Other than rookie right guard David DeCastro’s injury, it was a pretty good night for the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger led an 11-play, 98-yard drive in 1:33 for a touchdown just before halftime to remind everyone how good the Steelers can look when they go no-huddle, the deep pass made a return to the playbook resulting in big catches for Jonathan Dwyer and Antonio Brown and the defense did a good job keeping the Bills starting offense in check.
The pass rush created a lot of problems for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went 7-for-18 for 89 yards while getting sacked once in a half of play. Running back C.J. Spiller fumbled and Vince Young got picked off by Troy Polamalu on the first play of the second half. The news wasn’t all bad for the Bills. Stevie Johnson’s groin seemed fine while he was making three catches for 36 yards and Fred Jackson ran well on seven first half carries while the defense got two sacks from Mario Williams.
But the Steelers still looked like the team that was more prepared for the start of the season. Roethlisberger was 17-of-24 for 169 yards and a touchdown as the offense looked more aggressive than it has at any other point in the preseason. Antonio Brown made up for two early drops with a pair of touchdown catches, the second coming from Byron Leftwich just after Young’s interception.
All of that won’t be moot if DeCastro’s injury proves to be as serious as it looked, but it will put an end to hopes of a youthful talent infusion to the offensive line. Max Starks struggled on Saturday, but Mike Adams hasn’t given any reason to believe he would have done any better and the team can only plug Ramon Foster into so many spots at a time.