The Pittsburgh Steelers were throttled by the Buffalo Bills 43-19 in a preseason game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Steelers were soundly beaten in nearly every facet of the game, but if there was a silver lining for the losing side, it was the dominant performance of wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
Bryant, who has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, finished the first half with three receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. The second-year pro also drew two pass interference penalties, making life miserable for the Bills' first team secondary.
Buffalo rookie cornerback Ronald Darby had no answer for Bryant's size and speed. Darby was flagged for two pass interference penalties on Bryant. The first infraction cost the Bills 35 yards, while the second occurred in the end zone, and led to an eventual touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams. Adding insult to injury, Darby was then toasted by Bryant on a 63-yard completion from newly-signed quarterback Michael Vick.
Bryant and Vick, who seem to have developed a nice rapport in a very short amount of time, connected on a 36-yard catch and run completion on the Steelers' ensuing possession. Bryant then put a bow on his big day, hauling in a 39-yard touchdown strike from third string quarterback Landry Jones just before the end of the first half.
There is no doubt the Steelers will miss Bryant's play making ability during his four-game suspension to start the season. The young receiver showed Steelers' fans what they'll be missing on Saturday, and it will be up to Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton to pick up the slack in his absence. Certainly not an easy task.
(Editor's Note: I would like to welcome Andrew Kipp to the BTSC team for the upcoming season. Expect some quality content from Kipp to only improve the product here at BTSC. Join me in welcoming Andrew!)