Ben Roethlisberger's numbers looked exceptional for an exhibition game, especially for only a half. He knows how much better he and the Pittsburgh Steelers could have played.
Roethlisberger, effective for only one drive previously in this preseason, passed for 247 yards before halftime to lead three Pittsburgh scoring drives and the Steelers shook off numerous mistakes to defeat the cross-state Philadelphia Eagles 27-13 Sunday night.
Roethlisberger didn't pass for a score, but spread the ball among seven receivers and six caught at least one pass of 18 yards or longer. Running back Najeh Davenport had two long receptions totaling 58 yards and tight end Heath Miller, often absent in the offense, had two for 50 yards.
Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker, limited to four carries before now because of a sore knee that sidelined him for two weeks of training camp, ran 18 yards for a score following Roethlisberger's 22-yard completion to Santonio Holmes during a 13-point second quarter for Pittsburgh. Parker also caught three passes for 40 yards.
It could have been a lot better for the Steelers, too, even during their best preseason performance since Roethlisberger drove them 80 yards in six plays to score on their opening drive Aug. 5 during a 20-7 win over New Orleans. Roethlisberger hadn't led a TD drive in seven series since then and, on his opening series Sunday, was intercepted when he flung the ball out of desperation trying to avoid a sack and threw it directly into Trent Cole's hands. Eagles defenders dropped two more passes from Roethlisberger later in the half.