Okay, so the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills was not the battle of the “unbeatens” but was possibly a contest between the “uneatens.”
There is a lot to be said about the level of the competition last Sunday or the lack of that the squad hailing from the “snow capital” of the east, (Buffalo, NY) provided for a more disciplined Pittsburgh group (especially the Steelers defense).
One of the elements that caused this matchup to be so intriguing was that in week 1 the Bills lost a nail biter to the Patriots by the score of 23-21.
However,in week 9, the Steelers appeared as if they were bitten in the neck by New England losing horribly 55-31 and trust me, for those of you who did not care to watch or did not observe the entire contest, the game was not even that close.
The Steelers were licking their wounds from that massacre and it appeared as if the Bills were licking their chops anticipating facing the Steelers because Pittsburgh lost so big to the “Pats” and Buffalo just fell 3 points shy of smoking the Patriots.
Can yaw’ll feel what I’m saying?
The Bills themselves were hardly in a lofty position coming into the Steel city sporting a record of 3-6 but there were a few glaring reasons why it would have been normal for Buffalo to stroll into the steel city with a certain swagger and expect to leave Heinz Field with another win notched on their belt.
The primary reason that the Bills might have been feeling their oats was the fact that Buffalo played the Kansas City Chiefs in week 9 as close as can be expected but finally succumbed to an undefeated K.C squad 23-13. The Bills were beaten by the Chiefs even though Bills replacement QB, J. Tuel (filling in for Bills starter E.J Manual) passed for 229 YDS topping KC starter, ex-49er Alex Smith.
It was Tuel’s 2 picks that helped doom the Bills. Add that to the fact that C. Spiller rushed for 116 YDS on 12 carries to lead all rushers so the Bills had a right to think that they were going to beat Pittsburgh.
The “Pats” scored by sea, air and ground and Paul Revere or any other true “patriot” did not have a warning system adequate enough to alert the Pittsburgh Steelers as to massacre that they were about to be subjected to.
Last Sunday as I was making my way to the press box I could not help but notice the wind was swirling and it was colder than a wizards jockstrap or a witches breast in a steel brassiere; hey, can’t be sexist.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin had this to say about the victory. “That was a good performance in a lot of areas by a lot of people, but particularly after the first initial drive there where we turned the ball over. I thought we were able to settle down and find rhythm and establish the running game and convert some third downs. I thought the defense was game today. A lot of quality efforts by a lot of people.
On the injury front, we had a few, Shamarko Thomas had an ankle, Lamar Woodley hurt his calf and Ramon Foster hurt his ankle as well. All three guys are being evaluated. I don’t know about their availability here moving forward. I’ll have more detailed information for you.”
When asked about the prognosticators and the pundits predicting a negative outcome for his team he had this to say; ” I don’t know about the pundits and all of that. We prepared and then we ultimately performed. That’s what we try to do week-in and week-out. Obviously, we did it with more success today than we did last week.”
It appeared that Pittsburgh was more effective in week 10 because they were playing disciplined football as opposed to desperate football running around not staying in their lanes and not providing basic defense against their opponents and committing too many turnovers on offense and creating too few turnovers on defense.
Tomlin himself even pointed out that Pittsburgh stopped Buffalos running game; “We tackled well. It’s fundamental. You maintain your ground, you shed blocks, you make tackles and you’re where you’re supposed to be. That’s what we were able to do.”
Even the bloggers got into the act Jim Carson of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania writes; “There was no problem with play calling. Shut up and root the team and quit your bitching. 90 percent of posters here never played football and have no idea how to call plays. All teams have good playbooks and capable OC’s. Executing those plays well is the key to success. The Rooney’s hired Haley. He isn’t going anywhere. Haley has had successful playoff berth in KC and a Super Bowl appearance in Arizona. Read up on some of his accomplishments before you spew nonsense. I think he is transitioning well and he will begin to win over true Steelers fans. Fan since 1976. I wasn’t thrilled with him at first, but he is and will be a part of this organization.”
Brian Michael Conway of Las Vegas, Nevada had this to say.” The Steelers still have a realistic chance to win the AFC North with 7 games left to play. Take a look at the standings. Steelers need to beat Lions next week at home . Browns beat Bengals in Cincy . Bears beat Ravens in Chicago, and The Steelers are one game out in the loss column for the lead in the division with 6 games to play.” The math seems a bit optimistic but hey Steelers fans it may be worth a shot.
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier or 412.583.6741