Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top Billing for a Day Steelers Take First Step toward Fixing a Nearly Lost Season by Doing Things They Traditionally Do Best as Franchise

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top Billing for a Day Steelers Take First Step toward Fixing a Nearly Lost Season by Doing Things They Traditionally Do Best as Franchise

Article excerpt

The Steelers do not know if their 23-10 victory Sunday against the Buffalo Bills will signal a revival of historic proportions in the second half of their season, or if it merely was a side trip in their road to oblivion.

What they know for sure is that for one day, they played the kind of football they long thought they were capable of playing. And who knows? Maybe they can do it again.

"It was a step in the right direction, it was," Brett Keisel said. "One step in the right direction. One good game. We don't need to pat ourselves on the back, we just need to continue to work and do the things we did this week to get us this win."

And so the Steelers are 3-6 after knocking the Bills to 3-7. They might have been two teams passing in different directions or two teams headed nowhere. For one day, at least the Steelers had Buffalo.

And it was just what the doctor ordered after their dreadful visit a week earlier to New England.

"It was appropriate," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We had an embarrassing performance a week ago. You've got to swallow it and chew it, and we did. We didn't let it stop our preparation."

It was like old times at Heinz Field, back to, oh, 2011 when they ran well, stopped the run and won.

The Steelers led by just 10-3 at halftime but really, it was over. They had outgained the Bills in total yards, 213-83, and that included 99 yards rushing. It might have been 17-0 had the wind not helped cause a Ben Roethlisberger interception on the game's first drive.

The Steelers had driven 44 yards to a second down at Buffalo's 36 when Jairus Byrd picked off a pass at the 14 and returned it 57 yards to the Steelers 29.

But even some good came of that when, after reaching the Steelers 3 on second down, the Bills were stopped at the 1 and came away with just a 20-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter.

"The big thing is stepping in and playing right from the get- go," Keisel said. "Holding them to a field goal there on our first series was big for us."

And that was that for Buffalo's offense under rookie EJ Manuel, who returned from a knee injury only to get powdered at Heinz Field. The Bills did call a timeout with five seconds left so they could score on Manuel's 2-yard touchdown pass to Chris Gragg.

In between, it was all Steelers -- Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals of 23, 36 and 37 yards. Jerricho Cotchery caught a 5- yard touchdown pass -- his sixth -- on a fade from Roethlisberger. Rookie Le'Veon Bell ran for his fourth touchdown, getting renewed life on that series after the Steelers pulled the Bills offside with the count on a 29-yard field-goal attempt.

"That was a good performance in a lot of areas by a lot of people," Tomlin said, "but particularly after the first initial drive there where we turned the ball over. I thought we were able to settle down and find rhythm and establish the running game and convert some third downs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.