By Chris Brown, Lead Journalist (BuffaloBills.com)-The Bills faced a notable step up in competition after their previous two victories in the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Buffalo hung tough after falling behind 13-0 at the half. They rallied to tie it early in the fourth and then came back and tied it a second time to tie it at 16 with just two seconds left in regulation on a 49-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to force overtime. In the end the Steelers prevailed getting a game-winning field goal from Shaun Suisham from 41 yards with 2:14 left in overtime dropping the Bills to 2-9 on the season in a 19-16 final.
After an exchange of possessions, Buffalo’s offense appeared to close the game out as Ryan Fitzpatrick hit a wide open Steve Johnson for what looked like a touchdown on a 1st-and-10 from the Steelers 40, but he dropped the pass. Three plays later the Bills had to punt again.
Pittsburgh then plowed out tough yards on the ground on what proved to be their game-winning 13-play 58-yard drive for the victory.
Down 16-13 Buffalo had a last ditch effort with 46 seconds left in regulation near midfield with no timeouts remaining. The Bills quickly moved 23 yards on six plays and Lindell hit his third field goal of the half to force overtime.
Down 16-13 with six minutes to play, Buffalo got a solid return from Leodis McKelvin and a personal foul penalty by Pittsburgh gave the Bills a drive start at the Steelers’ 44. Six plays later, facing a 2nd-and-7 at the Pittsburgh 12-yard line, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for Steve Johnson, deflected off the receiver’s hands and Troy Polamalu intercepted the ball at his own one-yard line.
The Buffalo defense played a solid game against a Pittsburgh offense that was coming off a 35-point effort the week before, and the Bills only stiffened come the second half. After a three-and-out got the ball back to their offense late in the third quarter leading to a field goal, they one-upped themselves.
Jairus Byrd stripped Rashard Mendenhall fighting for extra yardage at the Steelers 23 and recovered the fumble as well. The Steelers however, kept Buffalo out of the end zone forcing them to settle for a 32-yard Lindell field goal tying the score.
Pittsburgh answered with a field goal drive of their own. Ben Roethlisberger extended the drive with a mad 18-yard scramble on 3rd-and-17 to extend the possession. Four plays later however, a third down pass was dropped by Emmanuel Sanders and Pittsburgh had to take a 48-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham to re-take the lead 16-13 with 6:19 remaining.
It took until the latter stages of the third quarter to climb back into the game with the Steelers. Down 13-0 at the half, Buffalo’s offense finally got a big play on the fourth play of their second possession of the second half. On a 3rd-and-10 from their own 35, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson, who was lined up in the slot, on a quick underneath pass, and Jackson outraced the secondary down the middle of the field for a 65-yard touchdown.
The scoring play made it a one score game with 3:45 left in the third.
After the Bills defense forced a three-and-out, Buffalo made the game all the tighter. Fitzpatrick spread the ball around hitting five different receivers on an 11-play 69-yard drive. A pass interference penalty on Keenan Lewis, set Buffalo up 1st-and-10 at the Steelers’ 11. The Bills however, could not get any close to the goal line, as Fitzpatrick’s first two pass attempts were deflected and fell incomplete. His attempt on 3rd-and-10 was knocked away forcing Buffalo to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to make it a field goal game (13-10).
Buffalo’s offense came out in the second half and put together their most promising drive of the game together. But on a 1st-and-10 play at the Steelers 31, Lee Evans after making a nine-yard reception at the Pittsburgh 22 was stripped by Troy Polamalu before he went to the ground turning the ball over.
The Steelers came out flexing their ground game muscles as Rashard Mendenhall gained 35 yards on eight carries on the team’s opening drive including a one-yard touchdown run to cap a 13-play drive to put Pittsburgh ahead early 7-0. Hines Ward 3rd-and-8 reception for 21 yards was key to extending the drive and moved the Steelers into Buffalo territory before Pittsburgh stuck to the ground on the last six plays of the drive.
Buffalo’s defense allowed Pittsburgh to convert their first six third down opportunities, but finally got a stop on a 3rd-and-15, that was precipitated by a play in the Steelers’ backfield by Kyle Williams, who helped to drop Mendenhall for a five-yard loss to set up 3rd-and-15. Pittsburgh still got three points on their second drive however, as Shaun Suisham put a 45-yard attempt through the uprights for a 10-0 lead.
Converting third downs was a problem for Buffalo’s offense in the first half as they went 0-for-3 on third downs and managed just 51 total net yards through the first two quarters and just over six minutes of possession time.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half the Steelers would add another field goal to take a 13-0 lead to the locker room with Suisham hitting from 46-yards away, despite Buffalo’s efforts to ice the Pittsburgh kicker calling a timeout right before his first attempt, which was also good.