clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What was the game-changing moment in the Steelers loss to the Bills?

The Steelers were out of the game early in Week 5. What was the biggest moment that led to the defeat?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have dropped their fourth-straight game of the 2022 season, this time in the most embarrassing fashion this year. Giving up 400 yards and 31 points in the first half coupled with only managing three points on the day had this game out of reach very early.

But what was the biggest moment that sent the Steelers down the path to the loss?

With each win for the Steelers this season being where we hand out a game ball and look at the top individual performance, each loss we will take a look at what we will call the “game-changing moment” of the game. What was the individual play or a set of plays that ended up being the biggest contribution to the loss? While it does not necessarily come down to just one thing that keeps a team from winning, it also doesn’t mean that all the moments share equal blame.

Last week, the biggest game-changing moment was determined to be the interception by Kenny Pickett thrown off of Pat Freiermuth’s hands. The play after the Steelers fumbled and lost yardage on first down, Kenny Pickett scrambled and eluded pressure to throw a pass to Pat Freiermuth on the sidelines. Putting the ball where only his receiver could catch it or it would go out of bounds, the pass ultimately hit off of Freiermuth’s hands and deflected into the arms of a Jets player giving New York the ball at their own 35-yard line and the chance to tie the game or take the lead with 3:34 remaining.

I will reiterate for everyone of the rules that it is individual plays or series that will be highlighted from this game (yes, the injury to T.J. Watt in Week 1 could have a strong argument). Although it could be applicable, it will not be total performances as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article.

So here are the nominations in chronological order:

The 98-yard touchdown pass

After Buffalo botched the opening kickoff and the player was tackled at their own 2-yard line, the Steelers started off strong on defense by forcing an incompletion and a run for no gain. But but less than a minute into the game and facing a third and 10 with the Bills throwing from their own end zone, the Steelers had a chance to get the ball back with great field position. Instead, it was a 98-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis.

The fumbled kickoff

The Steelers were down 7-0 and were preparing for their first offensive possession of the game. With Steven Sims set to replace Gunner Olszewski as the kick returner, an eye issue suffered in pre-game warm-ups had Sims unavailable for the Steelers first kick return. Instead, James Pierre was forced onto to the field, muffs the kick, and the Bills took over at the Steelers 21-yard line.

Three-straight three and outs

Even though things could have been a lot worse, the Steelers were down 10–7 when they began their second offensive series at their own 25-yard line. With a very interesting holding call on Zach Gentry which negated the first down and forced the Steelers into a second and long, the Steelers ended up going three and out and gave the ball back to a hot Buffalo offense. If it would have just been one drive it would have been one thing, but the next two drives also ended in three and out situations for the Steelers. By the time the Steelers got their next first down, there would be less than seven minutes remaining in the first half and they would be facing a 24–3 deficit.

The 62-yard touchdown

In the midst of the Steelers three-straight three and out drives, there was a response by the Bills which put them up two scores. After having to punt into the wind which only went 34 yards, the Bills began their drive after the Steelers second three and out from their own 38-yard line. It only took Buffalo one play on a 62-yard touchdown pass, once again from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis, for the Bills to push the game to 17–3.

Missing the field goal on 4th & 5 at the BUF 15

This play wasn’t about missing the field goal, it was about even bothering to attempt it. While the game may have already been out of hand at this point, it’s the next closest thing to make the list. But with the Steelers down three touchdowns and with 3:43 remaining in the first half, they had pushed the ball to the Buffalo 15-yard line but faced a fourth down and five. Rather than trying to push the ball all the way to the end zone to try to make it a two score game as they would receive the ball coming out of the second half, the Steelers went for a field goal keeping the game at three scores. The fact that the field goal was no good is mostly inconsequential as it was more of an attitude of waving the white flag before halftime.

So what do you think? What was the biggest moment that had the most effect on the Steelers loss this week? Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner (which is ultimately the loser) will be determined. And of course, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


What was the game-changing moment in the Steelers loss to the Jets in Week 4?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    The 98-yard touchdown pass
    (510 votes)
  • 7%
    The fumbled kickoff
    (59 votes)
  • 16%
    Three-straight three and outs
    (135 votes)
  • 7%
    The 62-yard touchdown
    (60 votes)
  • 4%
    Missing the field goal on 4th & 5 at the BUF 15
    (37 votes)
801 votes total Vote Now