4 takeaways from the Steelers heartbreaking loss to the Bills
The Steelers fell to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football. Here are four things we learned from Pittsburgh’s heartbreaking loss.
Sunday Night Football didn’t exactly go as planned for the Steelers. Despite hosting the Bills at Heinz Field for a primetime game, Pittsburgh’s offense just couldn’t get the ball rolling and they managed just 10 points on the night.
While the defense yet again looked very encouraging, it was more than disappointing to see the offense struggle the way it did. Here are four takeaways from the Steelers 17-10 loss against the Buffalo Bills:
Devlin Hodges is not the answer
I hate to break it to all of the Devlin Hodges fans out there, but Duck is not the answer to all of Pittsburgh’s offensive woes. Yes, he entered the game with a 3-0 record in his career, but it was the defense who was largely responsible for those wins, and Hodges hasn’t been asked to do much in the past.
When asked to throw the ball 38 times this week against one of the league’s best defenses, Hodges showed his true colors. His moderate arm strength and velocity didn’t do him any favors, but it was ultimately his poor decision making that took the Steelers out of the game. Hodges threw 4 interceptions against the Bills and gave us little reason to believe that the Steelers can get the job done in the playoffs with him slinging the ball.
T.J. Watt should be the Defensive MVP
The more I watch T.J. Watt, the more I will be somewhat surprised if he doesn’t come away with the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Watt has been phenomenal for the Steelers in 2019 and he only seems to be gaining seem.
The Pro Bowl edge defender collected 4 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, a half-sack, a pass defense, and 2 quarterback hits. However, his stats don’t tell the whole tale. Watt is an absolute difference-maker, and he has elevated Pittsburgh’s defense to perhaps the best in the league over the past 11 games.
James Washington is legitimately good
I’ve never been a huge James Washington fan. I thought he was an okay pick by Pittsburgh at the time, but I didn’t think it was a great value pick in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft. However, he’s doing more each week to prove his doubters wrong.
Washington has indisputably been the best Steelers receiver over the past 7 weeks as he catches nearly everything in the vicinity. While two interceptions were thrown his way this week, they were just terrible passes from Hodges and had nothing to do with Washington. The second-year receiver will never be a team’s number one option, but I think Washington could be a solid WR2.
We got our wish with Randy Fichtner
Just like every other Steelers fan watching the game, I wasn’t a huge fan of Randy Fichtner‘s play-calling in the first half of the game against the Bills. His offense looked predictable and Hodges was constantly getting into 3rd and long situations.
However, fans who were hoping they would let Hodges sling the ball got their wish in the second half. Hodges ultimately threw the ball 38 times, but the field was flipped in favor of Buffalo as he threw 4 interceptions in the contest. I know we get on Fichtner a lot, but it’s certainly possible he knows Duck’s limitations better than we do.
Obviously, their loss to the Bills wasn’t all bad news. Pittsburgh’s defense continues to be thoroughly impressive. However, if they can’t find a way to put up points on offense, this historic defensive run in 2019 will all be for nothing.