Sunday, November 28, 2010
Wrap-up: Steelers 19, Bills 16 (OT)
By James Walker
Here are some thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 19-16 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills:
What it means: Although it was an extremely hard-fought game, the Steelers continued their trend of taking care of business against bad teams and improved to 8-3. Pittsburgh's three losses this year have come against teams with winning records. The Steelers also put pressure on the Baltimore Ravens (7-3) to keep winning within the division. The Ravens host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday evening.
What I liked: Key players stepped up in key moments for Pittsburgh. Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't have his best game. But he led a late scoring drive in overtime and had an 18-yard scramble in the fourth quarter to set up a pair of big field goals for Pittsburgh. New Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham made both clutch field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime, which surely will acclimate him in Pittsburgh's locker room. He was 4-for-4 on field goals for the day. Suisham connected on field goal kicks of 45, 46, 48 and 41. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu also made an interception off a tipped ball late in the fourth quarter to prevent the Bills from scoring a potential go-ahead touchdown.
What I didn't like: The Steelers took a 13-0 point lead into halftime and didn't put the Bills away. Pittsburgh's offense sputtered in the second half and the defense allowed some big plays to get Buffalo back in the game with 13 unanswered points. It was a fight for every yard the rest of the game. Pittsburgh also played sloppy, as tailback Rashard Mendenhall fumbled and the Steelers had a high number of penalties (10 for 107 yards) for the second straight week.
What's next: Pittsburgh has to play a lot better next week for it's biggest game to date of the season. The Steelers will travel to M&T Bank Stadium to battle the rival Ravens with first place on the line in the AFC North. The Ravens won the previous meeting at Heinz Field during the final game of Roethlisberger's suspension. Pittsburgh will look to avoid the season sweep in what should be another great game in this heated rivalry.