The no-longer-unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on Sunday night. The Bills scored nine points in the final two minutes of the first half and led the Steelers by as many as three points at halftime, but the wounds of last week’s loss to the New York Jets continue to bleed.
The Steelers got back into the game and then lost to the Bills, who scored 23 points in the second half before the Steelers scored one play – their first touchdown. The Steelers have not yet broken the streak of 23 straight points against the Buffalo Bills in their last three games, a stretch of nine consecutive games.
Ben Roethlisberger also threw a pick-six to Taron Johnson, less than a minute into the first half – and the results weren’t impressive. The Bill’s offensive line continued to struggle, matching the Steelers’ offensive ineptitude, which failed to even convert an interception into a first down and celebrate a three-and-out victory. For the third consecutive game, they were held to 20 points and did not perform well on offense – striking out six times, going 1-for-10 on third, holding briefly on fourth to two, falling behind 53 times, and hitting all six drives. They scored a touchdown when a turn led to the ball at the Buffalo 30-yard line, but the outcome was not good – held.
The Steelers have the second-easiest game plan in the NFL, and their ceiling is obviously aligned with Big Ben’s status, but even when they’re on the floor, they were up against high-quality opponents. Ben Roethlisberger alone is responsible for more than half of the Steelers’ offensive success over the past four seasons. That’s because he has led them to three consecutive playoff appearances (including one playoff game) since he was drafted in 2004 – and that with him alone at the helm.
I really wonder how the Steelers will be in their third game in such a short time frame, but they’re probably the better team here. This game could be a big win for the Bills, who are looking to cement their place in the AFC East standings, and a huge blow for the Steelers, who are trying to regain their mojo. Below is everything we know about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Heinz Field. Be sure to stay up to date as you prepare for the BTSC, which will include all the news and notes on the black and gold.
The Steelers have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but they need to keep some kind of balance to keep them honest. They are 20th against the pass, so their defensive performance is not likely to continue on an annual basis.
The Steelers lost last year’s outfielder Bud Dupree with a torn muscle fiber and will also have to do without starting cornerback Joe Haden because of a concussion. The Steelers have been really strong this season, even though Joe struggled before his concussion on Monday.
Roethlisberger was asked if the Steelers had enough time to get back on track before the playoffs. It also allows us to stop comparing them to undefeated teams of the past and think about how Pittsburgh is playing against other Super Bowl contenders this year. The NFL hopes the Ravens-Steelers rematch won’t be a repeat of last year’s AFC championship game between the two teams.
Although the Bills’ offensive line struggled in the first half, a hit seemed to work for them. After Allen hit Cole Beasley for a Bills first down, it was the Steelers’ pass overflow that affected the game. We’ll know on Sunday how strong their pulse is when they play in Buffalo, but their defenders haven’t caused any problems yet.
The Steelers put on a two-point conversion pass from Roethlisberger to tight end Eric Ebron and were just eight points behind the Bills at 23-15. In the second game of regulation time, the second overtime, Roethlisberger found Eric Ebron for a three-yard touchdown pass and caught another to pull it to 23-15, with 12: 18 remaining.
The Steelers answered with a touchdown on their third possession of the half when Roethlisberger found Smith-Schuster for a 14-yard touchdown pass that completed a 10-play drive from 81 yards. Allen Diggs continued to be too much for the Pittsburgh defense, and before you know it, his offense was back on the field. The Steelers’ offensive drive in the second half didn’t last long for Pittsburgh, but it ended quickly.
The victory marked the Steelers’ sixth championship in franchise history, as they became the first team to win the Super Bowl twice. The Steelers are only the second team in NFL history and the third since the 1970s to win the Super Bowl twice in a row, and they are also the first team ever to win six Super Bowls and the first to do so in four of those games.