The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up their third win of the season by defeating the Buffalo Bills 23-10 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers handled the Bills with ease and gave us a slight glimpse of what we thought this team would be capable of all season.
It’s hard to get too excited over this win. The Steelers are bad, the Bills are worse. The Steelers should’ve won this game. I guess it’s encouraging to see them win because there’s a lot of games on the schedule that the Steelers should’ve won, but didn’t.
The Steelers really shined in all aspects of the game.
The offense looked shaky a little early as Ben Roethlisberger tossed an interception to give the Bills an early 3-0 lead. That field goal was pretty much it for the Bills the rest of the way. The Steelers’ running game looked solid against Buffalo’s defense. Le’Veon Bell picked up 57 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. Jonathan Dwyer backed Bell up with six carries for 38 yards.
Ben Roethlisberger went 18 for 30 for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His leading target was Antonio Brown who reeled in six catches for 104 yards. Veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery caught the only touchdown through the air on a good fade pass from Big Ben.
Cotchery has had himself a few excellent games. The veteran is beginning to establish himself as a safety valve for Roethlisberger. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that Cotchery found success due to the Bills’ defense putting tight coverage on tight end Heath Miller.
The Steelers’ defense did exactly what they needed to do. They stopped the run and put the game in the hands of rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. Bills’ running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were held in check as the Bills were kept to only 95 yards on the ground. One of the key things the Steelers needed to do was contain the Bills’ backfield and they did an excellent job up front.
Stopping the run meant Manuel was forced to pass. Manuel went 22 for 39 for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Manuel managed to pick up a garbage touchdown late in the game but Manuel’s interception was caused by great pass rush from the Steelers’ defense. It was very similar to what they managed to do fellow rookie quarterback Geno Smith back in week 6.
The Steelers are now 3-6 and are still stuck at the bottom of the AFC North. However, as insane as it is to believe, the Steelers still have a pulse and a slight chance of finding a playoff spot.
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the AFC North-leading Cincinatti Bengals in overtime, 20-17. The Bengals still lead the division with a 6-4 record while the Ravens and Cleveland Browns hold down second place with records of 4-5. The Steelers already have one win overt he Ravens and still need to face the Browns twice and the Bengals once more.
If the Steelers can handle business against their divisional opponents they’ll make their lives easier. The Steelers will need to finish out the season at least with a 9-7 record to have a shot at making the playoffs. Preferably having the only other loss to a non-divisional opponent.
The black and gold aren’t completely dead just yet but they’ll need to get past a good Detroit Lions team on Sunday if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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