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Steelers outlast Bills 19-16

Posted Aug 16, 2014

Buffalo fumbled on its final drive and the Steelers claimed the win with a field goal as time expired.

Final Score:Steelers 19 – Bills 16

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Preseason records: Buffalo (1-2); Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)

In a Nutshell:  
Tied at 16 with 1:56 remaining the Steelers tried to mount a drive to break the deadlock. Rookie S Deon Broomfield foiled that effort with an interception with under a minute remaining at the Bills 29. But just three plays later Jeff Tuel was sacked and fumbled. Pittsburgh recovered as Howard Jones returned it to the one-yard line. Two plays later Shaun Suisham kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give the Steelers at 19-16 victory.

The Bills second team defense sparked a second half comeback as a forced fumble on a sack by Stefan Charles led to a 59-yard fumble return by Landon Cohen to the Steelers 16. Three plays later the Bills tied the score on a one-yard plunge by ‘Boobie’ Dixon in the third quarter (13-13).

Dan Carpenter was unable to give the Bills the lead on a 49-yard field goal attempt, which sailed wide right with under 12 minutes remaining. He was however, able to tie with under two minutes remaining on a 44-yard attempt (16-16) after Pittsburgh had taken the lead on a 48-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham with nine minutes left (16-13). 

The first team offense was effective moving the football with four of their five drives covering nine plays or more, but they had only six points to show for it. Two of those four drives were turned over on downs on two failed fourth down conversion attempts including one from the three-yard line on a drive that could’ve tied the game at the half.

How it went down: 
--Buffalo got on the board first with a field goal drive on their opening possession. Dan Carpenter put a 37-yard attempt through the uprights.

--The Steelers needed just two plays to respond. Ben Roethlisberger hit top wideout Antonio Brown on a quick slant and when Duke Williams and Corey Graham collided in pursuit it allowed Brown to escape and outrace the rest of the secondary for a 76-yard touchdown (6-3).

--Pittsburgh then built their largest lead of the game when rookie Ryan Shazier picked off an EJ Manuel pass intended for Scott Chandler over the middle and returned it 27 yards to the Bills 37. Eight plays later Roethlisberger found Markus Wheaton in the back corner of the end zone for a 16-yard scoring play (13-3).

--The Bills mounted another field goal drive with Carpenter bombing a 53-yard attempt through to pull Buffalo to within a touchdown (13-6) early in the second quarter.

--Buffalo had a chance to tie the game late in the half, but a 4th-and-goal attempt from the three fell incomplete.

--In the third quarter Stefan Charles sacked Landry Jones on a 1st-and-10 at the Bills 19 forcing a fumble. Landon Cohen recovered the fumble and returned it 59 yards to the Steelers 16. Three plays later Boobie Dixon plunged in from a yard out for a touchdown to tie the game midway through the third quarter (13-13).

--Steelers K Shaun Suisham hit a 48-yard FG with nine minutes left to break the tie (16-13).

--Carpenter tied the game on a 44-yard FG with 1:56 remaining to cap a 12-play 55-yard scoring drive.

--Pittsburgh QB Bruce Gradkowski tried to break the tie on the ensuing drive, but was intercepted by Bills S Deon Broomfield with under a minute left. Three plays later Jeff Tuel was sacked and fumbled and Pittsburgh recovered at the one-yard line. With two second left Shaun Suisham put a 20-yard field goal through for the win as time expired.

 The half of it 
--EJ Manuel was effective with his decision making and moving the offense. Even after his first quarter interception he went 11-19 passing for 125 yards and converted four of the seven third downs that followed.

--Buffalo’s first team run defense was again stout holding the Steelers to just 11 yards on seven first half carries (1.6 avg.)

--A Bills turnover on an interception by Ryan Shazier was quickly converted into a touchdown by Pittsburgh to give them a 10-point lead late in the first quarter (13-3).

--Dan Carpenter put attempts through from 37 and 53 yards for the team’s only points through the first two quarters.

--The first team offense could not reach the end zone for a third straight game going 0-2 on their red zone opportunities.

Subplots: 
--Sammy Watkins left the game on the opening possession with a rib injury and did not return.

--Thad Lewis served as the second team quarterback for the second straight week. Lewis finished 1-6 for 18 yards and an interception.

--After Watkins and Mike Williams exited early the next two receivers on the field were Robert Woods and T.J. Graham. Chris Hogan was again the primary slot receiver.

--Veteran OL Doug Legursky got the start at left guard with Chris Williams sidelined by a back injury. Legursky started 10 games for the Bills at left guard in 2013. He then moved to center with the second unit for a series. 
 
--Rookie Bobby Elder got second team reps at LCB opposite Ron Brooks.

Quotes from the locker room: 
--“We did a good job of possessing the ball but we wanted to work on scoring and we didn’t do that. We gave up the big play and our guys ran into each other. (The Steelers) made a nice play with the 76-yard touchdown. Then we gave up an interception and they wound up scoring on the turnover.” 
--Head coach Doug Marrone

--“There wasn’t any looks that we didn’t see throughout the week in practice. We just have to finish drives. We have to get in the end zone. It would have been good if we would have finished with a touchdown on one of those drives. Wish we would have made it on that last one (of the half).” 
--TE Scott Chandler

-- We were in man-to-man coverage. I just kept my inside leverage and made a play. Turned my head when he turned his head and he threw it and I made a play.” 
--CB Nickell Robey – on his interception

--“We have to attack more. We have to score on our first drive. It’s always good to get points, but when you have the opportunity to get six, we need to capitalize on that. We have to make the plays and finish our drives.  
--WR Robert Woods

Inactives:  
K Dustin Hopkins, CB Leodis McKelvin, S Jonathan Meeks, LB Ty Powell, G Chris Williams, OT Cordy Glenn, TE Tony Moeaki, WR Marquise Goodwin

Up Next:  
The Bills will hold their first preseason home game on Sat. Aug. 23rd when they host Tampa Bay. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.