Big Lead Sports Bar



STEELERS (2-1) 17
BILLS (0-3) 0

I know you're not supposed to read too much into preseason games, but it's kind of hard to ignore the respective performances of the Steelers and the Bills in Saturday night's main event. Ben Roethlisberger looked as sharp as ever, carving the Buffalo secondary to the tune of 15-for-19 and 168 yards. Hines Ward had five catches for 74 yards and appeared as his usual, ageless self. The Steeler offense rolled up 209 yards in the first half, and the defense was equally as ferocious, allowing just 135 yards in the entire game while adding a James Farrior touchdown and two sacks of Bills QBs. It was as satisfying of a preseason performance as Mike Tomlin could have hoped for.

On the Buffalo side, I'm keeping in mind that they were playing without Terrell Owens, but I hope for their sake that Owens can also play offensive line and defense, because those appear to be two areas where the Bills are sorely lacking playmakers. Their line opened few holes for their running game, which finished with just 49 yards. And their defense had few bright spots to look back on, most notably an Aaron Maybin sack and a Keith Ellison recovery of a Rashard Mendenhall fumble. It looks like another long year in the cards for the always-suffering Bills fan.

Nursing a 17-0 halftime lead, the second half of the game featured a few highs and lows for the yet-to-be-pared Steeler roster.

On the plus side:

-Joe Burnett saved the Steeler shutout with a blocked field goal in the 4th quarter

-Charlie Batch was 7-for-9 and thoroughly thrilled announcer Edmund Nelson while doing so. His only incompletions were drops.

-Mike Reilly was 3-for-3 and performed well in limited 4th quarter action

-Stefan Logan had a 27-yard punt return

-Shaun McDonald converted two third downs into first downs with nine-yard receptions on both occasions

-Arnold Harrison and Donovan Woods combined for a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick; Woods finished with five tackles on the night.

On the minus side:

-Isaac Redman was stuffed on a 4th-and-1, proving that contrary to popular belief, he can be stopped

-Dallas Baker and Brandon Williams had key drops

-Piotr Czech missed a 40-yard field goal

-The Steelers did not score in the second half

With three preseason contests now behind us, the Steelers close out the games that don't count on Thursday night with their annual meeting against the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 PM, and starter sightings should be limited. After that, the regular season stars just seven days later with a Titan invasion of Heinz Field. Judging by last night's performance, I'm pretty sure the Steelers will be ready.

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