Mike Tomlin talked up this game as if it was going to be the most regular season-like of the preseason. Let’s be glad it wasn’t. Tomlin didn’t play his starters for very long at all but overall the Steelers defense came away from this game battered and beat down to the tune of 43-19.
The first-team offense started off with DeAngelo Williams instead of Le’Veon Bell, perhaps preparing for the first two weeks of the season where Bell will be serving a two-game suspension. Williams performed outstandingly in his small sample size of the game gaining 15 yards on three carries with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Williams also added a reception for 10 yards but it was Martavis Bryant with the standout game racking up 138 yards on three receptions, including a 63-yard catch for Mike Vick’s first throw of the game. Bryant also caught a touchdown pass and generally made Steelers fans even more frustrated/upset at the idea that he’s facing a four-game suspension.
Charlie Batch and Bob Pompeani might have given us some hope in explaining prior to the start of the game that because Bryant has already started the appeal process, it would be up to the team to decide if they wanted to enforce Bryant’s suspension right away or allow the appeal process to play out, which could take until next season. They could get all they can out of Bryant this season and then release him after the year is up. Just an idea.
This is the preseason of injuries apparently. And injuries to kickers for the Steelers, unfortunately. After connecting on a 28-yard field goal Garrett Hartley injured his hamstring during the ensuing kickoff and did not return to the game. Jordan Berry resumed kickoff duties for the remainder of the game.
Berry might not be able to take over the kicking responsibilities but with punts of 66 and 78 yards he might have won himself the punting job from Brad Wing in this game.
The Steelers defense, on the other hand, did not have a good showing in Buffalo at all today. Each of the Bills’ four quarterbacks combined for 30 of 33 for 386 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Steelers defense also gave up a combined 156 yards on the ground to Buffalo for a 4.5 yard per average.
The Steelers started the game without Mike Mitchell, Stephon Tuitt and Lawrence Timmons and in addition to losing Hartley to injury during the game, rookie linebacker Bud Dupree left early with a foot injury.
Good news for the Steelers? This game doesn’t count. Bad news? The coaching staff has cuts to make on Sept. 1st and it’s tough to look at making cuts when there are still so many needs open. Look for the Steelers to be all over the waiver wire once cuts are made on Tuesday.
What are your immediate thoughts on the Steelers loss to Buffalo?
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