Welcome to another Buffalo Bills game recap! This week saw the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Bills at Heinz field in Pittsburgh, a place Buffalo has not had the most success. For another week, the Bills offense struggled to put together many good scoring drives. This game saw the return of EJ Manuel, but that didn’t do much to swing the tides in favour of the Bills.
The first quarter was a battle of attrition, with the Bills taking advantage on the one scoring drive of the quarter, a field goal by Dan Carpenter. It was a struggle by both teams, as the Bills managed only 38 totals yards, and the Steelers managed just 50 yards, to go along with their one turnover, an interception from Ben Roethlisberger. The second quarter featured a lot more firepower from both teams, but the Steelers were the only teams that walked away with points. The first drive of the period ended in a Steeler field goal from kicker Sean Suisham, and their next drive ended in a Big Ben touchdown throw to receiver Jericho Cotchery. The Bills had a few chances to put up points, but both second quarter drives stalled right around midfield. Entering the second half, the score was 10-3 in favour of the Steelers.
It was another offensive struggle for both teams in the third quarter, as the Steelers were once again able to score, but the Bills were shut out again. Ever heard of the saying, “First verse, same as the first?” Well the Bills continued to play sluggish, and uninspired football, once again punting on both of their possessions. While the Bills were floundering again, the Steelers extended their lead with another touchdown, this time from rookie running back Le’Veon Bell from four yards out. Entering the fourth quarter, the Bills faced a 17-3 lead, and didn’t do much of anything to bring this score any closer. On the Bills second possession, EJ Manuel was picked off, which lead to another Suisham field goal, and during the Steelers next offensive possession, the kicked another field goal, helped by a 50 yard return by Antonio Brown, making this game 23-3. The Bills would tally a touchdown on the final possession of the game, but it didn’t matter much, as this game was already well over. EJ Manuel threw his first touchdown since returning from injury, to tight end Chris Gragg. The final score was 23-10 for the Steelers. The Bills mustered only 227 yards of offense, this against a defence that gave up over 600 last week to AFC East rival the New England Patriots. The Bills have a crisis on their hands, with a very poor offense. CJ Spiller has not performed like the superstar running back everyone thought he would be, and it looks like EJ Manuel will need more time to get comfortable after his injury. The Bills are a very talented team, that could very much be a playoff team this year, but some poor decisions, and unlucky bounces have put them back at 3-7, and most likely out of the playoff hunt.