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What went right, wrong at Buffalo


  • One of the things the Steelers offense had yet to accomplish this preseason was answering an opponent's touchdown drive with one of its own. That box now can be checked off thanks to a five-play, 80-yard drive that came on the possession after the Bills had taken a 7-0 lead. The big play was a 35-yard pass interference penalty on Bills CB Ronald Darby on a deep route by Martavis Bryant. After a 20-yard completion from Ben Roethlisberger to Markus Wheaton that put the ball at the 1-yard line, DeAngelo Williams scored the Steelers' first rushing touchdown of the preseason.
  • After completing that 80-yard touchdown drive that included a successful two-point conversion run by DeAngelo Williams, Ben Roethlisberger was replaced at quarterback by Mike Vick. His first play in a Steelers uniform was a 63-yard completion to Martavis Bryant that put the ball at the Buffalo 17-yard line. That possession ended with a Garrett Hartley field goal that cut the Steelers' deficit to 13-11.
  • The Bills had a first down pass to Marcus Easley nullified by a pass interference penalty on Easley, and on a re-do of the third down, a sack by Arthur Moats on Matt Cassel forced the Bills to punt with 3:12 left in the first quarter.
  • After their second touchdown, the Bills again went for a two-point conversion, but this time Bud Dupree penetrated, got off a block and made the tackle on Fred Jackson.

* The opening drive of the game in Jacksonville seems so long ago. That was the game when the Steelers first-team offense took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in six plays and then added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. Two weeks later, the Steelers won the coin toss to open the game against the Bills, and their opening possession went like this: run by DeAngelo Williams for no gain; incomplete pass to Heath Miller; sack by Corbin Bryant for a loss of 6 yards. Brad Wing ended up punting out of his end zone.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Orchard Park, NY to face the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 of the 2015 Preseason.

  • On Buffalo's first offensive play, the Bills got a nice block on rookie L.T. Walton, who was starting in place of Stephon Tuitt, and then RB Fred Jackson cut back across the field and took advantage of a pancake block on William Gay to get down the left sideline for 41 yards to the Steelers 2-yard line. Two plays later, Jackson got into the end zone to give the Bills a 6-0 lead that he made 8-0 by running in the two-point conversion.
  • The second time the Bills got the ball, they again hit a big play on the Steelers defense, and this time it was through the air. E.J. Manuel hit tight end Charles Clay with a pass deep down the middle of the field that turned into a 67-yard touchdown. After the score, Shamarko Thomas' body language seemed to suggest he was the player who was beaten on the play.
  • On the kickoff following his 28-yard field goal in the first quarter, Garrett Hartley pulled his right hamstring on the ensuing kickoff and was out for the rest of the game.
  • Early in the second quarter, with the Steelers trailing, 13-11, Ethan Hemer batted a Matt Cassel pass into the air, and the ball fluttered out into the left flat where Brandon Boykin had a clear shot at a pick-six from the Buffalo 35-yard line. Boykin dropped the ball.
  • The second half began in the same way as the first half for the Steelers defense – with a big play allowed for a touchdown. This time it was a 37-yard pass from E.J. Manuel to Tobais Palmer, who got behind safety Alden Darby and then was able to make the catch in the back of the end zone when Darby was unable to make a play on the ball when it arrived. The score upped the Bills lead to 36-19.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills prepare to face off in Week 3 of the 2015 preseason at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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