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Steelers leave blowout loss to the Bills with lengthy list of injuries

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 4:00pm
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The list of injuries plaguing the Steelers continues to get longer...

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t just lose to the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, they also lost several key players to injury during the drubbing. Heading into the game, the Steelers, especially their defensive secondary, were dealing with several injuries, and that list got longer following the loss in Buffalo.

There were all sorts of injuries throughout the game, most notably the concussions sustained by both tight end Pat Freiermuth and cornerback Levi Wallace. Both players left the game, and obviously were not able to return.

Another injury was to cornerback Cam Sutton, who left the game with a hamstring injury. Sutton was on the injury report leading up to the game with a groin and hamstring injury, and the latter didn’t allow him to return to the game.

Early in the game the Steelers had two injuries to key players. Defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi left the game with a back injury, and Steven Sims sustained an eye injury, of some kind, which equated in him being unable to return kicks to start the game. Sims did eventually come into the game, but James Pierre, who was filling in for Sims, muffed a kickoff which was recovered by the Bills. Fortunately, the Bills didn’t score on their field position after the field goal was blocked. As for Ogunjobi, the back injury forced him out of the lineup for the remainder of the game.

The Steelers now have to turn their attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, and it is just the start of their murderer’s row schedule leading up to the bye week. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the remainder of the 2022 regular season.

Watch the low hit by Shaq Lawson which had Kenny Pickett ready to fight

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 3:40pm
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

In the 4th quarter Kenny Pickett didn’t take kindly to a low hit by Shaq Lawson, and he let him know it.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were big-time losers vs. the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, and there were plenty of moments throughout the game where things got “chippy”. One happened in the waning moments of the game, when rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett was scrambling to his right to throw, and was hit low by Bills defender Shaq Lawson.

Pickett didn’t like the way he was taken down, and got up and let Lawson know he didn’t care for that kind of tackle.

If you are one of the many Steelers fans who weren’t able to watch the rest of the football game due to CBS moving to another game, here is the play below:

Kenny Pickett got hit low by Shaq Lawson and let him know about it. pic.twitter.com/rYp2kbRNUt

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 9, 2022

After the game, Mike Tomlin was asked about Pickett’s response, and his answer to the question was simple.

“Appropriate” was the word Tomlin used when talking about how he felt about his quarterback’s actions.

This was boiling throughout the game, and Pickett’s frustrations likely started after he was hit in the second half when sliding. The play wasn’t flagged, but offensive guard went after the Bills defender, Damar Hamlin, and let him know he didn’t appreciate his quarterback being hit that late. The hit by Hamlin, who was teammates with Pickett at Pitt, might have been just the start of the post-play issues within the team, and Lawson’s hit might have been the boiling point.

What do you think of the play? What about Pickett’s response? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC as the 1-4 Steelers try and put their 4-game losing streak behind them as they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 at Acrisure Stadium.

Knee Jerk Reaction to the Steelers 38-3 loss to the Bills

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 3:22pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

It started bad for the Steelers, and only got worse.

Knee-jerk reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later (or not). So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during Week 5 of the NFL Regular Season.

1st Quarter

  • Steelers win the toss and deferred of the second half.
  • Fumbleruski and the Bills will start on their own two yard line.
  • The defense gets them to third and 10. Seems about time for the soft zone here.
  • Oh look at that a 98-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Davis. The defense starts out getting them right where they want them and then give up the huge play. Not only was that a 98 yd touchdown pass but that was completed easily into double coverage.
  • Bills 7, Steelers 0.
  • I know you got to love it on the short kick I saw that little circle of yellow, because that was Pee 'Ere as Pierre fumbled the ball right back to the Bills. Sims ended up not being available to return kicks and it is costly.
  • The defense gets it to third down and 20. I expect the conversion here or a touchdown, because that seems to be what the Steelers do.
  • Oh look at the defense actually held. Bills will try for a field goal. The Steelers get a piece of it, so the Pierre fumble does not totally kill them. Bills 7, Steelers 0.
  • The offense quickly gets to third down and 11. What kind of play call will we get here?
  • Pickett to Pickens actually gets the Steelers a first down on 3rd and long.
  • I don't know if it's me or what, but I feel the Steelers can actually make third down conversions with Pickett in there.
  • Diontae! What a catch and toe tap, but it's going to get overturned. Steelers will attempt a field goal: Good. Bills 7, Steelers 3.
  • The Steelers really miss Terrell Edmunds. He would have gone for an interception there and probably could have had it.
  • Defense eventually stiffens, forces a field goal try, which is good. Bills 10, Steelers 3.
  • Sims is in there now to return kicks.
  • So help me I see a flag on that play Gentry was going to block a guy in the back chose not to and they still threw the flag.
  • Steelers get it back to a third and six. It went through Diontae's hands, and they are lucky it wasn't picked off. That should have been caught.
  • Pierre makes up for the fumble earlier by downing the ball at the 1-yard line.
  • At the end of the first quarter Bills 10, Steelers 3.

2nd Quarter

  • Zone defense does not work for the Steelers on 3rd downs if they can't get any pressure on the quarterback.
  • On third down and 11, The tight end is left uncovered and goes for 26 yards. Those are the kind of mistakes that can't happen if you want to win football games.
  • Spillane covering Diggs? That is something that should never be happening.
  • Wallace picks off Allen in the end zone! Steelers get the ball back. Luckily the defensive mistakes did not cost the Steelers points.
  • Steelers go hurry up on 3rd and 4, but they throw it short of the sticks and don't make the first down. Steelers fail to take advantage of the turnover.
  • One long pass to Gabriel Davis again, with no pressure on Allen and the Steelers are now down big. Bill's 17, Steelers 3.
  • Allen has thrown for 261 yards so far in the first half. That is just crazy.
  • The Steelers run two plays that are both run plays and gain a total of two yards. Third down coming.
  • Steelers go three and out again.
  • Harvin boots a 26-yard punt! That's sarcasm if you can't tell.
  • Steelers give up a big run and follow it up with Myles Jack getting a personal foul penalty after the play on top of it. This game is getting out of hand quickly. Bills in the red zone already.
  • The next play is a touchdown pass to Diggs. Bills 24, Steelers 3.
  • The offense can't move the ball and the defense can't stop anything.
  • Pickens is going to be a star....mark my words.
  • We don't live in our fears. On 4th and 5 at the 15-yard line down 21 points Coach Tomlin opts for a field goal. Which ends up being no good. Good call there coach.
  • Another huge pass play. Allen has over 300 yards in the first half.
  • The Steelers are getting absolutely zero pressure on Allen as he has all day to throw the ball.
  • Hey look at that Allen throws for another touchdown. Bills 31, Steelers 3.
  • And now Pickett is picked off......someone end this nightmare of a half please.
  • I feel like I'm back in the mid to late 80's again. Do I have to come back for the 2nd half?
  • Bills 31, Steelers 3.

3rd Quarter

  • Yes the quarter started, yes the Steelers are moving it a bit, but I am not getting excited.
  • That looks like a Mitchell Trubisky play there. Pickett runs to the sideline and instead of throwing it away he runs out of bounds for a sack.
  • Oh so now Coach Tomlin decides to go for it on 4th and 6th from the 20.
  • One referee called it incomplete the other one looked like he was going to call it a catch. But I believe it was knocked away from Diontae. That is another ball that he has to hold on to in order to help his team out.
  • Now I expect to watch the Bills run it down the Steelers throat.
  • Leal is down. He's been one of the brighter spots on defense today (not saying much), I hate seeing him down.
  • Bills approaching the red zone yet again.
  • Seeing a bit of poor tackling.
  • Flag in the end zone sets up 1st and goal on the 1 for Buffalo.
  • Buffalo fumble and the Steelers recover.
  • Tony Romo says this is how comebacks start. Are you kidding me Romo? You must have taken too many hits to the head in your playing days.
  • Von Miller runs right around Dan Moore Jr for the sack.
  • Muth is down after a hard hit.
  • In what should have been a flag for a hit on Pickett during his slide is going to end up costing the Steelers James Daniels as he came to Pickett's defense.
  • The referee has the audacity to come out and say that the hit on Pickett was legal. I have not seen any kind of crap like that in the NFL for a long time. Gene Seratore is saying it should have been a penalty. I can't stand the inconsistency in some of these rules in the NFL.
  • Because of all that the Steelers now face a third and 15.
  • Steelers are going for it on 4th and 8. But Dan Moore decides to jump the gun and back it up to a fourth and 13.
  • Boswell misses a 45-yard field goal attempt. Score remains Bills 31, Steelers 3.

4th Quarter

  • Another huge pass play for the Bills this time to Diggs.
  • On the second play for the Bills they run it up the middle for a touchdown. I can't believe I'm still here. This really hurts. I hate lousy football. Bills 38, Steelers 3.
  • The fourth down play goes right through Claypool's hands.
  • Bills punting for the first time today.
  • Another three and out.
  • A couple of tips and caught by Gentry. Nice work there.
  • Is anyone still here? Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.
  • If this game wasn't long enough already, after the Steelers failed fourth down play there was a scuffle and a bunch of flags and it took the officials forever to sort everything out.
  • Just kneel on it twice and end the game already please.
  • Thank God this massacre is finally over. Bill's 38, Steelers 3.

There you have it, my knee jerks. so I will sit on this for a day or two, analyze it and then talk about it on The Scho Bro Show Tuesday night. CAN’T WAIT!!!

FINAL: Bills completely dominate Steelers in 38-3 win

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 3:12pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were outmanned in every facet vs. the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 5 game vs. the Buffalo Bills reeling. After losing three in a row, the Steelers turned to rookie, first round pick Kenny Pickett as the team’s quarterback for the foreseeable future. Going against the Bills’ elite defense certainly wouldn’t be taking it easy on Pickett in his first career professional start. Nonetheless, Pittsburgh went into the game as heavy underdogs in the game looking to prove they have plenty to play for this season.

Surprisingly, the Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer their possession to the second half. On 3rd and 10, from their own 2-yard line, Josh Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a 98-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bills a 7-0 lead in the blink of an eye.

About to get the football for the first time, James Pierre was in to return the kickoff due to an eye injury to Steven Sims, and Pierre muffed the kickoff. The fumbles was recovered by the Bills, giving them their second possession in the first five minutes of the game. After a holding call, the Bill’s field goal attempt was blocked by Cam Sutton.

Starting from their 20-yard line after the touchback, Kenny Pickett’s first drive was impressive as he was able to hit several third down conversions on their way into the red-zone. However, the drive stalled and Chris Boswell was called on to kick a field goal to make the score 7-3.

The trend with the Buffalo throughout the game has been their quick-strike offense, and that continued as Josh Allen wasted little time moving the ball into scoring range. However, like Pickett’s last drive, the offense stalled in the red-zone and the Bills’ field goal made the score 10-3.

Pickett’s next drive wasn’t successful at adding to their point total, but Pressley Harvin did his part in setting up the Steelers’ defense by pinning the Bills at their own 2-yard line on their fourth possession of the first quarter.

To start the quarter, the Bills take a deep shot which falls incomplete but give up a long completion on third down. After moving the ball down the field, former Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace get the interception in the end zone and the Steelers take over on their own 20-yard line.

After a promising run by Najee Harris on first down, the Steelers drive stalls and offense suffers their second-straight three and out as the Pressley Harvin punt into the wind gives the Bills the ball back at their own 38-yard line. But on the very first play Josh Allen connects for a 62-yard touchdown with Gabe Davis once again on a ball the, for a moment, looked as if Minkah Fitzpatrick was going to wrestle away.

Taking over on their own 25-yard line after the touch back, the Steelers once again run for minimal gain on the first tow plays creating at third and eight, Kenny Pickett’s pass over the middle falls incomplete and the Steelers are forced to punt on their third-straight three and out. With the wind wreaking havoc in that direction, the Bills get the ball just shy of midfield after the 26-yard punt.

The Bills’ next drive looked like a lot of their previous drives, and it was highlighted by big plays through the air. It was capped off by a Stefon Diggs touchdown, making the score 24-3 with 7:20 left in the half.

It looked like the Steelers were going to add to their point total on their next drive, but it was all for nothing as Chris Boswell’s chip shot field goal sailed wide left, giving the ball right back to Allen and company. With 3:40 left in the half, Allen wasted little time getting into scoring range once again. It was Allen’s 4th touchdown pass of the game to end the drive, making the score 31-3 with 1 minute left in the half.

The Steelers started with the football to start the second half, Pickett and the offense were able to move the ball into scoring range. But when facing a 4th and 6, it was foolish to kick a field goal when facing that kind of deficit. Pickett threw a perfect pass to Diontae Johnson, who dropped the ball, turning the ball over on downs.

As you can imagine, the Steelers’ defense put up very little fight vs. the Bills. In the blink of an eye, Buffalo was in the red-zone and eventually got into a 1st-and-goal situation. However, the Steelers forced a fumble and recovered it in the end-zone for the touchback.

Pickett took over on his 20-yard line, and moved the ball down the field hitting passes to Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and George Pickens into field goal range. Boswell’s field goal sailed wide right, keeping the Steelers score 31-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Off the missed field goal, it took just two plays for the Bills to score another touchdown. The score became 38-3 after the extra point.

Getting the ball back at the 25-yard line, the Steelers moved the ball down to the Bills 30-yard line, but four incompletions and the ball went back to the Bills as Case Keenum entered the game in place of Josh Allen. The Steelers held to a three and out and the Bills punted for the first time in the game.

After both teams exchanged three-and-outs, Pickett and the offense moved the ball into scoring position through the Buffalo prevent defense. At the two-minute warning the Steelers were in the red-zone, but, again, failed to add any points to the scoreboard.

When the dust settled, the final score read 38-3.

The loss moves the Steelers’ record to 1-4 on the season, as they now prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 at Acrisure Stadium. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they press on throughout the rest of the regular season.

Multiple Steelers now ruled out in the second half of Week 5

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 2:30pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The injuries continue to stack up.

Not much is going right for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills as they face a 31–3 halftime deficit. As the offense takes the field to start the second half, it’s news on the defense of players who have been ruled out for the rest of the game. Both cornerback Cam Sutton and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will not return to the game according to Steelers Senior Director of Communications Burt Lauten.

#Steelers CB Cam Sutton (hamstring) is OUT for the rest of today's game. Also, DT Larry Ogunjobi (back) has been downgraded to OUT.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 9, 2022

During the game, Cam Sutton had four tackles, one of which was for loss. Larry Ogunjobi did not have any statistics in the first half before leaving the game. At cornerback, James Pierre and Josh Jackson will have to cover for the loss of Sutton for the rest of the game with Ahkello Witherspoon missing the last two games due to injury.

UPDATE: Things get even worse for the Steelers secondary as cornerback Levi Wallace is now in the NFL‘s concussion protocol and questionable to return per Steelers Senior Director of Communications Burt Lauten.

#Steelers CB Levi Wallace has been taken to the locker room and is in the concussion protocol. His return to today's game is questionable.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 9, 2022

In the game, Wallace has one interception and two passes defensed.

UPDATE: Add Pat Freiermuth to the list as he has been ruled out with a concussion.

#Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth sustained a concussion and is OUT for the rest of today's game.

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 9, 2022

Stay tuned to behind the steel curtain for continued coverage of the Steelers week five matchup against the bills in Buffalo

Steelers vs. Bills, Week 5: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 2:30pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

The Steelers started with the football to start the second half, Pickett and the offense were able to move the ball into scoring range. But when facing a 4th and 6, it was foolish to kick a field goal when facing that kind of deficit. Pickett threw a perfect pass to Diontae Johnson, who dropped the ball, turning the ball over on downs.

As you can imagine, the Steelers’ defense put up very little fight vs. the Bills. In the blink of an eye, Buffalo was in the red-zone and eventually got into a 1st-and-goal situation. However, the Steelers forced a fumble and recovered it in the end-zone for the touchback.

Pickett took over on his 20-yard line, and moved the ball down the field hitting passes to Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and George Pickens into field goal range. Boswell’s field goal sailed wide right, keeping the Steelers score 31-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Steelers vs. Bills: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 1:43pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2022 season continues with the Steelers and Bills locking horns in Week 5. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the fifth time in the 2022 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Buffalo Bills.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

If you have time, and want to check out any of our podcasts, listen in the player below:

Steelers vs. Bills, Week 5: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 1:35pm
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

To start the quarter, the Bills take a deep shot which falls incomplete but give up a long completion on third down. After moving the ball down the field, former Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace get the interception in the end zone and the Steelers take over on their own 20-yard line.

After a promising run by Najee Harris on first down, the Steelers drive stalls and offense suffers their second-straight three and out as the Pressley Harvin punt into the wind gives the Bills the ball back at their own 38-yard line. But on the very first play Josh Allen connects for a 62-yard touchdown with Gabe Davis once again on a ball the, for a moment, looked as if Minkah Fitzpatrick was going to wrestle away.

Taking over on their own 25-yard line after the touch back, the Steelers once again run for minimal gain on the first tow plays creating at third and eight, Kenny Pickett’s pass over the middle falls incomplete and the Steelers are forced to punt on their third-straight three and out. With the wind wreaking havoc in that direction, the Bills get the ball just shy of midfield after the 26-yard punt.

The Bills’ next drive looked like a lot of their previous drives, and it was highlighted by big plays through the air. It was capped off by a Stefon Diggs touchdown, making the score 24-3 with 7:20 left in the half.

It looked like the Steelers were going to add to their point total on their next drive, but it was all for nothing as Chris Boswell’s chip shot field goal sailed wide left, giving the ball right back to Allen and company. With 3:40 left in the half, Allen wasted little time getting into scoring range once again. It was Allen’s 4th touchdown pass of the game to end the drive, making the score 31-3 with 1 minute left in the half.

The 31-3 score would hold heading into halftime.

Steelers vs. Bills, Week 5: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 12:42pm
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the gridiron! See what is happening during the team’s late game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 5 game vs. the Buffalo Bills reeling. After losing three in a row, the Steelers turned to rookie, first round pick Kenny Pickett as the team’s quarterback for the foreseeable future. Going against the Bills’ elite defense certainly wouldn’t be taking it easy on Pickett in his first career professional start. Nonetheless, Pittsburgh went into the game as heavy underdogs in the game looking to prove they have plenty to play for this season.

Surprisingly, the Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer their possession to the second half. On 3rd and 10, from their own 2-yard line, Josh Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a 98-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bills a 7-0 lead in the blink of an eye.

About to get the football for the first time, James Pierre was in to return the kickoff due to an eye injury to Steven Sims, and Pierre muffed the kickoff. The fumbles was recovered by the Bills, giving them their second possession in the first five minutes of the game. After a holding call, the Bill’s field goal attempt was blocked by Cam Sutton.

Starting from their 20-yard line after the touchback, Kenny Pickett’s first drive was impressive as he was able to hit several third down conversions on their way into the red-zone. However, the drive stalled and Chris Boswell was called on to kick a field goal to make the score 7-3.

The trend with the Buffalo throughout the game has been their quick-strike offense, and that continued as Josh Allen wasted little time moving the ball into scoring range. However, like Pickett’s last drive, the offense stalled in the red-zone and the Bills’ field goal made the score 10-3.

Pickett’s next drive wasn’t successful at adding to their point total, but Pressley Harvin did his part in setting up the Steelers’ defense by pinning the Bills at their own 2-yard line on their fourth possession of the first quarter.

The 10-3 score would hold heading into the second quarter.

Steelers vs. Bills: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 11:45am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2022 season continues with the Steelers and Bills locking horns in Week 5. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the fifth time in the 2022 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Buffalo Bills.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

If you have time, and want to check out any of our podcasts, listen in the player below:

Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in Week 5 vs. the Bills?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 11:05am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 5 game vs. the Bills?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Buffalo Bills in Week 5. It is the Steelers’ latest road game, and, hopefully their second victory.

When looking at the matchup between AFC foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 5 game vs. the Bills?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: Kenny Pickett

Why: To me, there was no other way to go with this X-Factor in Week 5. The Steelers are starting a new era with Kenny Pickett at quarterback, and there will be bumps and bruises along the way. But is Pickett the long-term answer for the Steelers organization?

That’s the ultimate question.

When you consider just how fortunate the franchise could be if Pickett does turn out to be their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. The organization got lucky in 2004 when the Cleveland Browns selected Kellen Winslow Jr. instead of Ben Roethlisberger at pick No. 10 in the NFL Draft. Now, the Steelers saw “the most NFL ready quarterback” fall to them at pick No. 20, and this the year after Roethlisberger called it a career.

There will be no definitive answer on Pickett, and his future, after just one game, but today is Step No. 1 in the process. Here’s hoping Pickett is the “guy” the Steelers need...for a long time.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Levi Wallace

Why: I wanted to think a little outside of the box for this game and wanted to choose a player who it would be beneficial for Steelers’ fans to be hearing their name in a good way throughout the game. There are a number of names that I haven’t heard much this season on defense, such as Malik Reed or Myles Jack, but I ultimately went with former Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace. Playing against his former team, I just have a feeling this will be a big game for Wallace on one end of the spectrum or the other. Either Wallace is going to step up and have a big game against his former team, or the Bills are going to go after a player with whom they are very familiar. Either way, how Wallace plays in this game could have a big factor on how the defense performs overall.

Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 5 game Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Gunner Olszewski inactive for the Steelers in Week 5

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 10:33am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Steelers inactive list has many of the same names with one significant change.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released their inactives for their Week 5 matchup with the Bills in Buffalo. With two players being ruled out due to injury, the list is made up of five healthy scratches. With new roster rules which began in 2020, teams will only need to have five players inactive each game unless they elevate any players from the practice squad. With the elevation of Josh Jackson and Elijah Riley coming from the Steelers on Saturday, the seven-man list comes courtesy of Steelers.com.

Steelers Inactives

No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph
No. 25 CB Ahkello Witherspoon
No. 34 S Terrell Edmunds
No. 53 G Kendrick Green
No. 89 WR Gunner Olszewski
No. 92 DE Isaiahh Loudermilk
No. 93 LB Mark Robinson

For four of the seven players, this is the fifth-straight game being on the inactive list. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who left the Steelers Week 3 matchup with a hamstring injury, is missing his second-straight game. Joining Witherspoon this week as a player missing the game due to injury is safety Terrell Edmunds who missed the second half of last week’s game with a concussion. Despite returning to practice in a limited capacity the last two days this week, Edmunds will miss only his second game of his career with the first being Week 17 of 2020. Cornerback Josh Jackson and safety Elijah Riley were elevated from the practice squad on Saturday to fill the active spots of Witherspoon and Edmunds.

The big change this week came in wide receiver Steven Sims getting a helmet for the first time this season. With Gunner Olszewski fumbling two punts in four games, Sims told reporters earlier this week he would be getting an opportunity this week. Sims is replacing Olszewski on the active roster this week who finds himself on the inactive list for the first time in a Steelers uniform.

Even though the Steelers made big changes at the quarterback position this week, they did not make their way all the way down to the third spot on the depth chart. For this reason, it’s not surprise Mason Rudolph is on the inactive list for the fifth-straight game. Carrying nine offensive linemen, the NFL rules allow 48 players to be active as long as eight of them are on the offensive line. Therefore, the additional lineman who is inactive for the Steelers in Week 5 once again is guard/center Kendrick Green.

One position group the Steelers have kept on their 53-man roster is having seven defensive linemen. With the Steelers only typically having five defensive linemen active on game day in previous years, they have chosen to go with the six again in Week 5. Although some fans would like to see if he can help the Steelers in stopping the run, Isaiahh Loudermilk did not get a helmet for the fifth-straight week to start the season.

Another position on the defense where the Steelers possibly have one more player than needed on game day is at inside linebacker. While many were happy to see rookie seventh-round draft pick Mark Robinson make the team, he has yet to dress on game day through the Steelers five games of the 2022 season.

As for the Bills inactives, they can be seen below courtesy of Steelers.com once available. Two players who were questionable for the Bills and are out for the game are WR Isaiah McKenzie and LB Tremaine Edmunds.

Bills Inactives

No. 6 WR Isaiah McKenzie
No. 15 WR Jake Kumerow
No. 21 S Jordan Poyer
No. 47 CB Christian Benford
No. 49 LB Tremaine Edmunds
No. 67 OL Justin Murray
No. 88 TE Dawson Knox

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Bills

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 9:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills

The Pittsburgh Steelers, in somewhat shambles, could slide deeper down the well with a loss against Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. But there is definite excitement in the Steel City due to one Kenneth Shane Pickett. With inquiries, story lines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this challenging home contest.

For those new to the article I sometimes come close, but ultimately whiff on most of my predictions. Let’s see if I can get lucky this week.

  • Since Kansas City doesn’t play until Monday Night, Boujee Smith-Schuster makes an appearance in the parking lot to party with crazed Bills fans. To the delight of the crowd, he JuJu’s pooch attempts to pee on a cardboard cutout of Scott Norwood, but it goes wide right.
  • Ben Roethlisberger calls his own press conference to remind Kenny Pickett that he had to make his first start in the face of a hurricane, while Kenny only has to play in the city that invented Buffalo Wings. He then proceeds to go eat a bucket of wings.
  • Known for his chugging ability, Mitch Trubisky attempts to down an entire gallon of Anchor Bar wing sauce, a change of jersey and underwear would be necessary, but No. 10 declines. Members of Bills Mafia donate $47,000 to get Mitch a new pair of Hanes.
  • Mason Rudolph makes waves as Buffalo tabloids leak his new relationship, three college girls that he rescued from getting body slammed off of a RV into a flaming, 8-foot table by a member of Bills Mafia in the parking lot.
  • Pickett goes 22 for 30 and 190 yards. The Steelers new QB1 throws two touchdowns, runs for one, and is intercepted once. There’s only one chant of “Mitch”, and that’s by Mitch.
  • Jaylen Warren gets his first NFL score on a pass play from KP8.
  • Pat Freiermuth leads the team with 8 catches on the day, including a touchdown pass on the day. To celebrate, No. 88, Zach Gentry, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson form a straight line and walk across the end zone in unison to create an “Abbey Road” moment from the album cover to commemorate what would have been the 82nd birthday of John Lennon.
  • The Steelers get called for “illegal man down field” just twice.
  • Najee Harris gains 79 yards on the ground and 21 as a receiver out of the backfield, as the offensive line continues their improvement.
  • The Steelers get two sacks despite the absence of T.J. Watt. Larry Ogunjobi and Alex Highsmith get it done.
  • Cam Sutton any Arthur Maulet pick off Josh Allen.
  • The Steelers rushing defense holds their own, but with Josh Allen’s scrambling ability, the Bills gain over 100 yards on the ground.
  • The Steelers get three touchdowns on the day and three field goals from Chris Boswell, including the game winner at the gun. Steelers triumph 30-28.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

4 “under-the-radar” players for the Steelers vs. the Bills

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 8:30am
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at some unlikely potential heroes for Steelers at the Bills in Week 5.

There are a few players on this Steelers roster that we look for to make that one big play or give that big-time performance for the Steelers to pull out a win each week. We know those names. Guys like T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, and Minkah Fitzpatrick on defense; or Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson for the the offense.

These are the guys we as Steelers fans rely on to lead the team to victory.

But every week there’s one or two guys you maybe wouldn’t think about who’s play can either make or break the game. That slot cornerback who gives up a big play in a crucial moment, or that gunner on special teams that forces a fumble on a punt, turning the game on it’s head.

The Steelers head into Buffalo as major underdogs, and for good reasons, even beyond Pittsburgh’s own struggles through four weeks. Sean McDermott’s squad is primed for a Super Bowl run, and a seemingly overmatched Steelers team figures to be a simple bump in the road on the way to that reality. But this is the NFL. The margin between victory and defeat often comes down to one player making a play he doesn’t normally make, for better or for worse. Just ask the Kansas City Chiefs after their head-scratching loss to Indianapolis in Week 3.

So who could that player be this week for the Steelers? Let’s dive into a group of men that I think could turn the tide in the Steelers favor with a big contribution.

Stevens Sims

Mike Tomlin is tired of seeing the ball rolling on the ground on punts. So tired of it, in fact, that he’s effectively benching Gunner Olzewski for Steven Sims this week in an effort to spark the return game, much to the delight of BTSC’s very own Andrew Wilbar.

Sims has shown dynamic return ability in the past. If he could break one for a TD, or swing the field position battle with a couple big returns, the Steelers could find themselves with some extra points in a game where they’ll need a bunch. Sims could have a huge impact on this game.

Pressley Harvin III

Sticking with special teams, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see a couple punts on Sunday vs. this Bills defense. The man they call “Big Press” could alter the course of the game with a few timely, well-placed punts that make the Bills have to work extra hard to score. The longer the field, the more opportunities for Minkah Fitzpatrick to pick off a bad throw, or Alex Highsmith to get a strip sack that gives the Steelers an extra possession.

Tre Norwood

No. 21 could find himself mixed in a little more this week with Fitzpatrick banged up and Terrell Edmunds officially ruled out with a concussion. When he’s on the field, he’ll be tasked with keeping the Bills’ high-flying passing attack in check. Norwood’s flexibility should put him in position to help Arthur Maulet in the slot, who struggled mightily against the Jets last week. He’ll also play deep, keeping the likes of Stefan Diggs and Isaiah McKenzie in front of him.

I just have this feeling that Norwood’s performance will be a big part of success, or failure, this week for the Steelers pass defense.

Jaylen Warren

My final under-the-radar contributor is a backup running back with a major motor. Warren is extremely explosive hitting the hole and shows incredible contact balance. All it takes is a perfect blocking set up on a sweep, or maybe a missed tackle, for Jaylen to break one for a huge gain, swinging momentum the Steelers’ way. It would provide unlikely points for the Steelers offense.

Even in a reserve role, Warren could make a huge impact for the underdog Steelers on Sunday with just a single play.

If Pittsburgh wants to pull of a surprise victory on Sunday, they’ll need a few bounces to go their way. A big play or two from one of the players mentioned above could be just what the doctor ordered for this team in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills.

Who are some other players you’re looking at to step up in Week 5? Let me know in the comments below. Looking forward to more Steelers football on Sunday. Here we go!

STAFF PICKS: Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Bills

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 8:00am
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of the Steelers game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.

The 2022 regular season is full swing, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Buffalo Bills in Week 5. While the Steelers get ready for their third road game of the season, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.

Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below:

Jeff Hartman

Talk about an uphill climb for the Steelers, but just because the climb is difficult doesn’t make it impossible. Could the Steelers go into Buffalo with a rookie quarterback and win? It isn’t impossible. Last season, in Week 1, the Steelers did the improbable and went into Buffalo and found a way to beat Josh Allen and the Bills. Yes, they had T.J. Watt for that game, but I’m harkening back to that game for my prediction...

Pick: Steelers 23, Bills 16

Dave Schofield

I think the Steelers keep this game closer than many anticipate. First, the offense scores their most points of the season despite going up against the number one defense in the NFL. Additionally, the Steelers go for a two-point conversion late to cut it to a field goal but are unsuccessful. Instead of needing a field goal to tie, they will ultimately need a touchdown to win. But the defense can’t get the ball back for the offense to do either and the Steelers leave Buffalo covering the spread but with another tally in the loss column.

Pick: Bills 34, Steelers 29

Bryan Anthony Davis

Nine times out of ten, the Bills are definitively going to win this game at home. Logic says this is going to be a debacle for the Steelers. But sometimes what should happen doesn’t. Buffalo’s injury report has more names on it than there were on the guest list at the Last Supper, and there is some thought that the Bills could look past Pittsburgh to next week’s opponent, Kansas City. What if Kenny Pickett is the Cinderella hero that the NFL world craves? This should be a loss for the Steelers. But the romantic in me is envisioning what only happens in the movies. This could be the week that the fifth dentist gets retribution. This could be the tenth game that defies all logic.

Pick: Steelers 30, Bills 28

K.T. Smith

The Steelers are 14-point dogs in this game, which is one of the largest spreads against them I can recall. But, at Buffalo, who looks like a Super Bowl contender, with a rookie QB making his first start, and a defense that’s banged up, 14 points seems about right. I think the Steelers will play hard. And I think they’ll be energized by having Kenny Pickett in the huddle. I can’t see them winning, though. Pittsburgh should look more competent on offense than they have all season, but Buffalo will pull away in the 2nd half.

Pick: Bills 34, Steelers 20

Geoffrey Benedict

The Bills are 3-1 and feeling like they haven’t played well enough yet. They bring one of the top defenses in the NFL against Kenny Pickett, and they know he’s the starter. The Bills rank 7th in pressure rate and blitz the least of any NFL team. They rank third in generating turnovers. This is a very different situation than going in against the Jets defense that was prepared to face Mitch Trubisky.

On the other side, the Steelers defense is trying to find its identity without T.J. Watt, and they are banged up in the secondary facing Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. I expect Josh Allen’s running to be a real problem for the Steelers and for Pickett to struggle facing a top tier NFL defense in his first start.

Pick: Steelers 17, Bills 34

Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)

The Steelers are an improving football team. The issue is they were a lousy football team to start. The Bills are a pretty darn good football team. Even though the Bills are banged up a bit, the Steelers have a few guys dinged up as well, and can really not afford it. The secondary injuries are huge for the Steelers as Allen slowly picks them apart.

Pick: Bills 34, Steelers 24

Shannon White

Kenny Pickett believes the Steelers have a chance in this game, even if nobody else does. That could simply be the ignorance of youth, or an unshakeable self confidence. Either way, those are attributes I want to see in any potential franchise QB. You have to believe in you before you can expect others to believe in you. I honestly have little faith the Steelers can win this game. Any game without T.J. Watt, for that matter. I believe Pickett will inspire and elevate his teammates enough to keep the game from turning into a blowout. Pickett and the Steelers give an inspired effort good enough to cover the spread, but will still remain winless without Watt. Sticking with my Know Your Enemy podcast prediction.

Pick: Bills 35, Steelers 24

Jeremy Betz

Looking at this realistically, the Steelers have a major uphill battle to even be watchable in this game. The Bills boast arguably the league’s most complete defense, ranking 1st and 2nd in yards/game and points/game respectively, despite a rash of injuries. The Bills offense is equally impressive, ranking 3rd in yards/game and 5th in points.

This all bodes ill for a Steelers squad that is pretty banged up on defense with potentially 4-6 starters unavailable to them. Add in an offense trying to right the ship with a rookie QB making his first start and you’ve got yourself the makings of a bloodbath. However, the Steelers often play to their competition under Tomlin, so although I believe the Bills win, the final score might be closer than the tea leaves indicate.

Pick: Bills 31, Steelers 24

Bradley Locker

Well, we knew no moment was too big for Kenny Pickett: that’s a good thing, because it’s hard to ask more from a rookie to handle playing in Buffalo, against one of the best teams in the NFL, for your first ever start. Pickett makes the Steelers’ offense much more exciting, but I just cannot see the Bills making repeated errors like they did against Pittsburgh in last year’s season opener. The Steelers get run off the field by a much more talented, disciplined, physical football team on both sides of the ball. Stefon Diggs might actually have 200 yards alone over the middle of the field.

Pick: Bills 38, Steelers 14

Kyle Chrise (What Yinz Talkin’ Bout)

Biggest point spread in Steelers history?? Well, the bigger the underdog, the bigger the heart of the dog. Bet the barn.

Pick: Bills 13, Steelers 0

Anthony Defeo

The Bills might have some injury issues, but they also have Josh Allen, arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. He's certainly almost the peer of Lamar Jackson when it comes to taking off and running. He will be a handful to deal with, as will the rest of Buffalo's potent offense.

The Bills defense is also quite good and may be able to generate just enough pressure to compensate for being down two safeties.

I believe the Steelers will be game early under Kenny Pickett, but I just don't see how Pittsburgh's defense can slow down the Bills offense.

Pick: Bills 42, Steelers 20

What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!

Kenny Pickett makes a futile Steelers team watchable

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 7:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The rookie quarterback masks a team in need of significant upgrades, both personnel- and coaching-wise.

Entering this season, what to make of the Steelers was seldom a point of consensus. Some expected Pittsburgh to fare with a better record than in 2021 due to upgrading the offensive line and adding a more athletic quarterback in Mitch Trubisky; others posited that the team may decline slightly due to a tough schedule and somewhat thin roster.

However, I can confidently claim that almost nobody figured the Steelers would look this dreadful after four games.

Entering Week Five, Pittsburgh has just one win: a Week One overtime victory in which it forced five (yes, five) turnovers and still scraped by with a last-second field goal. The other losses came at the hands of Mac Jones, Jacoby Brissett and Zach Wilson to, respectively, the Patriots, Browns and Jets — and none of those teams appears to be solid.

For more of a statistical perspective, Pittsburgh ranks 26th in offensive EPA/play, posting under 280 yards per game and averaging 18.5 points per contest. Defensively, the Steelers have been somewhat better (13th in defensive EPA/play) but rank 25th in run defense EPA. Whether it’s few explosive plays and drives fizzling out on offense or the defense leaving the middle of the field vacant and not getting off the turf, it’s been quite bad in the Steel City.

In his four games as starting quarterback for the Steelers, Trubisky didn’t turn the ball over much, with just two interceptions. At the same time, the bigger issue is that he threw only two touchdowns and could not maintain offensive momentum or capitalize on takeaways or optimal field position.

Quite frankly, Pittsburgh was a team difficult to watch with Trubisky at the helm. On Sunday against the Jets, the narrative extended another chapter, as the Steelers’ first-half drives looked like this: punt, interception, punt, field goal, punt, punt, field goal. Notably, the final three points were due to a senseless roughing the passer penalty on a Hail Mary attempt.

In the blink of an eye, though, the Steelers and their fans were infused with a vivacity unseen this entire season.

Kenny Pickett entering the game at halftime was nowhere in the vicinity of anyone’s radars. Earlier in the week, Tomlin had actually praised Trubisky, his development and the progress he was making within Matt Canada’s offense; that had clearly been unseated when tweets flooded in from reporters about Pickett donning his helmet and Trubisky being relegated to a baseball hat.

Pickett’s debut was apropos for a rookie quarterback, featuring some top plays (see: throw to Pat Freiermuth while getting blasted) but also some areas for improvement (e.g., waiting too long to pass and then getting intercepted). Nevertheless, Pickett’s composure, mobility, accuracy and ability to connect with neglected receivers like George Pickens was a welcome sight.

The Steelers ultimately fell to the Jets due to New York rattling off a 10-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter — a damning reflection of Pittsburgh’s poor crunch-time defense. Yet for as somberly as the game ended, the overall takeaway surrounding the team is mildly optimistic.

Calling Pittsburgh’s next four-game stretch a gauntlet is an understatement, with games at the Bills, vs. the Buccaneers, at the Dolphins and at the Eagles upcoming. There’s a very legitimate possibility that Tomlin and his team could lose all four, moving to 1-7 — a team record through eight matchups the franchise hasn’t seen since 1969. Forget Tomlin’s losing streak: Pittsburgh very well could end up with a pick in the top ten, or even five, of April’s draft if things don’t turn around promptly.

Of course, the return of T.J. Watt cannot be overstated. But in Watt’s absence (which may be longer than anticipated after arthroscopic knee surgery), it’s abundantly clear that Pittsburgh’s defense does not dominate in the way you would have expected. Yes, Watt does change the entire complexion of the defense and the game, but this unit is not flying to the ball, closing in on receivers or shedding blocks with or without him.

Why, then, is there any semblance of positivity? Because of No. 8.

When Tomlin turned to Pickett, he underscored the idea that his offense needed resurrection; the long-time head coach, who some feel is too unwilling to change, aptly demonstrated his flexibility in an era when coaching creativity is crucial. Consequently, Steelers fans have an opportunity to analyze their highly touted, hometown hero under center for what should be the final 13 games in the regular season.

Pickett, like any rookie quarterback, will make mistakes. These must be taken with a grain of salt, and his performance need be evaluated holistically — just look at the career arcs, and rookie struggles, of players such as Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen.

Simply having the opportunity to watch what the Steelers have in Pickett provides tremendous relief to a fanbase being tortured by nail-biting yet horrendous football through the early portion of this year.

Certainly, the results of the rest of the season do matter. But this Steelers team is in need of total overhaul and could, quite honestly, benefit from a high draft pick to add a superstar difference-maker.

While fans will assuredly grow anguished when Pittsburgh doesn’t cover a crossing route or stop runs at the point of attack, it behooves supporters to look at the bigger picture: that monitoring Pickett supersedes wins or losses in a rebuilding year, the Pitt product representing a glimmer of hope on a lackluster squad.

The BTSC Delorean: Looking back at the memorable Steelers vs. Bills contests

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 6:30am

A look back at the most memorable Steelers vs. Bills meetings.

Do the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied history? Not really. The rivalry dates back to 1970 and started off with the Steelers winning the five of the first six games until the Bills finally prevailed in 1980. In he next nine games, Buffalo took seven of eight, including five straight from 1986 to the ‘92 AFC Divisional Game in 1993. Since then, the black and gold have an 11-3 advantage. This week, BTSC takes a look at the more memorable games that took place between the Bills and Steelers.

Here’s a brief tale of the tape:

Points: Steelers 633, Bills 509

Wins: Steelers 17, Bills 11

Home Record: Steelers 10-3, Bills 8-7

Shutouts: 3- Steelers 28, Bills 28 (12/16/1979), Bills 13, Steelers 0 (12/12/1982). Steelers 23, Bills 0 (11/15/1993)

Biggest Win Margin: Steelers 28, Bills 28 (12/16/1979)

Overtime Games: 1 - Steelers 1, Bills 0

Postseason Record: Steelers 2, Bills 1

December 22, 1974 - Steelers 32, Bills 14 (1974 AFC Divisional Playoff Game)

Things were starting to get real for the Steelers in their quest for their first championship, but they couldn’t take the visiting O.J. Simpson and the Bills too lightly just three days before Christmas at Three Rivers Stadium. It started out with promise as Mel Blount’s 42-yard return of the opening kick allowed Roy Gerela to kick through the game’s first points. But the Bills Joe Ferguson found his burly tight end Paul Seymour for the score and a 7-3 lead. But then the second quarter came and the Steelers exploded for 26 points with Terry Bradshaw masterfully driving the Steelers offense. Rocky Bleier’s first touchdown reception of his career came on a textbook route from 27-yards out to but the Steelers ahead. Great catches by Lynn Swann helped set up three Franco Harris rushing scores and the avalanche was on. The Steel Curtain defense chipped in by shutting down O.J. Simpson and the famed Electric Company offense. Simpson did reach the end zone late, but was held to a mere 49 yards on 17 carries. The win helped the Steelers find plane tickets to Oakland in their stockings and an eventual first Lombardi Trophy.

November 23, 1980 - Bills 28, Steelers 13

This is where the Super Bowl hangover really got debilitating. At 7-4 and fresh off of a huge win over the Cleveland Browns, the injury-hampered Steelers had a chance to put themselves in position for a three-peat. Despite getting on the board first at Buffalo’s Rich Stadium on a 2-yard run by Franco Harris, the Steel Curtain was trucked by Joe Cribbs (110 yards) and the Bills rushing attack for 174 on the day. The loss dropped the Steelers out of a first-place tie with the Browns and Oilers in the AFC Central and the Men of Steel eventually finished sixth in the conference, one slot out of a five-team postseason.

December 15, 1985 - Steelers 30, Bills 24

In a frustrating season full of disappointment, the 1985 Steelers entered Week 15 trying to snap a three-game losing streak and work their way back to finishing the season at .500. With the 2-12 Bills of Buffalo visiting, it seemed like a good opportunity to right some wrongs. But the Steelers were bamboozled by Buffalo early when David Woodley went down on their first series and Mark Malone was injured on the black-and-gold’s second possession. While the Steelers were bleeding, the Bills were believing with touchdowns courtesy of Greg Bell’s 77-yard sprint to the end zone, a 33-yard Bruce Mathison pass to Jerry Butler and Don Wilson’s recovery and return of a Louis Lipps’ fumble on a reverse. Down 21-0, the Steelers finally appeared on the scoreboard with 6:11 remaining before halftime when Louis Lipps found redemption by touchdown reception in the form of a 13-yarder from third-string quarterback Scott Campbell. Then Frank Pollard’s four-yard rushing TD right with :55 seconds left cut the score to six.

In the third quarter, Gary Anderson was good from 26 and 31 respectively. Then the Bills stretched their advantage to 24-20 when Scott Norwood put points on the board after the Steelers stopped the Bills seven yards from the end zone. Gary Anderson’s counter from 35 trimmed the score to just one mid-way through the fourth, but the Steelers defense needed a stop. On a 3rd and 3 and a chance to put the game on ice, John Swain knocked the ball away from a Bills’ receiver and the Steelers had just a little more than two minutes left to take advantage. And they truly did. Campbell found Lipps for 46-yards right off the bat to get to the two-minute warning. A big block by Tunch Ilkin freed Frank Pollard on a 3rd and 9 to get inside the five where Walter Abercrombie iced it with a two-yard run with :47 seconds left in the game. The biggest comeback in Steelers history was aided by Donnie Shell and Dwayne Woodruff interceptions and LIpps’ then-record 15th touchdown on the season. Despite the win, a Cleveland victory over Houston eliminated the Men of Steel from the playoffs, but the memorable comeback with a third stringer leading them to 30 points was a very bright spot in a dismal season.

January 9, 1993 - Bills 24, Steelers 3 (1992 AFC Divisional Playoff Game)

The Steelers return to the postseason for the first time since 1989 was a pleasant surprise due to the belief that Bill Cowher’s first NFL season was going to be a rebuild and not a division championship. But the game was marred by Bill Cowher’s decision not to go with the hot hand, Bubby Brister, instead to start a possibly rusty Neil O’Donnell who was out a month with a broken fibula.

The Steelers stopped the Bills on 4th and 1 on their opening drive and were on the prowl at the 12, but Darryl Talley sacked O’Donnell for a big loss and had to settle for an Anderson field goal and a 3-0 lead. Disaster struck with the Steelers driving again only for No. 14 to be picked off by Nate Odomes, Then Buffalo finally got on the board after another O’Donnell gaffe, this time the QB was strip-sacked by Bruce Smith setting up Frank Reich’s one-yard pass to Mitch Frerotte with 1:56 to go in the half. The Steelers were driving deep in the two-minute drill, but O’Donnell is intercepted again at the Buffalo 18. The halftime score read 7-3, but fans were getting uneasy with opportunities left unrealized. The hopes for advancement got even bleaker when Rod Woodson left the game due to a head injury. Without the All-Pro corner, Reich victimized Sammy Walker again and again. The Steelers chances completely vanished when Richard Shelton, in for Walker, made a break on a Reich pass to James Lofton and dropped a sure pick-six. With a do-over, the Bills quarterback went back to Lofton for a 17-yard score.

Trailing 14-3, the Steelers have a chance to get back in the ball game, but the holder, Mark Royals, has trouble fielding the snap and can’t get it down for Gary Anderson to get an attempt at a kick. The Bills add a Steve Christie field goal and a Carwell Gardner touchdown run from the one to complete the rout. Despite a good game from Barry Foster (104 yards rushing) and Ernie Mills (8 catches for 93 yards), the Steelers couldn’t protect O’Donnell from the Bills or himself as the Steelers QB was sacked seven times and was responsible for two interceptions and two lost fumbles. The Steelers would go on to be one of the best AFC teams of the 90’s, but the missed opportunities in this game proved that the black and gold weren’t yet ready for prime time.

November 15, 1993 - Steelers 23, Bills 0

Starting in 1980, the Bills dominated the Steelers, winning six of seven against the Men of Steel. But after the embarrassment suffered just 10 months before in Pittsburgh, the Steelers were in desperate need of turning the tables. Bill Cowher’s team manhandled the defending AFC Champs, possessing the football for nearly 75% the prime-time matchup and outgaining Buffalo 400 to 157. It started out rough for Pittsburgh, as Barry Foster went down with what turned out to be a detached ligament, but third-year man Leroy Thompson (108 yards and a TD) replaced No. 29 on that initial 15-play, 81-yard drive and scored a nine-yard touchdown to put the Steelers up 7-0. Gary Anderson added a 37-yarder later in the second, but teeth-rattling hits by Gary Jones on Don Beebe and a Kenny Davidson blast against Jim Kelly crippled Buffalo even more. Two more Anderson field goals and an Eric Green touchdown, combined with a suffocating defense gave the Steelers their first victory over the Bills since 1985 and sole possession of first place for the first time that season.

January 6, 1996 - Steelers 40, Bills 21 (1995 AFC Divisional Playoff Game)

In the playoffs and looking to get the three-more yards that they couldn’t in the AFC Championship the year before, The Bills, after beating Miami in the Wildcard Game, marched into Three Rivers Stadium leading the league in sacks and the armed with the potent K-Gun Offense. The Steelers opened up the scoring right away with a John L. Williams one-yard run and then backed the driving Bills enough for a Steve Christie miss from 52 yards. In the second quarter, the Steelers received a gift from the officials when Ernie Mills, despite not getting both feet down in the back of the end zone, was awarded a touchdown for the 14-0 lead and from Thomas Moore’s drop of a sure pick of Neil O’Donnell. Three Norm Johnson field goals and a one-yard Thurman Thomas score had the Steelers leading the Bills 23-7 at the half. In the third, things didn’t get better for Buffalo as Bill Johnson and Greg Lloyd bruised Jim Kelly’s sternum on a sandwich hit, forcing No. 12 to exit the game. A couple of second-half interceptions thrown by O’Donnell gave Buffalo hope as Alex Van Pelt and a returning Kelly threw touchdown passes to get the score close at 26-21, but two sacks by Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd and Chad Brown combined with Levon Kirkland, Carnell Lake and Jerry Olsavsky interceptions of Kelly and a pair of Bam Morris touchdown runs iced the contest and earned the Steelers a trip back to the AFC Title Game.

September 30, 2001 - Steelers 20, Bills 3

The 2001 season opened with a 21-3 drubbing in Jacksonville for Bill Cowher’s Steelers, but they couldn’t do anything about it until their next game three weeks later. Because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation, the NFL postponed all of Week 2, but the Steelers were on a bye for Week 3. Traveling to Buffalo to battle the Bills in Week 4 came with rust, but luckily the Steelers shook that off. The refs flagged the black and gold 12 times for 125 yards, but the defense made up for the large amounts of laundry flying Pittsburgh’s way. There was a lot of frustration when Kris Brown missed a chip shot and the defense was penalized three-straight times for 35 yards at one point in the first quarter, but Brent Alexander and Joey Porter crushed Travis Henry to jar the ball loose. An alert Dwayne Washington snapped-up the loose up ball and raced 63 yards to paydirt and a 7-0 Steelers lead. After a Brown field goal, the Bills would get to the one-foot line, but a penalty and three Rob Johnson incompletions caused Gregg Williams’ team to settle for a Jake Arians field goal right before intermission. In the fourth, the Steelers would add ten more points behind a Kris Brown kick and a Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala 22-yard score with 3:50 left to play. Kordell Stewart went 15 for 22 and 107 yards, Hines Ward caught nine balls for 79 yards and Jerome Bettis rumbled for 114 yards on 22 carries. But the real heroes of the day played defense. The Steelers sacked Brad Johnson four times, scored that previously mentioned touchdown and limited Buffalo to a mere 172 yards total. It was a good return to the playing field for the Steelers as they went 13-3 during a very difficult period in U.S. history.

December 11, 2016 - Steelers 27, Bills 20

If any game is appropriate to use the reference “Saved By The Bell”, it’s this one as Le’Veon Bell (298 total yards) scored three times and broke Willie Parker’s 10-year-old franchise record of 223 with 236 yards rushing in a snowstorm to lead the Steelers to a win in Buffalo over the Bills. The black-and-gold needed saving to overcame three Ben Roethlisberger interceptions on the blustery afternoon. After Bell’s scoring runs of three, seven and five yards in each of the first three quarters, the Steelers led 21-7 going into the fourth quarter. The final score made the contest seem a lot closer than it actually was when Tyrod Taylor added a touchdown toss to Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy scored from three-out, but Chris Boswell’s two field goals in the final stanza provided the difference. While Bell made history in this game, William Gay had it erased in the first quarter when his 25-yard pick-six was nullified after Bud Dupree was found guilty of defensive holding. Having stood, it would have been Gay’s sixth career pick-six for the Steelers and would have broken his tie in team history with Rod Woodson. Nonetheless, the win pushed the Steelers winning streak to four and their record to 8-5 after a rough 4-5 beginning.

Distribution Map: Check out if you will get to see the Steelers vs. Bills game

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 6:00am

The Steelers are playing the Bills in Week 5. Will you get to see it?

If you were like me, before I decided to sign up for the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package every week I was wondering whether I’d be able to watch my beloved Steelers in the comfort of my own home, or if I’d have to go elsewhere to watch the game.

Before there were websites devoted to this, it meant a lengthy trip on the television guide screen to see which game was scheduled to air, but now it’s just a click away.

So, will you get to see the Steelers and the Bills go head-to-head in Week 5? Check out which games you’ll see in your local viewing area.

For those who want to know which game they’ll see, check the map below, courtesy of 506 Sports:

RED: Steelers at Bills
BLUE: 49ers at Panthers (LATE)
ORANGE: Titans at Commanders
YELLOW: Chargers at Browns
LIGHT BLUE: Texans at Jaguars
GREEN: Dolphins at Jets

So, are you lucky enough to be able to watch the game live in your own home, or are you one of many who will have to find other means to view the game? Either way, today is the day to get pumped!!

HERE WE GO!!

Get the latest BTSC gear for the Steelers’ rookie QB, Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 5:30am

The Pittsburgh Steelers have turned to rookie QB Kenny Pickett. Get the latest BTSC shirt featuring “KENNYWOOD”

The 2022 regular season is in full swing, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have turned their offense over to rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Pickett was the first quarterback taken in the draft, and is ready to prove he is worthy of that pick. Either way, fans are excited, and rightfully so, about what Pickett brings to the team, so why not get some new gear to show off your Steelers pride?! Of course, this could be the perfect gift for the Steelers fan in your life!

The new design is simple, and is officially licensed by the NFLPA.

It reads: KENNYWOOD

Check out the design below:

By now, you might be wondering how to order yours? Just click the link below, and get yours today!!

Did you know we have a BTSC Apparel store? You can get this design, and many others, like the ones shown below, in the link below!

BTSC Apparel Store

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/09/2022 - 5:00am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

Steelers 2022 is ongoing and we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the BTSC website, but we’ve decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest two podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said or typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show:

Steelers Touchdown Under: Can a Kenny Pickett led Steelers team pay the biggest rookie bill?

Week 5 of the NFL season is here, with the Steelers traveling away to take on the Buffalo Bills. The Steelers are 1-3 on the season, after letting a 10 point advantage slip in the second half against the Jets, BUT can the Steelers bounce back against all odds to beat the NFL high-flyers in the Bills? What does Kenny Pickett need to do to help secure a win? What does the offense and defense, have to do respectively? Who needs to step up? Can the Steelers really get it done? Join Matty Peverell & Mark Davison as they answer these questions and more, while providing a global perspective to how the Steelers can achieve success in their chase for a seventh Lombardi, in this latest episode of ‘Touchdown Under’ - BTSC’s Australian sensation.

Rundown:

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • What does a Kenny-led team look like in Buffalo?

Listen to the show on the player below:

Tune into the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts.

We Run the North: KP8 time and an AFC North head-to-head

It’ll be a hot weekend in the AFC North. Of course it’s time to see what Kenny can do, Cleveland plays the Chargers, and Cincy and B-More goes head-to-head. Join BTSC’s Kevin Tate and his AFC North Crew featuring Brandon Herriott, Big G. and Pay Saunders as they break down the division before Week 5 for the Browns, Bengals, Ravens and Steelers.

Rundown:

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Week 5 in the AFC North
  • AFC North Happenings

Listen to the show on the player below:

Last Minute Thoughts before the Steelers Week 5 battle in Buffalo

There’s always a lot of material rolling trough a Steelers fan’s cranium on game day. What’s the injury report telling us? Did something happen that I missed? Am I going to even see the game in my broadcast area? What’s the line if I want to bet my mortgage on the game? At BTSC, we’re no different. Join BTSC with our last minute thoughts as you prepare to wave that Terrible Towel. This week, Dave Schofield gives his last minute thoughts right before the Steelers contest against the Bills.

Rundown:

  • Last Minute Thoughts before Steelers vs. Bills
  • Injury Report
  • Lines
  • How to watch

Listen to the show on the player below:

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

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