Trey Edmunds' first touch of the football on this sunny Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field was a teamwide work of art.
And I mean that in the intangible sense, too.
This was the first quarter. First snap of Edmunds' first series filling in for injured James Conner and Benny Snell in the Steelers' backfield. And with his first stride to the right, his first impression was as follows:
Man, football can be beautiful, huh?
"That," as a beaming Zach Banner would tell me later, "is how it's supposed to be."
Watch it again. Gets prettier with each replay. Banner's No. 72, the first one circled. He and Vance McDonald sealed their Colts to the inside. David DeCastro pulls from right guard way out to take out a corner. And Maurkice Pouncey, still agile as he ages, pulls way, way out to chip a linebacker.
From there, it's 45 yards of grass.
And at the end, two defensive teammates awaited near the sideline, bounding up and down like schoolchildren in celebration. One was his brother, Terrell, and the other was his 'dawg,' as Kam Kelly described their relationship for me. Even more excited than the brother. Grabbed Trey by both shoulders and shouted into his mask, per his recollection, "That's you! You're doing this!" Wouldn't let him be for nearly a minute.
"Trey, man ... watching that run, that meant everything to me, you know?" Kelly would elaborate. "He's undrafted. Like me. Has to show more. Has to prove more. I love him. I'm so happy for him."
There's a lot of that with this group. It's a good one. In a good many ways.
The Steelers stuck this one out, of course, by a 26-24 count. Which also is good. They've won four of five after opening 0-3. They might not rally past the Ravens in the AFC North, particularly not after those guys beat the Patriots in Baltimore late Sunday night, but it's hardly hopeless. Besides, they and the Raiders, also 4-4, would be the top two teams on the wild-card periphery, behind these Colts at 5-3 and the Bills, owners of the phoniest 6-2 record in league history. So contention's more real than anyone could've anticipated.
Heck, all of this is. Step back and think about it: Ben Roethlisberger went down in Week 2, and this team's on an actual bleeping roll in his absence.