Sunday, November 28, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Steelers 19, Bills 16
By Tim Graham
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills nearly came back to win Sunday, but lost 19-16 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
What it means: The Bills hung tough again and showed more growth despite defeat. The game felt like a blowout at halftime, with the Steelers holding the ball for nearly 24 minutes. But the Bills trailed just 13-0, first tied the score with 11:25 to play and forced overtime on a 49-yard Rian Lindell field goal with two seconds left.
Play of the game: Breakout receiver Steve Johnson had an awful afternoon. He dropped five passes, including one while wiiiiiide open in the end zone for what should have been a 40-yard touchdown 4:30 into sudden death.
Great call wasted: Down 16-13 with about 4:30 left, Chan Gailey chose to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 36-yard line. Ryan Fitzpatrick found Johnson for a 10-yard gain to put the Bills in field goal range. One play later, the Bills had a first down at the 15 and a chance to win. Two plays later, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu made a great play to intercept a ricocheted pass.
Fitzpatrick struggled: Fitzpatrick was off on his throws most of the day. He had a 49.4 passer rating at halftime. He finished 23 of 45 for 265 yards and threw a touchdown pass for a 12th straight game, but running back Fred Jackson was responsible for that 65-yard catch and run. Fitzpatrick did throw a gorgeous ball on Johnson's end zone flub.
Kyle Williams on Pro Bowl trail: He plays more like a defensive end than a nose tackle, but Williams is having a great season for Buffalo. Williams picked up two sacks in the second quarter, giving him a career-high five for the season.
What's next: The Bills will visit Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at the Metrodome.