Steelers do something with ball, beat Bills

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The Steelers were far from perfect, but Sunday, they didn’t need to be.

A team that hasn’t been good with the ball beat a team that was horrible in that regard, as the Steelers beat the Bills 23-10 to improve to 3-6.

Ben Roethlisberger was 18-of-30 for 204 yards, with an interception and a touchdown, and the Steelers ran well as a group despite a lack of individual brilliance. Le’Veon Bell led them with 57 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, as they were able to run often enough, if not well.

The Bills fell to 3-7, as they had many problems, specifically on offense. The Steelers brought a lot of pressure and much of it was productive, but this was more about Buffalo’s dysfunction.

They did nothing but punt until E.J. Manuel threw an interception, and they also lost one of their best chances to make a play.

Wide receiver Stevie Johnson left with a groin injury and did not return.

Manuel should have been so lucky, as he was 22-of-39 for 155 yards in his first game back after missing a month with a knee injury. He threw a touchdown with three seconds left, but otherwise looked like a rookie.

51 responses to “Steelers do something with ball, beat Bills

  1. Nice to get a win today. Can’t wait for the so-called prune juice drinking Steeler fans to complain about the lack of points scored by the Steelers offense today. Last time I checked, getting the win is what is important in the NFL, scoring more than your opponent. Remember last week they scored over 30 points and lost. Some people just have to complain.

    If you want to complain about Ben’s performance, go look at Luck’s, Dalton’s and Flacco’s stats today.

    I am happy with the win and the minor continuing chance the Steelers can make the playoffs thanks to the division’s ineptitude.

  2. Today’s game was pretty fundamentally good for the Steelers. Defense looked good. Ben played well, made some smart decisions with the ball. Antonio Brown looked good on offense and on special teams.

    The last TD by Buffalo should have been waved off on a illegal procedure / false start penalty.

    Hopefully all of the Ben haters will stay away today. They have nothing to complain about today.

  3. Now all we will hear all week is that they are only 3 games out of 1st place and other playoff talk, and how they have turned their season around. Really it’s too funny how delusional the fans are!

  4. Thanks, scoobies. Interesting how the most mature guy on the boards the last few weeks has been a Ravens fan. Apparently some people view being a Steelers fan as “love it or leave it.” I’m thrilled my team beat the now 3-7 Bills in Pittsburgh to become 3-6. But that doesn’t change the Big Picture of Pittsburgh’s problems. And as an adult football fan with a genuine love for my team, I want them to be their best. So since this is a football blog, I’ll continue to post my opinions about what would make them a better team. If that doesn’t suit the Peanut Gallery, too bad.

  5. The AFC North is really up for grabs by the team that manages to play consistently well down the stretch . . . while the Steelers are in the basement, it’s not that far from the top. Anything can happen , so I’m in it for the long haul and won’t presume that my opinion on what’s wrong with the Steelers will be evaluated by ownership as ‘genuine’.

  6. Deb | Nov 10, 2013, 5:02 PM EST
    Thanks, scoobies. Interesting how the most mature guy on the boards the last few weeks has been a Ravens fan. Apparently some people view being a Steelers fan as “love it or leave it.” I’m thrilled my team beat the now 3-7 Bills in Pittsburgh to become 3-6. But that doesn’t change the Big Picture of Pittsburgh’s problems. And as an adult football fan with a genuine love for my team, I want them to be their best. So since this is a football blog, I’ll continue to post my opinions about what would make them a better team. If that doesn’t suit the Peanut Gallery, too bad.

    Don’t always agree with some of your recent posts on Ben, but respect you as a more often than not a thoughtful poster and steeler fan. I too am a thick or thin to the bitter end steeler fan. Change is coming for the steelers which I have said since last year, but Ben is not the sole cause as the big prune maintains. I guess the steelers need to win more for us to be prune less.

  7. As much as I would love my team to streak into the playoffs, it’s not what they need in the big picture. They need to get a good draft class. They also need to do something in free agency, not saying they need to spend like the dolphins but they need some good pick ups.

    It’s funny how someone brought up that steeler fans will be saying how they are only 3 games back, I thought I seen raven fans doing the same thing. Truth is neither team is playing well enough to take second place in the north let alone make it to the playoffs.

  8. Its always fun to see your team win. But i have to remind myself of who they beat( not trying to disrespect the bills) But they have the lions coming to town next week win or lose i just want to see what kind of heart this team has. Who wants to be here or who needs to go down the road.

  9. @no fool …

    Thank you! I love the Steelers to a ridiculous degree 🙂 And I appreciate how much you and other Steelers fans posting love them, too! Was frustrated by a comment about “prune-juice drinking Steelers fans” because I’ve been critical of the team. Criticizing isn’t fun. Of course, I’m happy we won. But winning isn’t all-important (forgive me, Bear Bryant). The team has been missing its Steelers swagger and a victory over a mediocre Bills team won’t fix the problem. As steelersfanfromtheseventies said, the team needs to find its heart. That’s my priority, win or lose.

  10. That was probably the worst Bills game I’ve ever seen. Actually, I don’t know if anything could be worse than that 8-0 loss to the Browns back in 2007.

  11. Hey grandpa (deb) Ravens still have a better record and will make the playoffs. Steelers are falling apart and will move to LA in 2 years.


  12. Ben is still a top 5 QB, and all you naysayers are just looking for a scapegoat for the team woes.

  13. Nice to see the Steelers get a win today!

    O-line play still doesn’t look great, but take the ‘W’. Defense played good all day long and really liked seeing Heyward make some plays, too. Looked like Jarvis Jones is progressing too.

  14. Wonderful. The Steelers beat a rookie qb who’s been out for a month with a knee injury. Long way to go.

  15. lpo320 …

    Do you think any of us believe the team owners are reading our opinions and listening to our advice? If so, I’d advise them to send me skybox tickets. Said my “love” for the team was genuine, nothing more … which is why I find it silly (or immature) when people question fan loyalty just because someone criticizes poor play or bad decisionmaking. Good grief.

  16. Deb . . . sorry you didn’t get my comment as ‘tongue in cheek’ . . .

    It’s just that you and some other posters seem to get ahold of something by the throat and never seem to let it go. It doesn’t matter whether or not Roethlisberger has a good game, you come back with I wish he would prepare better, he needs to do this, he needs to do that . . .

    Instead of focusing on him, how about the lack of drafting by the front office? Don’t you think the tight end Eifert, whom Cincinnati picked up, out of Notre Dame, was a better choice to compliment and help rebuild an offense that’s already struggling??? Jason Worilds was adequate and Jarvis Jones was definitely not worth a first round draft pick.

  17. EJ looked like a rookie? He IS a rookie! What was this, his 4th, 5th start? After a month out? No Woods, hobbled Johnson? Give the man a chance. He WILL be a franchise QB. It doesnt happen overnight. He SHOULD look like a rookie. He IS one!

  18. @lpo320 …

    Sorry … I’ve tried to spread the criticism around LOL

    Seriously, though, have long believed Colbert was a great player-personnel guy. Knew Ben wasn’t a cerebral player, but thought his physical gifts and gutsy play more than made up for his deficits. Really saw Tomlin as the right guy for the job. Now I’m just baffled, and find it easier to criticize Ben because his problems make more sense. If you don’t compensate for declining physical skills by playing smarter, you’re screwed. And Ben’s never been a student of the game.

    But Colbert? Was he the brilliant personnel guy we thought–or did Cowher deserve the lion’s share of that credit? Was Tomlin the promising coach he seemed? Or was he succeeding with Cowher’s players? Hate to believe that because I want Tomlin to succeed. Just think it will take more than a good draft and replacing Haley to fix this team.

  19. Both Tomlin and Haley have to go. Tomlin, because as he stated in his press conference after the New England debacle, he’s responsible for who the Steelers draft. I can see if it’s only one year that you have a bust a draft, but the Tomlin drafting era has been filled with question marks.

    It’s going to take time and patience to rebuild this team. Taking Roethlisberger off the field is not the answer. Building around him and grooming his replacement is, in my humble opinion.

  20. catquick,
    yes he is a rookie..BUT…what does have to do with awful throws behind guys, over throws, no pocket presence,,,,is this his first year playing football ????

    JP Losman part 2 in Buffalo

  21. Deb, not sure why you were upset with the prune juice comment, which was invented by someone other than me. We are all entitled to our opinions. While loyal through thick and thin, and probably posting here as long as anybody, I have criticized aspects of their game, and have said a number of times Ben can play better, but don’t believe he is their main problem, which I don’t. Some believe he is their main problem and have CONSTANTLY talked about their lack of scoring a lot of points. That was the intent of my earlier post. They scored over 30 last week and lost.

    Oh well, life goes on…

  22. bigfool:
    Roethlisberger is a quarterback who NEEDS his defense to hold opponents in check to be successful. He averages a mere 20 TD passes per season, and his scoring offenses — regardless of who the OC has been — routinely rank in the bottom third of the league.
    Yet he wants paid like a premiere quarterback. And that’s the reason he and the Rooneys will part company sooner rather than later.
    The Steelers NEED to get out from under his obscene contract via a trade for some high draft picks. It’s either that or continue to pay an average statistical QB millions of dollars, including a huge signing bonus, and proceed go on their merry, mediocre way.
    It’s all up to the organization.
    Personally, it makes no difference to me.

  23. Guys, I’ve argued with bobzilla as much, or more, than anyone through the years. But when a man’s right, he’s right. It doesn’t make me happy to concede that–believe me. But no matter how much people want to say bob’s being a prune (and holeinone09, when you made that plural, I took it kinda personally 🙂 ), his analyses of Ben’s performances over the last few seasons are dead on.

    The problem with rebuilding around Roethlisberger is that he’s not getting any younger–or any better. Because of the break-neck way he plays, he’s got about four productive years left. It will take time for a rebuilt defense to gel. And without that world-class defense to prop him up, Ben doesn’t look like an “elite” quarterback. He’s costing more than he’s giving–in money and turnovers. If we’re going to rebuild, shouldn’t we do it across the board?

  24. Great win by the steelers. Defense played great unlike last week against the pats. Offense continues to need much work in the red zone. Hopefully, this team can continue to win and make things interesting at the end of the year.

  25. Not that Big Bum didn’t try to lose it, throwing a pick on the Steelers first possession. Is a turnover on the Steeler’s first possession Big Bum’s new thing now?

    But the Steeler defense absolutely refused to let Big Bum drag them down with him and held the Bills to 3 points after Roehlisberger’s pick and after that pitched a shutout until the Bills scored a very Roethlisberger-esque meaningless garbage touchdown with 3 seconds left to make the game look closer than it was.

    I never complain about a win or points scored in a win. But if you want to call Big Bum elite show me a game he wins that J.P. Losman couldn’t of won. The next time Big Bum wins a game when the Steelers give up over 17 points will be the first in TWO YEARS.

    But it is no slam dunk win for the Steelers even when they hold the opponent to 17 points or less. In the season opener the Steeler defense held the Titans to 16 points the Steelers lost 16-9.

    And of course last year Big Bum lost a HOME game of playoff like win or go home importance when the Steeler defense held the Bengals to three points 13-10 because Big Bum threw pick 7 to start the game and a pick 3 to end it. A pick 3 is a pick thrown on your own half of the field that leads to a field goal.

    The Steelers do not win unless the Steeler defense carries Big Bum on its back and drags him across the finish line.

  26. The Steelers avoided the “Big Ben Trifecta” (interception, fumble, pick six) yesterday and won. The more the Steelers limit his potential turnovers, the better they become. The 250-300 YPG Ben is much better than the 400 YPG Ben. Fewer turnovers = more winning. Great job by the defense in showing some pride in your job. Great job by the coaches in motivating players early in the week by threatening their jobs. This is still a six win season, but at least the game yesterday was worth the 3 hours watching it.

  27. Deb:
    I’ve never understood the childish “prune” reference, other than I’m assuming I’m being given credit for not being full of crap…
    Seriously, I watch Drew Brees perform last night, and I was mesmerized by how an UP-TO-DATE, 2013 quarterback is suppose to play.
    If “prune” means I’m old, know this: I’m old enough to know that averaging 20, 21 points a game won’t consistently get it done in TODAY’S NFL.

  28. @bob …

    The key phrase there is “Today’s NFL.” I hate the high-scoring stuff. As someone who relishes great defense, I was quickly bored by last night’s game. Our 3-0 mud bowl against the Dolphins a few years ago was more entertaining. Recently someone posted on the college side that Alabama didn’t exactly dominate Ole Miss. Really? We beat them 25-0 despite pulling our starters for most of the second half. A 25-0 score is no longer considered domination? How bizarre.

    But that’s reality in a sport that has neutered defenses and opened the lanes for high-scoring offenses. If your offense can only manage 10-20 points a game, more often than not, it won’t be enough.

  29. Deb, and bobz,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I do respect opinions particularly of Steeler fans, who don’t always have to agree. A number of us don’t on some matters and never will, and that is fine with me. Nothing is personal.

    It does seem some don’t try to see other’s viewpoints, and maybe I am guilty of that at times. It is clear several of you will never acknowledge the impact of the poor OL play, and not just this year, and how it has impacted Ben’s performance. How many times have broadcasters referred to the hit Peyton took yesterday and said they Broncos can’t afford to let that happen? Heck, Ben takes that about 5-6 times a game easy. Nor, some will never acknowledge how the lack of a running game impacts Ben’s performance and what opposing defenses do against him. That’s fine.

    As far as passing and scoring, and throwing for TDs, the Steelers have historically balanced the run with the pass. They aren’t passhappy like other teams QB’ed by Brees, Brady, Peyton, etc. Ben will never throw for as many yards or TD passes. Over the last 30 years, I could be wrong but I don’t think the Steelers have generally been in the top echelon of league scoring (no matter whether it was “today’s NFL” or yesteryears). No doubt they have relied on their defense so they would not have to score as many points. They played more ball control and T.O.P. football.

    I would agree that Ben is not necessarily an “elite” passer like the others I mentioned and I have said that before, but he is has other intangible qualities I do appreciate, including tenacity, durability and guts. I have seen him make plays that no one else could make. I do believe he could have done much better in recent years with a better OL performance and some more balanced running game, regardless of what their defense has done. The lack of support by the OL and running game has caused him to make more mistakes IMO.

    But while Ben has not been able to put a ton of points on the board, for whatever reasons, I do believe he is not the main problem the Steelers have now.

    In any event, everyone should continue to speak their piece. Nothing should be taken personally here.

  30. @holeinone09 …

    Have long appreciated your comments on the Steelers and agree that offensive line play has been a big issue in recent years. It was a big part of my pro-Ben argument to bob. Then in the last two years I started habitually counting the amount of time QBs had to read and release before the pocket started collapsing … and had to admit Ben usually has as much time as anyone else. That’s when I began re-evaluating my thoughts on Roethlisberger.

    I still credit Ben with being the final piece of the puzzle that took us to the next level. As you say, he played with guts and confidence. He believed in himself–so everyone around him believed. We wouldn’t have gotten to SBXL without him, or won SBXLIII without his final drive. But he just doesn’t seem to be that guy anymore. Maybe he’ll rally if the o-line improves and the defense recovers. This sundown years of a championship QB are the worst time for a team. It was bad for us with Terry, the 49ers with Montana, the Packers with Favre. Difficult to know what’s best.

  31. holeinone:
    What makes Roethlisberger “the main problem” is his salary, which prevents the team from being able to afford better players at various positions. Roethlisberger is perfect trade bait: He has a few years left and has a great resume.
    Secondly, Aaron Rodgers was sacked 51 times last season yet he threw 39 TD passes last season. Horrible O-lines are rampant in the NFL which is the reason Richie Incognito was still employed up until recently.
    Thirdly, at no time in recent Steelers’ history — not in the 1980s and not in the ’90s — did the organization have defenses as dominant as the one that ruled from 2004 to 2011. Not even those short-lived “Blitzburgh” defenses were ever ranked No. 1.
    You can call Roethlisberger the “final piece to the puzzle” if that makes you feel better, but that would be pure speculation on your part. Hard to believe that either Eli Manning or Joe Flacco are considered the same in New York or Baltimore. This “final piece to the puzzle” theory seems to be a Pittsburgh thing.

  32. You can call Roethlisberger the “final piece to the puzzle” if that makes you feel better, but that would be pure speculation on your part. Hard to believe that either Eli Manning or Joe Flacco are considered the same in New York or Baltimore. This “final piece to the puzzle” theory seems to be a Pittsburgh thing.

    To deny he was the final piece to the puzzle would show your rigid close minded approach to anything Ben. Your constant Ben bashing is well known and therefore any comment made on this topic is not unbiased. It’s not a Pittsburgh thing it’s a logical unbiased observation felt by many open minded Steeler loving fans… just don’t agree….over and over and over again….you’ll need a tall ladder to get out of that rut. Sheeesh

  33. Here’s what I’m basing my opinion on: Since Roethlisberger struggled against the 2005 Seahawks, struggled against the ’08 Cardinals and struggled against the ’10 Packers, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that he probably would’ve struggled against the dynastic, three-time Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys of 1995.
    In other words, I’m not expecting NFL Films to release an epic production of a Roethlisberger-quarterbacked Steelers team winning a “Dream Bowl” tournament anytime soon.

  34. Well, bob …

    Maybe calling Ben the final piece of the puzzle does make me feel better. Maybe the Capers/LeBeau defenses weren’t ranked number one but they were darn good defenses. How many championship games did those teams make but fall just short of the big one?

    It was a long miserable 21 years between Terry and Ben. For all Ben’s many faults, we should give credit where it’s due. Without that wild tackle against Indy, there would have been no SBXL. And on that final drive in SBXLIII, he was the man.

  35. Deb:
    I agree.
    Those defenses were terrific. But they also were brief in comparison to the group we had from 2004 to 2012. For example, Kevin Greene only played three seasons in Pittsburgh. Imagine if James Harrison had played only three seasons with the Steelers. To the Rooneys’ credited, they made a concerted effort to keep the chemistry of that special group together as long as possible.
    Roethlisberger’s tackle was spectacular. No other QB would’ve even attempted to make that play. But almost important as The Tackle was the Colts’ missed field goal. But that was poetic justice considering that Polamalu was robbed of a clear interception in that game.
    In SB 43, a better QB would’ve destroyed that pathetic Cardinals defense. The Patriots with Matt Cassell scored 48 points against Arizona that season. The Cardinals were the worst defensive team in Super Bowl history. That’s not an opinion. That is a fact.
    The Steelers under Cowher lost to some pretty good teams in the postseason: Kansas City with Montana, Denver with Elway (twice) and the Patriots with Brady (three times).
    The Steelers’ only real disappointing and inexplicable loss was to San Diego in 1994. Maybe Stan Humphries was the Chargers “final piece to their puzzle.”

  36. Oh, bob … sigh. I’m such a logical person as a rule, but enjoy my sports dipped in myth and magic. You make that difficult. Just don’t ever start in on the legends of Bear Bryant or the Immaculate Reception 😉

  37. I’ve always said that if Mark Malone had thrown the Immaculate Reception pass, he would’ve been booed out of the stadium.

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