“What I told the players after the game was two things that probably stuck in my craw a little bit more than anything else,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “You cannot turn the ball over and I thought when they came off their own goal line, right before half and completed that long pass we got a little bit rattled. We have to hold our composure better than we did.”
Buffalo’s special teams unit set up the offense and defense with great field position early. An opening touchback by
The Buffalo defense sent Pittsburgh three-and-out on each of their first two possessions, with the Bills offense getting drive starts at midfield on their first two opportunities with the football.
That was followed by a 25-yard pass play from Fitzpatrick to
“The offensive line did a great job getting me out on the safeties,” said Jackson. “They figured out what they were doing on defense and were able to pick it up. Once we did that we were able to move the ball.”
Buffalo’s third possession looked promising after a 23-yard hook-up between Fitzpatric
The Bills defense got another big stop as
“It was a collective effort,” said Williams of the defense’s early success. “All of us up front, we were just going. It was all about getting pressure and getting up field vertically. We just play off of one another and somebody is going to get there.”
On the ensuing possession however,
Fitzpatrick and Buffalo’s offense never recovered after that, managing just a six-play drive and a three-play drive before the end of the half and the end of the night for the starters. The Bills starting quarterback finished the night 7-18 passing for 89 yards.
“We ended up in 3rd-and-10 tonight,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “You cannot do that. We missed about two blocks. I though Fitz read really well tonight. He knew what was happening. We are getting him hit too much. That stuff has got to stop.”
“The first third down we had the ball got batted down on the line, just something happened on every drive,” said Fitzpatrick. “That’s part of football and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. There was just one thing on every drive that kept us from completing the drive or continuing the drive. That comes down to consistency and that’s something we need to get better at.”
Following a failed two-minute drive by the Bills offense, Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated a 99-yard drive with 1:46 left in the half, completing a 33-yard pass to Jonathan Dwyer on 3rd-and-9 from his own three-yard line to keep the drive alive.
Eight plays later, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown on an inside-out route for a six-yard touchdown catch and a 14-7 lead at the half.
“We started out very well on defense,” said Barnett. “We were very physical in the run. Up to that last drive we really were playing very sound and mental-error free football. We have to keep it up.”
One play later Byron Leftwich hit Brown for his second touchdown of the night on a deep post to beat
Young had trouble moving the ball and had a second pass picked off when Robert Golden jumped an out route by
Pittsburgh’s third stringers added a field goal and touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
The Bills close out the preseason next Thursday at Detroit against the Lions with a 7 pm kickoff at Ford Field. However, Buffalo must trim 10 players from their roster to get down to the required 75 by 4 pm on Monday.