The Pittsburgh Steelers are trailing the Buffalo Bills 9-7 after a sloppy half of football. The Bills will get the ball back to start the second half. The defense has played lights out for the Steelers as pressure in the pass rush and tight coverage throughout the first half held the Bills to just three offensive points. A end of half pick-6 for Ben Roethlisberger and a missed extra point made the game 9-7.
The Steelers offense has now scored just 10 points in their last four quarters of play. The lone touchdown came on a short field after a turnover.
The Steelers dialed up the pressure on the first drop back of the half. On 3rd and 2, a quick hitter to Stefon Diggs converts for the 1st down. Cameron Sutton was in tight coverage, but couldn’t get his arm in there.
Devin Singletary with a nice run up the middle on 1st for another good pickup and the Bills are well within Steelers’ territory.
Stefon Diggs is starting to catch fire with a handful of catches already on this drive to open the half. Surprise, surprise. Stefon Diggs caps off the drive with a catch and run, finishing up the catch by lowering his shoulder through two defenders into the end zone. Diggs’ short area quickness is making these Steelers defenders slip and slide creating way too much room after the catch. 16-7 Bills.
It looks like Diontae Johnson is coming back in after the drops in the first half. Another drop and he is out for the game, maybe more. Nonetheless, the Steelers offense needs a spark because yards have not been easy to come by.
Kevin Dotson, the Steelers nation supposed savior of the running game, just got blown up on the first down run, causing James Conner to cut back for a gain of one.
Every running play feels like pulling teeth. Something goes catastrophically wrong every time.
Ben Roethlisberger dropped back and the pass fell incomplete to Vance McDonald. The next play, Ben was sacked hard right up the middle. The first sack he has taken in several games. 275 pass attempts in between this sack and the last.
A mediocre punt for Jordan Berry and a nice return by the Bills. An illegal block in the back brings it back to around the 50 yard line.
Stefon Diggs wide open once again with a nice run after the catch. This half is the Diggs show. Yet another big reception on the next play, this time for 19 yards.
Gabriel Davis wide open in the back left corner of the end zone for a touchdown. 23-7 Bills.
The offense has been flat, and now the defense did a complete 180 from the first half. They were in tight coverage playing complete lock down in the first half, but now they are getting carved up by Josh Allen with ease.
The offense must answer here if this is to be a football game. Otherwise, this could get even uglier in a hurry. Ben nearly picked off on third down as Eric Ebron stopped his route. A nice punt by Jordan Berry and the Bills have the ball back on their own 23.
Alex Highsmith came up limping and will now be replaced by Ola Adeniyi. Cameron Heyward getting triple and even quadruple teamed now. Stephon Tuitt has been invisible in this game so far.
Diontae Johnson caught the pass on first down for a gain of five. His first catch since the nightmarish first quarter.
The Steelers offense is showing some signs of life with a few positive plays strung together. This time, Eric Ebron for 17 yards along the right hash marks. Chuks Okorafor injured on the play. The injuries are piling up a mile high. Jerald Hawkins likely to come in to replace. Any other injuries on the offensive line, and they will not have a replacement.
Jaylen Samuels caught the ball in the flat on 1st and fought through contact to pickup 8 yards. The next play, James Washington picked up the first down.
This is the best drive Pittsburgh has had in the last few games with the ball getting spread around and the Steelers marching right down the field.
A defensive holding gave the Steelers a fresh set of downs in the red zone. The Steelers now have 4 plays (yes, this is four down territory in the 4th quarter) to get three yards. Lets see if they can do better than last week. On 1st, Ben extended the play and threw the ball out of the back of the end zone.
Juju Smith-Schuster was wide open in the flat for the touchdown. The Steelers going for two to make it a one possession game. Ben completed the two point attempt to Eric Ebron. 23-15 Bills.
The Bills picked up a nice chunk of yards on 1st down to Cole Beasley and Zack Moss picked up the 1st down the next play up the middle.
Josh Allen went for the Dagger on that play as the Steelers went cover zero and sent the house. Minkah Fitzpatrick looked confused so maybe it wasn’t meant to be cover zero.
The pressure came on 2nd down to flush Josh Allen out of the pocket. He was able to hit the receiver, but he couldn’t stay in bounds. 3rd and long. They picked it up with a crosser.
3rd and five, right on the edge of field goal range. This is a huge, huge play if the Steelers wish to make this a game in the waning minutes.
A pass interference in the end zone on the deep shot. Probably the nail in the coffin of this game.
Alex Highsmith flew into the backfield to tackle Zack Moss for the loss, but is down hurt on the play. The trainers appear to be checking his ankle. He ran off on his own power and looks to be fine on the sideline. 2nd and goal from the 5 yard line.
Josh Allen under pressure from Mike Hilton and threw the ball directly at the ground. Should have been intentional grounding, but the officials say Zack Moss was in the area. An incomplete pass on 3rd, but two flags on the play. Both against the Bills and declined, so the Bills will kick the field goal. It is good. 26-15 Bills.
Ray-Ray McCloud with a decent return finished with a hurdle to set up the offense from the 28 yard line. Ben way off target to a stationary receiver. The next play, they ran the exact same thing. This time Jaylen Samuels caught the pass and fought through a couple tacklers for a 6 yard pickup. 3rd and 4, and Ben threw deep to James Washington. The pass was intercepted. That should be the ballgame.
Josh Allen scrambled for an explosive play, but his line was called for holding. The good news is, Cameron Heyward is in and his knee is at least okay enough to play.
On first and 20, a completion to Stefon Diggs who takes the NFL lead for the most receptions, eclipsing 100. Steelers sending all the pressure in the world, but the Buffalo offense is playing max protect. On 3rd down, they kept 7 in to protect. The Steelers sent too many on the blitz and the wing back easily bailed out for a 1st down.
The Bills offense continues to pick up first downs and drive the nail further and further into the coffin.
Thankfully, the Steelers will play the Bengals on Monday Night Football. Maybe they will get a much needed injection-of-life against an opponent they rarely lose to.
FINAL 26-15 Bills.