every week for the last three or four weeks in practice. We've run that, and every single time I've thrown it to Ebron on the other side. Today they kind of had two guys over there, so I threw it to Chase."
THIRD-AND-WRONG: The Eagles converted 10 consecutive third downs at one point in what became a 10-for-14 effort overall.
Among them were a third-and-9, and third-and-17, a third-and-10, a third-and-12 and a third-and-8.
"I think it's just a little bit of everything," outside linebacker T.J. Watt offered regarding what went wrong.
Head coach Mike Tomlin thought so, too.
"Some of it was self-inflicted by us in penalties and missed tackles and so forth," Tomlin said. "You've got to give their guys credit. They had a good plan, good execution of the plan, and that allowed them to maintain possession of the ball and keep us at bay and stay in it."
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF: Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham entered play having appeared in four NFL games, having caught two NFL passes and having been a part of the Eagles' varsity roster since Oct. 3.
He emerged with 10 receptions on 13 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Cornerback Steven Nelson's postgame Zoom session with the media was revealing as to the Steelers' pregame familiarity with Fulgham, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound, former sixth-round draft choice out of Old Dominion by Detroit in 2019.
Question: "Steven, how much did you know about Fulgham before the game?"
Answer: "Who's that? Oh, No. 13? Nothing, really. We saw him a few times but didn't really watch him. They had guys questionable like (wide receiver) DeSean Jackson, so for the most part we were watching him.
"It's the NFL, if you're out there on the field you're very capable. He played a decent game, No. 13 did."
Fulgham played three games for the Lions in 2019.
His Eagles debut occurred on Oct. 4 at San Francisco.
In between, Fulgham spent nine days with the Packers this August.
"I'm familiar with him because he's an Old Dominion guy and I'm a Virginia boy, but I don't know that we are globally familiar with him," Tomlin said. "I don't know that he has enough of a resume for us to be overly concerned about, but boy, he made some plays.
"I've just got a lot of respect for what he was able to do."
MINIMAL ATTENDANCE, MAXIMUM IMPACT: The first game in which fans were permitted to attend amid the pandemic drew an announced crowd of 4,708.
Inside linebacker Vince Williams was convinced the small gathering made a difference.
"It was amazing, man" Williams maintained. "It felt like it was 62,000 people in there. I can't even lie to you, the difference that it made. Just a limited number, Steeler Nation still showed up and showed out.
"I'm extremely proud to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, man. That's the way you guys come back on the first day to have fans in, make an impact."
Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field