Steelers: Better lucky than good
Sunday, November 28, 2010 05:05 PM
Written by Bob Smizik
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If you’re a fan of football with high drama, this game was for you.
If you’re a fan of football full of huge plays, this game was for you.
If you’re a fan who likes to question coaching strategy, this game was for you.
If you're a fan who believes sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, this game definitely was for you.
The Steelers dominated early and hung on for dear life late today at Buffalo to win in overtime, 19-16.
What a football game!
The Steelers are 8-3 and in excellent position to make the post-season. But they’ll have to play better than they did today.
In a play neither he, nor his teammates nor Buffalo fans ever will forget, Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone in overtime that would have won the game. Not only was Johnson wide open, the ball was placed perfectly in his hands.
It looked so much like a game-winning touchdown Buffalo players began celebrating. Those with their back turned to the play had to be told to stop.
The Steelers led, 13-0 at halftime -- a touchdown and two field goals -- but scored only three points in the second half as their once-potent offense either came to a halt or could not make a big play.
Buffalo scored a touchdown on a 65-yard pass play on its second possession of the third quarter and that seemed to suck all of the momentum away from the Steelers, who had totally dominated the first half.
Buffalo got three field goals in the fourth quarter, as the Steelers bend-but-don’t break defense gave up yards but not touchdowns.
The biggest play of the fourth quarter was made as Buffalo had a second and 7 on its own 12 with about three minutes remaining and appeared headed for at least a game-tying field goal but more likely a go-ahead touchdown. But in swooped Troy Polamalu to gather in a tipped ball just short of the goal line for a crucial interception.
The Steelers could not move the ball and the Bills came back for a game-tying field goal to send the game into overtime. They had much the better of it in the extra period but Johnson’s drop in the end zone seemed to take the fight out of them.
The Steelers moved 63 yards on 13 plays to set up a 41-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham, his fourth of the game.
The Steelers ran superbly against Buffalo’s worst-in-the-league rush defense. Rashard Mendenhall gained 151 yards on 36 carries and Isaac Redman added 25 on five carries.
It was enough -- barely.