Sunday, August 26, 2012

Second Half Smackdown: Steelers Win


Steelers win the toss and elect to receive. They've won every toss this preseason, not that that means anything.

The offense doesn't do anything with it and the Everest-less special teams gives up a punt return to midfield.

Foote gets his hand on a pass on 3rd down and Woodley almost comes down with the pick. Buffalo pins us back inside the 5.

Redman and DeCastro both go down on the next drive. DeCastro got carted off. Shit.

Fred Jackson busts off two nice runs to get the Bills inside the 30, then Fitzpatrick hits a tight end to get them down to the goal line. Fred Jackson punches it in.


The offense finally gets rolling when Ben hits AB on a little fade route. Redman comes back in the game and keeps things moving, but a holding penalty on Pouncey sets things back. Drew Butler makes his case for being the punter ahead of the injured Kapinos by sticking one right on the 1.

The Bills wait until after the commercial break to challenge that the punt was downed at the 1. Apparently Curtis Brown's foot was on the goal line when he batted it back to Mundy. Bills get 19 free yards. 

The Bills keep rolling with Stevie Johnson, seemingly fully recovered from his smiting, reeling in a big catch to get close to midfield. Ziggy gets a paw up against a double team and forces a 3rd and long, then Curtis Brown atones for his mistake by making a diving breakup of a pass for Stevie.

Nothing memorable happened on the next drive. Ben took a shot down the sideline for Sanders on 3rd and 5. Ball hit Sanders in the hands but he dropped it. Oh well, it's preseason.

Second Quarter

Woodley drops his 2nd potential pick of the game, but the defense locks it down with Chris Carter ringing up a coverage sack on 2nd down. 

AB gets things rolling with a nice sideline catch on an out-route. Redman gets us into 3rd and short on a screen pass, but Dwyer can't convert. Punt.

Lawrence Timmons lowers the boom on CJ Spiller and the ball pops out and Ziggy falls on it to set up the Steelers with a huge opportunity in the red zone.

The line finally gives Ben time to throw and he finds Heath on a sideline come-back route to get us down to the 5. Gilbert blows a block and Redman gets blown up in the backfield to set us back, but AB reels one in across the middle to get us down to the 1. Red Zone Redman pounds it in.



The defense forces a 3rd and long, but a 4-man rush can't get pressure and Fitzpatrick is able to find an open receiver to move the chains. The defense locks it down and forces a punt. 

The offense decides it would rather go backwards than forwards and it's another 3-and-out. 

The Bills take over near midfield, but the defense forces a 3-and-out, giving us a shot to practice the 2-minute offense. The Bills punter sticks another one inside the 5. Did someone replace his foot with a pitching wedge?

After two futile plays, the line gives Ben alllll day and he finds Dwyer down the sideline with a back-shoulder throw for a big 35-yard gain to get the offense rolling. With a minute and a half to go, Ben goes to the hurry-up and hits Cotchery across midfield then again on a slant to get into field goal range. Sanders snags one to move into the red zone. With only 1 timeout left, the receivers do an excellent job of getting out of bounds to preserve seconds on the clock. Ben scrambles up the middle and gets all the way down to the 5 and the Steelers use their last timeout with 18 seconds to go. Right out of the timeout, Brown runs a beautiful flag route and Ben puts it where only Brown is going to catch it right across the goal line.



Buffalo kneels it out to end the half.

Third Quarter

The First team defense stays out there for the beginning of the second half. Vince Young comes in at quarterback for the Bills and throws a pick to Troy, who makes a beautiful undercut of a route, on his first throw.

Leftwich comes in and comes out gunslinging, he bombs one deep for Antonio Brown who beats two guys on a post route for a HUGE touchdown.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.



With a comfortable lead, the first team defense had proved enough and the second string got their chance to shine. Cortez Allen makes a nice leaping break-up of a pass down the sideline. Edmund Nelson acts surprised when Vince Young tucks and runs for a first down. 
Corbin Bryant makes a move  and rings up a sack on first down and Allen makes another break-up on 3rd down.

Buffalo continues to dominate the field position game with another punt inside the 10. 

Brown bails us out with another catch on a back-shoulder throw, but Dwyer can't move the chains on two chances and Drew Butler booms a 59-yarder to flip the field on the Bills. Josh Victorian, who had an interception last week, downs the ball. Victorian as the second-string gunner could be a sign he's making a move towards a roster spot.

The Steelers look to have the Bills right where they want them after a holding penalty puts Buffalo in a 3rd and long but a flare pass down the sidelines moves the sticks and keeps the drive alive. Vince Young makes another good 3rd down throw to move the Bills across midfield. 

Fourth Quarter

The defense finally locks it down with the Bills in field goal range. Tashard Choice drops an easy catch on 3rd down. Rather than taking the easy 3, Buffalo elects to go for it. Curtis Brown steps up and knocks the pass down.

Another 3-and-out as the 3rd string guys start to filter in to the lineup. Bills defense is really fast sideline-to-sideline.

Vince Young telegraphs another pass and Robert Golden jumps the route and takes it all the way back inside the 10 before Young catches him. 

On the second play, former Penn State standout Derrick Williams gets the call on a WR screen. With a TE and tackle blocking for him, he has a clear path to the end zone for the score.


Vince Young craps on himself and it's another punt for Buffalo.

Derrick Williams inserts his name into the battle for the 5th receiver by climbing the ladder and making a good catch over a defender for a 22-yarder to get us into field goal range. 

A fumbled snap puts a damper on things, and Danny Hrapmann nails a 42-yarder.


Young remembers how to play football and completes a few passes, but the defense puts the clamps on the Bills.

Baron Batch bursts through a hole and dashes for 15 and a facemask penalty move us across midfield. Chris Who'll Stop the Rainey absolutely EXPLODES around the corner and blazes down the sideline into the end zone for another touchdown.



The Bills catch a case of the drops as the clock winds down to 2 minutes.

Baron Batch gets a few carries as the Steelers run out the clock.


Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Antonio Brown
Defensive Game Ball: Cortez Allen
Honorable Mentions:
Chris Rainey
Isaac Redman
Derrick Williams
Lawrence Timmons
Ziggy Hood
Troy Polamalu
Robert Golden
Curtis Brown
Ben Roethlisberger
Drew Butler

Final Thoughts
  • We'll be holding our breath until we hear anything about DeCastro's MRI.
  • Keisel sprained his ankle too, somewhere in there.
  • All Antonio Brown does is make big plays. Period. 7 catches, 108 yards, 2 TDs.
  • Ben was under some pressure tonight, but the line held up in some key situations, particularly on the 3rd down on the 2-minute drive where Ben hit Dwyer down the sideline. Game-changing play right there.
  • Serious question: Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen as the #2 corner? Lewis has been the starter but Allen has played better so far.
  • Curtis Brown made a big step tonight, making a few really nice plays to break up passes.
  • For as tight as this game was at halftime, the Steelers backups utterly dominated the Bills backups.
  • The Bills dominated the field position game for much of the night but couldn't do a whole lot with it. Their only scoring drive started at midfield. Other than that, the Bills really didn't do much with the ball.
  • Chris Carter had a really nice game tonight. Picked up a sack and applied some pressure. 
  • Another 3 turnovers from the defense. Steelers got 21 points off those turnovers. That's how you make it count. 
  • Drew Butler had a really good night punting the ball. If Kapinos isn't healthy when the season starts, I think we'll be okay with Butler as our punter.
  • That's probably the last we'll see of some of these guys until Denver. Next game on Thursday.
  • Buckle up for cut week. Cut down to 75 on Monday, 53 on Friday.

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