The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 5 game vs. the Buffalo Bills reeling. After losing three in a row, the Steelers turned to rookie, first round pick Kenny Pickett as the team’s quarterback for the foreseeable future. Going against the Bills’ elite defense certainly wouldn’t be taking it easy on Pickett in his first career professional start. Nonetheless, Pittsburgh went into the game as heavy underdogs in the game looking to prove they have plenty to play for this season.
Surprisingly, the Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer their possession to the second half. On 3rd and 10, from their own 2-yard line, Josh Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a 98-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bills a 7-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
About to get the football for the first time, James Pierre was in to return the kickoff due to an eye injury to Steven Sims, and Pierre muffed the kickoff. The fumbles was recovered by the Bills, giving them their second possession in the first five minutes of the game. After a holding call, the Bill’s field goal attempt was blocked by Cam Sutton.
Starting from their 20-yard line after the touchback, Kenny Pickett’s first drive was impressive as he was able to hit several third down conversions on their way into the red-zone. However, the drive stalled and Chris Boswell was called on to kick a field goal to make the score 7-3.
The trend with the Buffalo throughout the game has been their quick-strike offense, and that continued as Josh Allen wasted little time moving the ball into scoring range. However, like Pickett’s last drive, the offense stalled in the red-zone and the Bills’ field goal made the score 10-3.
Pickett’s next drive wasn’t successful at adding to their point total, but Pressley Harvin did his part in setting up the Steelers’ defense by pinning the Bills at their own 2-yard line on their fourth possession of the first quarter.
To start the quarter, the Bills take a deep shot which falls incomplete but give up a long completion on third down. After moving the ball down the field, former Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace get the interception in the end zone and the Steelers take over on their own 20-yard line.
After a promising run by Najee Harris on first down, the Steelers drive stalls and offense suffers their second-straight three and out as the Pressley Harvin punt into the wind gives the Bills the ball back at their own 38-yard line. But on the very first play Josh Allen connects for a 62-yard touchdown with Gabe Davis once again on a ball the, for a moment, looked as if Minkah Fitzpatrick was going to wrestle away.
Taking over on their own 25-yard line after the touch back, the Steelers once again run for minimal gain on the first tow plays creating at third and eight, Kenny Pickett’s pass over the middle falls incomplete and the Steelers are forced to punt on their third-straight three and out. With the wind wreaking havoc in that direction, the Bills get the ball just shy of midfield after the 26-yard punt.
The Bills’ next drive looked like a lot of their previous drives, and it was highlighted by big plays through the air. It was capped off by a Stefon Diggs touchdown, making the score 24-3 with 7:20 left in the half.
It looked like the Steelers were going to add to their point total on their next drive, but it was all for nothing as Chris Boswell’s chip shot field goal sailed wide left, giving the ball right back to Allen and company. With 3:40 left in the half, Allen wasted little time getting into scoring range once again. It was Allen’s 4th touchdown pass of the game to end the drive, making the score 31-3 with 1 minute left in the half.
The Steelers started with the football to start the second half, Pickett and the offense were able to move the ball into scoring range. But when facing a 4th and 6, it was foolish to kick a field goal when facing that kind of deficit. Pickett threw a perfect pass to Diontae Johnson, who dropped the ball, turning the ball over on downs.
As you can imagine, the Steelers’ defense put up very little fight vs. the Bills. In the blink of an eye, Buffalo was in the red-zone and eventually got into a 1st-and-goal situation. However, the Steelers forced a fumble and recovered it in the end-zone for the touchback.
Pickett took over on his 20-yard line, and moved the ball down the field hitting passes to Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and George Pickens into field goal range. Boswell’s field goal sailed wide right, keeping the Steelers score 31-3 at the end of the third quarter.
Off the missed field goal, it took just two plays for the Bills to score another touchdown. The score became 38-3 after the extra point.
Getting the ball back at the 25-yard line, the Steelers moved the ball down to the Bills 30-yard line, but four incompletions and the ball went back to the Bills as Case Keenum entered the game in place of Josh Allen. The Steelers held to a three and out and the Bills punted for the first time in the game.
After both teams exchanged three-and-outs, Pickett and the offense moved the ball into scoring position through the Buffalo prevent defense. At the two-minute warning the Steelers were in the red-zone, but, again, failed to add any points to the scoreboard.
When the dust settled, the final score read 38-3.
The loss moves the Steelers’ record to 1-4 on the season, as they now prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 at Acrisure Stadium. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they press on throughout the rest of the regular season.