Players quickly showered and dressed in the Pittsburgh locker room Thursday night before hustling to the bus following their 21-10 victory over Carolina in the exhibition finale.
Some of the stars may have been able to skip the shower part.
Starters on both sides played only three snaps apiece. Ben Roethlisberger threw one pass _ a 7-yard completion on third-and-9. The first-team defense, playing without star linebacker James Harrison, forced a three-and-out to complete the preseason without allowing a touchdown.
It's no surprise then that the Steelers (3-1) appeared in a hurry to leave Carolina. Just one week until the real stuff starts against Tennessee.
"I really have a great deal of respect for how these guys competed and worked," said coach Mike Tomlin, who rested several players, including Harrison. "Now we begin the process of moving forward and attacking the season."
The best news for Carolina (0-4) after an injury-plagued, poor-tackling, disjointed preseason is that linebacker Jon Beason is confident he'll return from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee to play in the opener.
"I really don't have any doubt in my mind," Beason said.
The Panthers need their top tackler from last season. The first-team couldn't stop Pittsburgh's reserves.
Rookie running back Isaac Redman may have cemented his spot on the 53-man roster by barreling over Chris Harris, Julius Peppers and others on a 10-yard touchdown run.
That happened shortly after Stefan Logan made a claim for the return job, bringing back a punt 80 yards for a touchdown as the Steelers built a 14-0 lead.
"I don't make decisions. They make decisions with how they play," said Tomlin, who will announce his cuts Friday.
The Panthers may be searching for a punt returner on the waiver wire this weekend. Kenny Moore, Captain Munnerlyn and Larry Beavers all fumbled.
"Believe it or not we do practice catching punts," Panthers coach John Fox said.
Jake Delhomme was 2 of 4 for 19 yards before exiting after two series, seven plays and one first down as the first-team offense finished with one touchdown in the preseason.
The Panthers were trying to downplay concerns after the game. The Steelers just wanted to move on to bigger things: celebrating their title and opening the NFL season next Thursday.
"The whole nation will be watching," defensive end Nick Eason said.
Jets 38, Eagles 27
At East Rutherford, N.J., Michael Vick saw his first significant action in three years, hours after learning he'll be fully reinstated in Week 3.
Vick scored on a 2-yard run, but was sacked four times, lost a fumble and threw an interception in the loss. He was 7 for 11 for 26 yards, and ran for 35 yards on seven carries.
Danny Woodhead, making a bid to make the Jets, ran for 158 yards _ the NFL's second-highest preseason total since 1992. He had 55- and 3-yard scoring runs.
Patriots 38, Giants 27
At Foxborough, Mass., Patriots rookie Brian Hoyer helped his chances to become Tom Brady's primary backup, throwing a scoring pass and leading three drives that BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with rushing touchdowns.
Brady and nearly all of the usual starters sat out the exhibition finale for New England. Eli Manning played one series for New York.
Bengals 38, Colts 7
At Cincinnati, Bengals backup J.T. O'Sullivan capped his only series with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell.
Indianapolis backup Jim Sorgi was 11 of 19 for 119 yards and a touchdown, a 22-yarder to Taj Smith.
Jaguars 24, Redskins 17
At Jacksonville, Fla., David Garrard led the Jaguars to a touchdown and two field goals in four possessions, and receiver Mike Sims-Walker looked sharp in his first action in nearly a month, catching four passes for 64 yards and a TD.
Seahawks 31, Raiders 21
At Seattle, Aaron Curry made four tackles, two for losses, hit Oakland quarterbacks twice, then sacked one and forced a fumble to set up a field goal _ all in the first half.
Seattle, coming off a 4-12 season, finished 4-0 in the preseason for the first time in its 34-year history.
Bears 26, Browns 23
At Chicago, Robbie Gould kicked two of his four field goals in the fourth quarter for the Bears and Caleb Hanie went 9 of 13 for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Brett Ratliff led Cleveland on a touchdown drive after a rough start.
Titans 27, Packers 13
At Nashville, Tenn., Vince Young ran for a touchdown and threw for another in his strongest performance of the preseason for the Titans.
Green Bay had a handful of players injured, with the most worrisome rookie defensive tackle B.J. Raji _ the No. 9 draft pick overall _ who injured his ankle.
Broncos 19, Cardinals 0
At Denver, rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater completed 16 of 30 passes for 187 yards, and led the Broncos to scores on four of their first five possessions.
The Broncos avoided their first winless preseason since the first year of their existence in 1960. Defending NFC champion Arizona finished 0-4.
Dolphins 10, Saints 7
At New Orleans, Patrick Cobbs rushed for 54 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run, and Miami had eight sacks and an interception to complete exhibition play 4-0.
Rod Harper returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Saints, his second punt return for a score this preseason.
Rams 17, Chiefs 9
At St. Louis, Quincy Butler returned an interception 28 yards for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter, and the Rams forced three turnovers.
Kansas City had just two offensive touchdowns in its 0-4 preseason.
Lions 17, Bills 6
At Orchard Park, N.Y., Tristan Davis scored on a 79-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to lead the Lions.
Ravens 20, Falcons 3
At Atlanta, John Beck was 16 of 28 for 232 yards and two touchdowns for Baltimore.