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Bills Lose A Heartbreaker 19-16 In Overtime
Team battled back but lose third OT game of the year.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 12
Steelers  19
Bills  16
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Shaun Suisham hit a 41 yard field goal with 2:14 left in overtime to lift the Steelers to a 19-16 win over the Bills. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Bills who battled back from a 13-0 halftime deficit. They had the game won in overtime but Stevie Johnson dropped a perfect pass when he was wide open in the end zone. Earlier in the extra session Lee Evans couldn't pull in a bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick that likely would have won the game as well. Leodis McKelvin looked like he was going to take the OT kickoff back for a touchdown but he got tangled up with Arthur Moats. He also fumbled a punt in the wild OT but the Bills recovered. The lost field position on the fumble may have cost them a field goal try. The Bills battled back after getting dominated in the first half, thanks to a 65 yard screen pass to Fred Jackson for a touchdown and three Rian Lindell field goals including a 49 yarder with :02 left in regulation time to tie it.

The Turning Point:
The Bills had the game won. Fitzpatrick through a deep pass in overtime to a wide open Johnson. The pass was perfect and he dropped it in the end zone.

The Big Drive:
After the big drop, Fitzpatrick was sacked and the Bills were forced to punt. The Steelers took over at the 20 after the touchback and ran the ball down the field including converting a 3rd and 8 on a 17 yard pass to Mike Wallace. They then converted a 3rd and 2 on a 7 yard run by Isaac Redman. Shaun Suisham was money all day long and hit his fourth field goal in four attempts to win it with a 41 yard kick. The drive took 13 plays and went 58 yards and it came as the Bills defense was just dog tired after a solid effort in the 2nd half.

Stat of the Game:
1st Qtr Stats: The Steelers had the ball 13:51 to 1:09 for the Bills. They had 10 first downs to 1 for the Bills and outgained the Bills 129-12 while going 6 for 6 on third downs.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
The Bills turned the ball over twice in the red zone in the second half. If they don't turn the ball over one over those times they likely win the game in regulation.

Quick Slants:
- The stadium was nearly half full of Steeler fans. They were reports that terrible towels were being sold in the parking lots. Steeler fans also got a hold of many Bills season tickets.
- The activation of Naaman Roosevelt gives the Bills three Buffalo area natives on the active roster. Roosevelt joins Jon Corto and Jehuu Caulcrick.
- The Bills inexplicitly deferred when winning the coin toss. Don't know why they would do this with the worst run defense in the league going up against one of the better running teams in the league. Of course, the Steelers went right down the field to grab a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
- The Bills had the ball for just 6:05 in the first half. Lowest in the NFL this season. They only ran 14 first half offensive plays.

My Take:
This was a heartbreaking, emotional loss that will take a some time to get over. That is a huge improvement from earlier in the league when I was detached to the team and just knew they were going to lose. This team never gives up despite playing a team with so much more talent than they have, they battled back more times than I can count in this game. They just can't get over the top against good teams as they have now lost to three division leaders in overtime but this one hurts more. I feel bad for Johnson who will have a tough time getting his confidence back after going from the penthouse to the outhouse in one week and was devastated in the locker room after the game. This may be an awful season but they play entertaining football and you can't not love this group of players that never say die despite the season being lost. You only hope that can continue to grow and learn from these heart wrenching losses and not let it break their backs.

What's Ahead:
The Bills try to get back on track when they travel to Minnesota to take on Brett Favre and the disappointing Vikings.

Gameballs

  • Rian Lindell - Was three for three on field goals including the game tying 49 yarder at the end of regulation.
  • Fred Jackson - He finished with 163 yards total offense including 104 receiving.
  • Kyle Williams - He clogged up the middle well and got good penetration including two sacks and 10 tackles.
  • Marcus Stroud - Had seven tackles and a sack and was very active.


  • Goats
  • Stevie Johnson - 5 drops, one was picked off and one would have been the game winning touchdown in overtime.
  • Lee Evans - He had one catch for 9 yards and fumbled it away. He also couldn't pull in a potential game winning catch on a slightly overthrown pass by Fitzpatrick.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Fred Jackson - There is no comeback without their best offensive player.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Steelers Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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