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Defense not excluded from woes in loss to Steelers

Steelers Bills Football
Posted at 10:24 PM, Sep 12, 2021

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Instead of a tale of two halves, Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Steelers was a tale of three quarters and the final quarter for the Bills' defense. Pittsburgh outscored Buffalo 17 to 6 to end the game.

"They made some plays. And if we want to take the next step, we can't let that stuff happen," Bills safety Micah Hyde said. "We executed well in the first half, and then in the second half, like I said, we weren't able to stop the bleeding."

As momentum built for the Steelers late in the game, Buffalo allowed 165 yards in the fourth quarter alone.

That's nearly double the 87 yards Buffalo allowed in the first 45 minutes of play.

"We just have to do a good job of talking on defense, and talking about the things that we see out there, and ultimately coming up with a stop," linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said. "We'll go back to the drawing board, we'll take a look at it man, and we'll definitely get better with that."

Both teams took a west coast approach on offense. The Steelers threw the ball last season more than any other team in the league. When Pittsburgh was working underneath, the Bills were able to handle it. But the chunk plays as Buffalo watched the lead slip away were what did them in.

"If they get time to sit back there and throw the ball on third downs, you know, it's not good enough," head coach Sean McDermott said. "Ben [Roethlisberger] was moving a little bit off his spot, but he did make some plays in critical moments and that's what a good quarterback does."

Buffalo was credited with six pass breakups in the loss. Over the course of the entire game, the Bills held Roethlisberger to 188 passing yards. They also sacked him twice, but despite several chances, they never took the ball way from the Steelers.

"Their defense took the ball away twice with that special teams touchdown. We've got to do better on our side of the ball to put our offense into a position to score points," Bills safety Jordan Poyer said. "We didn't find one way to take the ball away. And to me, I think that's the difference right there."

The Bills' struggles weren't limited to the defensive side of the ball. Buffalo's pass-heavy approach couldn't get into a rhythm. Both units will need a better effort next week when they visit the Miami Dolphins.

"That's what we do. We go back and we learn from this. There's a lot of things that we can do better. I can do better," McDermott said. "It starts with me."

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