Pittsburgh Steelers Defeat Buffalo Bills: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd (31) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (11) after intercepting a pass during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
First quarter struggles – If the game could start in the second quarter, I think the Steelers would look like a completely different team. And, I would then be able to quit taking TUMS before I even finish my pre-game wings and pizza. The kind of slow starts that the Steelers continue to have is enough to make anyone go crazy. The Steelers drove from their own 20 all the way to the Buffalo 33 in their opening drive, but the drive came to a halt with zero points after a Roethlisberger interception. No one here is absolving Ben of his mistakes despite the fact that if it weren’t for him, this team would be in a worse place than they are (I know, hard to imagine). With the offense struggling early in games, it appeared that Ben just tried to do too much and forced a pass that shouldn’t have been thrown. He was also strip sacked later in the half, but the Steelers luckily fell on the football preventing a turnover. That stuff is going to happen, but this team and offense needs to find ways to get clicking and clicking early. Luckily, the Bills offense was equally as horrid, and the Steelers escaped the first quarter only down by three.
Unopportunistic Offense – The Steelers had two opportunities in the second half to slam the door on the Bills and failed to do so. The first occurred when Ryan Clark intercepted a pass and returned the ball to the Bills 13 yard line. The offense took the field and went three and out after netting -5 yards on two running plays by Bell and an incomplete pass. The team settled for a field goal, and left the door open for the Bills to turn things around. The second opportunity occurred when Antonio Brown returned the ball 50 yards to the Buffalo 11 yard line. The 11 yard line. Again, the Steelers went three and out on some poor play calling by Haley, and the Steelers settled for another field goal. Now, points is points, and those field goals increased the distance from the Bills. But, were it another team on the field like the Bengals (as we saw in highlights from Sunday) or the Lions, you can be sure that those kinds of teams would find a way to close in. This game should have ended 31-10 in a blowout.