Apparently, I was so mad at Stevie Johnson after his dropped touchdown pass in a Week 12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that I decided to stop calling him Stevie for a week.
Naturally, in the wake of that particular game, much of the post-game discussion centered around No. 13. Which was obviously very understandable. I believe I did well at the time to point out the countless other opportunities the Buffalo Bills had to put the Steelers away in this game - many of them taking place in overtime - but the magnitude of that drop had since erased those plays from my memory.
Ron and Der Jaeger both spent a lot of time talking about Stevie in their post-game duties, as well. But we've been over this a million times. After the jump, we'll get into more detail about this excruciating loss.
Post-game recap: I am not the type of fan that hits the lowest lows or the highest highs along with the rest of the fan base. That said, this loss is still, to me, the most devastating the team has had in quite some time - simply because the circumstances of the game were unique to many other tough losses they've endured. I said after the game that I thought this loss was the latest in the long line of on-the-cusp failures by the team. Perhaps it's a bit unfair, but I still believe that.
Ron's O-Line Analysis: Ron gave big props to Andy Levitre, who graded out with the best single-game run-blocking grade Ron's ever seen. He was less bullish on Demetrius Bell, but I thought Bell was Levitre's equal in this contest. His play wasn't perfect, but it was really rather excellent against a pressure-oriented defenses like Pittsburgh's. I thought this was clearly Bell's best game of the season, though it's not really reflected in Ron's grading. Also: I was once again not overly impressed with Kraig Urbik, though at least he didn't have negative plays like Mansfield Wrotto did at right tackle.
DJ's Recap: I wanted to end this game by touching on DJ's mention of Chan Gailey's play-calling. I'm not the type to second-guess play calls in an extreme manner - it's a fruitless endeavor that, in general, only makes the person whining look like a know-it-all - but I can't help but wonder what might have been if the team didn't try to sneak Ryan Fitzpatrick up the middle in a one-receiver tight formation on 3rd & 1 deep in Steelers territory. Buffalo did a lot of settling for field goals - it got them back in the game, sure, but there's no question that they kept a lot of points off the board.
I'd also mention that I didn't like Gailey's play-calling in the first half. By that point in the season, it had been well-established that the way to beat Pittsburgh was to dink-and-dunk them - make their average secondary cover by throwing short routes, and keep the pressure off of your quarterback in the process. The Bills didn't accomplish much of that in the first half, but did it exceedingly well in the second half.