Sunday, November 10, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Buffalo Bills
By Mike Rodak
PITTSBURGH -- A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 23-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers:
What it means: This was as bad as the Bills have been all season. Going against a Steelers defense that allowed 55 points last week, the Bills mustered only a field goal -- itself the result of a first-quarter interception -- through the first 59 minutes of the game. The Bills and Steelers were even in turnovers -- each team had one -- but Buffalo punted nine times and was 3-for-14 on third down.
Manuel's rough day: After missing four games with a knee injury, EJ Manuel returned Sunday and put up his worst performance of the season. He finished 22-for-39 for 155 yards and one touchdown, not cracking 100 yards passing until the final drive of the game. Manuel was sacked three times, but pressure was hardly the story; it was accuracy and decision-making. He was intercepted once and came close to being picked off at least once more.
Stock watch: Falling: Punter Brian Moorman. Signed to replace Shawn Powell, who struggled in five games to start the season, Moorman had a tough afternoon. While wind was a factor, Moorman seemed to struggle no matter which direction he was punting. He had two touchbacks and added another line-drive punt that was returned 24 yards in the third quarter. The Bills entered Sunday averaging 37.3 net yards per punt, fourth-worst in the NFL.
Johnson leaves game: Wide receiver Steve Johnson left the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. It's unclear whether it's the same injury that Johnson suffered two weeks ago in a loss to the Saints. Johnson finished with three catches for 48 yards.
What's next: The Bills drop to 3-7 and remain in fourth place in the AFC East. They return home to host the New York Jets next Sunday, their final game before the bye week. At this point, the Bills' chances of making the playoffs are slim.