ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bills are one step closer to the postseason. The Bills, playing in their second straight prime time game, topped the Steelers 26-15 Sunday night to improve to 10-3 on the season. With the win and the Miami loss to Kansas City earlier in the day, the Bills extended their AFC East lead to two games.
It was a defensive battle for the first 15 minutes of game clock with both teams unable to do much with the ball. The longest drive of the first quarter was by Pittsburgh [eight plays, 32 yards] as the quarter ended in a 0-0 score.
Defense was once again the name in the 2nd quarter as Pittsburgh struck first. The team, which leads the league in defensive turnovers, came up big less than midway through the quarter after Dawson Knox fumbled after a catch, with the ball falling into the hands of Cameron Sutton. The Steelers later capitalized after Ben Roethlisberger found James Washington in the end zone to give them a 7-0 lead with nine minutes left in the half.
The Bills offense finally got things going, and while they couldn't find the end zone, did get some points after Tyler Bass hit a 34-yard field goal. Just when it looked like the Bills would head into the half trailing 7-3, the defense came up big. Taron Johnson made a perfect read on a Roethlisberger throw, intercepted the ball, and took it to the house for the team's first defensive touchdown of the season. The Bills took a 9-7 lead [after the missed extra point] into the locker room.
The Bills came out in the 3rd quarter and capitalized on their first drive of the half after Josh Allen found Stefon Diggs for their first offensive touchdown of the game. The touchdown pass was Allen's 34th of the season, which tied him with Jim Kelly for the team's single season record.
But that record was short-lived. Minutes later, the Bills offense capitalized after another solid defensive stand. Allen, this time, found rookie Gabriel Davis for the 13-yard score to take a 23-7 lead, giving Allen the new franchise record for total touchdowns in a season .
After allowing 23 unanswered points, the Steelers got back on the board in the early parts of the 4th quarter. Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster connected on a 3-yard touchdown to cap off a ten-play, 81-yard drive to cut the lead to 23-15 after the two-point conversion. But the Bills, needing a response, once again made it a two-score game after Bass hit a 23-yard field goal to put the Bills back up by 11.
The Bills defense, once again, came up with a huge play when the team needed them to after Levi Wallace recorded the team's second interception of the game. The Bills stormed down field and iced the game, grabbing their 10th win of the season.
By the numbers
After a sluggish start, Allen picked things up and finished the night 24-of-43 for 238 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. It was once again a pass-heavy game by the Bills offense as they recorded just 104 total rushing yards on 27 carries.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a career night. He led the receiving game with 10 catches for 130 yards for his fifth 100-yard game this season. He now has a season-high 1,158 receiving yards and has tied a Bills single-season record for receptions with 100, held by Eric Moulds.
The Bills will hit the road next weekend when they play the Denver Broncos (5-8). Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, December 19th at 4:30 pm and can be seen on 7ABC.