Bills 2010 Film Review: Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh (First Half)

You knew we'd get here eventually in our Buffalo Bills re-watch. At least in my opinion, Buffalo's most excruciating loss last season came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm guessing many, if not most or even all, would agree with that sentiment. Still, despite the agony of looking back at this game, it could also easily be argued that it was Buffalo's most impressive performance of the season. This was the Super Bowl runner-up on the ropes, after all.

Week 12, first half: Steelers lead Bills, 13-0 - NOTES

  • Donald Jones makes a terrific tackle on Emmanuel Sanders on the game's opening kickoff.
  • Irony: Chris Kelsay bites on a fake end-around and is late to close backside contain on Rashard Mendenhall. Typically, it's the polar opposite reaction. Nice game-planning and anticipation by Pittsburgh's coaches.

Week 12, first half: Steelers lead Bills, 13-0 - NOTES (cont.)

  • Reggie Torbor makes a nice read, then a nice tackle, on a slip screen to tight end Heath Miller.
  • Bills dial up a good coverage, and a bizarre blocking scheme in which Kelsay is blocked by Hines Ward dissolves, forcing Ben Roethlisberger into an incompletion.
  • Ward lulls Drayton Florence to sleep underneath, speeding by him into the seam and making a great grab to convert on third down.
  • Paul Posluszny is driven out of the running lane, and Mendenhall patiently capitalizes with a nice gain. An impatient Mendenhall runs into his own blocker here.
  • Antonio Coleman negates a Steelers incompletion by lining up in the neutral zone.
  • Dwan Edwards pulls up lame pursuing Roethlisberger on a rollout. This was Edwards' final play of the season.
  • Kyle Williams bulls Chris Kemoeatu into the backfield, but is held and can't separate to make the stop. There's no one behind Williams, and Mendenhall picks up a nice chunk of yardage.
  • Isaac Redman ekes out first-down yardage on 3rd &1, then plunges out of the pile for five more. Wrap up, Buffalo.
  • Williams eats up Kemoeatu and stops Mendenhall for a short gain.
  • Torell Troup double-teamed on the goal line, opening up a huge lane that Akin Ayodele is sitting in. Ayodele over-pursues, Mendenhall walks into the end zone for the game's first score. 7-0 Steelers.
  • Jones pushes off to get open, but it goes uncalled. Ryan Fitzpatrick hits him underneath, and Jones makes a nice open-field move to pick up first-down yardage.
  • Steve Johnson drops an easy pass on a comeback route.
  • Fitzpatrick throws very wide on an underneath stop pattern to Jones.
  • Fitzpatrick attacks single coverage on Lee Evans with a deep throw, but Ike Taylor is all over it. Ball falls harmlessly incomplete and the Bills punt.
  • Florence takes on Miller on the edge, playing great contain defense as Mendenhall is stopped for a short gain by Torbor.
  • Roethlisberger steps through a Bills blitz and hits Mewelde Moore (covered well by Jairus Byrd) for a first down. Great catch by Moore, better throw by Ben.
  • Florence fruitlessly chases a wide-open - I mean wide open - Ward underneath. Big yardage and a first down. Looks like a busted coverage.
  • Mike Wallace drops an easy pass on a comeback route in front of Leodis McKelvin.
  • Williams blows up three separate Steelers blockers, but can't quite bring Ben down. Roethlisberger flips the ball hot-potato style to Moore, who races for a first down.
  • Troup blows through a gap and touches up a sliding Mendenhall for a big loss.
  • Against a six-man Bills blitz that doesn't get home, Roethlisberger hits Miller (who makes a pretty catch) for another first down.
  • Roethlisberger overthrows Sanders, who easily beat McKelvin deep with McKelvin in press coverage (no jam).
  • Williams resembles Nightcrawler making his way through a Steelers blocker. Mendenhall had no prayer to gain yardage on this player.
  • Roethlisberger avoids Kelsay and Arthur Moats out of a three-man rush (aided by great coverage), throwing wildly down the field. Reggie Corner has a shot at a pick, but can't get up high enough, so he bats it down. 10-0 Steelers after a field goal.
  • McKelvin makes a nice 38-yard kick return on the ensuing kickoff. Covered the ball with two hands as he spun out of garbage. Good on you, mate.
  • Jones motions into an end around fake. Unfortunately, William Gay follows him on a run blitz and blows up Fred Jackson's running lane. Loss of yardage.
  • Fitzpatrick has nowhere to go and effectively throws the ball away versus a four-man rush. Bills again forced to punt, and Brian Moorman again doesn't get ahold of it.
  • Alex Carrington stacks up Jonathan Scott, allowing Williams and Ayodele to bring down Mendenhall for a short gain.
  • Steelers catch Bills in man coverage underneath. Miller runs right at Florence (covering Wallace), who must adjust his angle to maneuver around him. This gives Wallace separation for a catch-and-run first down.
  • Torbor displays exemplary contain defense as a 3-4 OLB, corralling Mendenhall for a short gain. A Ramon Foster hold drives the Steelers backwards.
  • Carrington quickly scoots by Foster and takes down Roethlisberger for the Bills' first sack of the day.
  • Byrd forces a fumble on a nice Ward reception that is recovered by Corner. However, an illegal contact flag on Bryan Scott negates the turnover.
  • Troup blows up two blockers. Mendenhall avoids the trash and picks up four anyway for a first down. Team defense is a rare sight in Buffalo.
  • Roethlisberger hits Ward for a big 27-yard gain, but Carrington draws a holding penalty to nullify the big play.
  • Williams is buried at the line of scrimmage. Carrington gets free and chases Roethlisberger right into Williams' arms, who sacks Ben from his knees.
  • Williams and Carrington run a stunt. Both players lined up at defensive tackle in pass-oriented sub-package. Carrington works right behind Williams, who moves left and cracks Maurkice Pouncey off-balance. Kemoeatu essentially left one-on-two, and he makes the wrong decision and goes after Carrington, the wide player. Williams trucks Roethlisberger for another sack.
  • Fitzpatrick hits Jackson underneath. Jackson makes Lawrence Timmons miss in space and picks up a first down.
  • Johnson drops a slant. He was wide open on the play. Fitzpatrick goes right back to him on the next play, and Johnson hauls in a 14-yard pass for a first down.
  • Andy Levitre buries Timmons on a pull and Jackson picks up six.
  • David Nelson very nearly false starts after running in motion, then catches a short pass for another first down.
  • Fitzpatrick throws an ugly pass to a singled-up Johnson underneath. Incomplete.
  • Facing pressure in the pocket, Fitzpatrick can't follow through completely and sails a pass over Nelson's head up the seam. Fourth down.
  • Moorman gets a bad bounce on his best punt of the half. Said punt traveled roughly 30 yards. (He was trying to pin the Steelers deep from inside their territory.)
  • Williams fights off a hold by Kemoeatu and stuffs Moore for no gain. Holding penalty is declined.
  • Kelsay speeds by the right tackle, but Roethlisberger steps up to avoid the rush. He finds Ward settled into the Bills' zone for 18 yards and a first down.
  • Aaron Maybin is blatantly held by Scott, and it's called. Roethlisberger throws into double-coverage, and Florence mistimes his jump on a possible interception.
  • Roethlisberger repeatedly eating the Bills up underneath. George Edwards content to let the Steelers dink-and-dunk themselves into field goal range.
  • Florence flagged for illegal contact, giving the Steelers another first down. Impact of penalty dulled by the fact that only eight seconds remain in the half. Steelers kick another field goal, go into the break up 13-0.

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