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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at Bills

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers win the toss and elect to defer.

1:08 p.m. – What Went Right: Coach Mike Tomlin always tells his defense that while the unit has no control over when and where it will be sent onto the field, it has all of the control over how it gets off the field. Isaiah McKenzie took the opening kickoff and raced 75 yards to the Steelers 24-yard line, which is where the Bills began the game's opening possession of the game. After a 7-yard pass to Cole Beasley, a quick pass to Stephon Diggs lost 2 yards thanks to a quick tackle by Cam Sutton. Then on third-and-5, Cam Heyward got a hand on a Josh Allen pass, and the Bills settled for a 37-yard field goal by Tyler Bass and a 3-0 lead with 13:30 left in the first quarter.

1:28 p.m. – What Went Right: In their first two possessions, the Bills offense was flagged for holding three times, with one of those declined because it came on an incomplete pass on a third-and-14. Melvin Ingram III was held, and Chris Wormley was held on the two penalties that were accepted. Cam Heyward was held on the play when the penalty was declined.

1:38 p.m. – What Went Right: After a strip/sack by Mario Addison forced a Steelers punt, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chase Claypool moved the punt back another 15 yards, Buffalo's third offensive series began on its 37-yard line. On a third-and-1 from the 46-yard line, the Bills ran a flea flicker, but Josh Allen's pass for Stephon Diggs was batted away by Cam Sutton. After the punt and a 5-yard return by Ray-Ray McCloud, the Steelers took possession at their 13-yard line.

1:50 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was a third-and-5 from the Pittsburgh 38-yard line early in the second quarter, when Ben Roethlisberger passed to Chase Claypool. Levi Wallace interfered to break up the pass but there was no flag on the play.

2:05 p.m. – What Went Right: A 30-yard punt by Pressley Harvin III put the Steelers in a bad spot when it gave the Bills possession at the Pittsburgh 35-yard line. On third-and-13 from the 38-yard line, T.J. Watt authored a strip/sack of Josh Allen, and Cam Heyward recovered at the Pittsburgh 45-yard line with 8:38 left in the first half.

2:29 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Buffalo finally got the ball into the end zone thanks to a 13-play, 91-yard drive that was capped by a 3-yard pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis who created just enough separation from Cam Sutton to make the play for the score. Allen completed 7-of-8 passes on the drive, and he also converted both third down situations – a 37-yard pass to Davis came on a third-and-5 when the Steelers also were caught with 12 men on the field, and then he converted a third-and-1 from the 9-yard line with a 3-yard run. The drive took 5:39 and gave the Bills a 10-0 lead with 22 seconds left in the second quarter, a lead they took into the locker room at halftime.

HALFTIME: Bills 10, Steelers 0

2:53 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers got their first points of the game via a 24-yard field goal by Chris Boswell that capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive, but there was a sense it could've yielded even more. The drive started with two Najee Harris runs for 11 total yards. Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-4 with a 19-yard pass to Eric Ebron, and then on the next play, Chase Claypool made a 22-yard combat catch over Tre'Davious White. But on a third-and-4 from the 6-yard line, Roethlisberger's pass for Harris was just a bit high, and Boswell came on for the field goal that made it 10-3 with 10:23 left in the third quarter.

3:03 p.m. – What Went Right: After the Steelers cut the lead to 10-3, the Bills moved from their 25-yard line to a first down at the Steelers 37-yard line, but then the Pittsburgh defense again stiffened. After an incomplete pass and a 2-yard run, a third-down pass was broken up by Minkah Fitzpatrick, and then a fourth-down pass was defended by Cam Sutton.

3:13 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The possession ended with another red zone field goal that sliced into the Bills' lead, but to defeat a team the caliber of Buffalo on the road is going to require some better efficiency in the red zone. After their defense turned the ball over on downs, the Steelers put together an 11-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard field goal and a 10-6 deficit with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter. A 2-yard run by Najee Harris converted a third-and-1; Ben Roethlisberger found Pat Freiermuth alone in the middle of the field for a 24-yard completion, and then on the next play, a nice block from Freiermuth sprung Chase Claypool on a 25-yard run.

THIRD QUARTER: Bills 10, Steelers 6

3:24 p.m. – What Went Right: It was fourth-and-1 at the Steelers 41-yard line on the third play of the fourth quarter. After a 7-yard completion to Stephon Diggs on the first play of the quarter, Minkah Fitzpatrick came up and stopped Matt Breida for a 2-yard gain on third-and-1. On fourth-and-1, the Bills lined up in a power formation and tried to get Breida the ball in space, but Sutton made the tackle for a 7-yard loss.

3:31 p.m. – What Went Right: After the defense turned the ball over on downs, the Steelers faced a third-and-7 at the 45-yard line when Chase Claypool drew a defensive pass interference penalty on Levi Wallace for a 26-yard gain. On the next play, Najee Harris raced 18 yards for a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line. Then, Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball into the back corner of the end zone where Diontae Johnson made a juggling catch and did a toe-tap for the touchdown that gave Pittsburgh a 13-10 lead with 11:19 left in the fourth quarter.

3:38 p.m. – What Went Right: Buffalo's ensuing possession began with a 4-yard pass to Cole Beasley, and then on second down James Pierre stripped the ball out of Emmanuel Sanders' hands for an incomplete pass over the middle. On third down, a sack by Cam Heyward was good for a 6-yard loss and forced a punt. Miles Killebrew broke through up the middle and blocked the punt, and Ulysees Gilbert scooped the ball and ran it into the end zone. It was 20-10 with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter.

3:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bills are too good of a team not to answer the blocked punt, but it was a little bit too easy and too fast. Buffalo put together a nine-play drive that covered 67 yards and ended with a 25-yard field goal that made the score 20-13 with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter. But the Bills gained 51 yards on five running plays, most of them right through the middle of the Steelers defense.

3:58 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers answered Buffalo's field goal with a nine-play, 48-yard drive that yielded a 45-yard field goal from Chris Boswell that restored the Steelers lead to 10 points, 23-13. JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a 24-yard pass for one first down, and then Chase Claypool made a nice play on a third down for an 11-yard gain for another first down. It was 23-13 with 2:41 remaining and the Bills were out of timeouts.

4:13 p.m. – What Went Right: The Bills kicked a field goal instead of trying for the touchdown with less than 50 seconds left, out of timeouts, and with a two-score deficit, and by doing so they put all of their hope on recovering the onside kick. Tyler Bass' 42-yard field goal was good and cut Buffalo's deficit to 23-16, but after JuJu Smith-Schuster recovered the onside kick attempt, the Steelers went into victory formation.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 23, Bills 16