The Buffalo Bills were beaten handily by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. While the entire game was a fail for the Bills, we’re cruel people here at Tip of the Tower and feel the need to point out each and every units deficiencies!
RUNNING GAME: D+
EJ Manuel used a proper slide on a scramble to smartly protect himself, so that’s something I suppose. Besides that, the run game was pretty uninspiring with Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller combining for just 78 yards on 20 carries (3.9 YPC). Not Trent Richardson bad, but not good enough when you have a rookie quarterback under center either.
PASSING GAME: F–
EJ Manuel was making his first start in over a month, so we can forgive Manuel for not being at his best, but the passing offense was absolutely dreadful. The final stats don’t look quite like “F–” material but considering how bad this Steelers defense has been and the fact that Manuel padded the stats a bit against Pittsburgh’s prevent defense as time wound down, it’s a deserved F minus minus.
RUN DEFENSE: F
The Steelers heading into Sunday’s match up ranked 28th in rushing offense and 27th in Yards Per Carry. By halftime they had managed to get to 99 yards on the ground (after gaining 100 only twice total all season). Pittsburgh dominated time of possession and controlled the tempo of the game. It was ugly, and absolutely unacceptable.
PASS DEFENSE: B-
Hey, a unit that wasn’t embarrassingly bad! The subject of early season trade rumors Jairus Byrd managed to haul in his first interception of the season, while the pass rush managed to take down Big Ben 4 times on the day. The overall Steelers passing game was kept in check, however that was partially due to the ground game’s effectiveness. Amazingly, three Steelers receivers managed a play of over 26 yards, despite the team only netting 164 yards through the air. .
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
Remember when Brian Moorman came in and was the saviour of the punt unit for the Bills? Well he managed to net 24.2 yards on nine punts, including returns of 50 and 24 yards. Oh, and the Bills actually fell for a hard count on a Steelers field-goal attempt. It wasn’t good.
The Bills redzone and third down struggles continued. While some of that is on the players, I am continually frustrated by the play calling. The most ergragrious call of the game? Down two touchdowns with 14 minutes left Doug Marrone called a punt from the Steelers’ 36 yard line. Indefensible on most occassions, but even more so with the way the Steelers were grinding the ball on the ground.