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Game Eleven: Not Easy, But’s it’s a Win – Suisham kicks the Steelers to a 19-16 OT Win over Buffalo

On a day when it seemed like it was going to be a walk in the park in Buffalo, the Steelers dominated for 30 minutes, fought for their lives for the second 30 minutes, and survived what many say should have been defeat in the final 11 plus minutes.

Shaun Suisham, the guy who made Jeff Reed unemployed two weeks ago, nailed a 41-yard field goal with 2:14 left in overtime to secure the Steelers most gut wrenching win of the year, 19-16 over the Bills.

The game looked over a couple times in OT as the Bills, now 2-9 had the game won when wide receiver Stevie Johnson got in behind the Steelers secondary but dropped a 40-yard pass on the run, while he was 2 yards into the end zone.

Buffalo got into Steelers territory twice in OT, but the first time punted and downed it at the Steeler four. On third down Ben Roethlsiberger was sacked, and almost lost the ball, but the Steelers recovered it and punted.

The Bills fumbled the punt, but recovered, and got again to the Steelers 39, but instead of trying a 56 or so yard field goal, on 4th and 9 they punted.

The Steelers got the ball on the 20, and marched from there to the Bills 22 with the big play being a Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace 17-yard pass on 3rd and 8 from the 22.

They got a huge day from Rashard Mendenhall, who had a career-high 151 yards on 36 carries. Eight runs between he and Issac Redmen got the Steelers in position for Suisham to try and make the game-winning field goal.

Pittsburgh dominated the first 30 minutes, going up 13-0 after a Mendenhall touchdown run and then two Suisham field goals, one of 45 yards and the other of 46.

The Bills did nothing in the first half, but another questionable personal foul on James Harrison in the third quarter opened the door for Buffalo.

A “leading with the crown of his helmet” penalty was called on Harrison on Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, and then three plays later Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson for a 65-yard TD that cut the lead to 13-7.

Rian Lindell kicked two field goals to tie the game at 13, but then the Steelers went on what appeared to be a game-winning drive that ended with a 48-yard Suisham field goal that made it 16-13 with 6:19 left.

The Bills drove, but Fitzpatrick was picked by Troy Polamalu at the Steelers goal-line that appeared to save the win. Again though a penalty (holding) on Chris Kemoeatu stopped what would have been the play to clinch the game on third down, and the Steelers had to punt.

Buffalo got in field goal range at the buzzer, as Lindell hit a 49-yard kick to tie the game and send it to OT.

The Steelers outgained the Bills 426 to 329, and had the ball for 45:23 to 27:23 for the Bills. Roethlisberger 20-for-33 for 246 yards, and he was sacked 5 times.

The team is now 8-3, and next week is their critical game of the year, as they play on Sunday night on the road at Baltimore.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. DrGeorge

    November 29, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Well, George H., we were both right about the Steelers’ O-line — it did dominate the Buffalo defense, as I expected, and it did commit far too many penalties, as you predicted. At least the same unit that started the game finished the game. I’m not aware of any of them getting injured. We should have the same guys back for the Ravens next week, a rare continuity for this team this season. It is curious, however, that Kemoeatu, who once looked like a stalwart, has turned into such an erratic player. My guess is he is playing injured.

    The dominance of the line resulted in a career best 151 yards for Mendenhall (although Redman still looks like a better runner), Ben had a robust 246 yards passing, and we owned the time of possession. Yet we only produced 16 points in regulation — in part because of the penalties mentioned above, and in part because most of the offense came in the first half.

    All that would make a fellow worry about our prospects for next week, except that the Ravens’ offense is equally unproductive, while their defense is equally strong. It looks like a clash of mirror-image teams next week. As in Buffalo yesterday, a Suisham field goal could win it.

    The televised Colts game that followed in the evening provided an interesting contrast with our QB. The commentators noted that Manning was getting passes off in 2 seconds or less early in the game. Rivers also has a fast release. Compare that with the long, long time Ben holds the ball, and his 5 sacks. The Chargers blitz did eventually get to Manning and he too was sacked more than usual, but not because he doesn’t release the ball quickly. The Colts have had injuries to their O-line and receivers, which has made Manning less productive this year. But the virtue of the quick release, checkdown receivers, and short patterns by both the Colts and the Chargers was quite apparent yesterday. I hope Arians was taking notes.

  2. mark

    November 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    DrGeorge, Arians ,Im quite sure was NOT taking notes! His stubborn game-planning almost cost them a win yesterday. Absolutely NO adjustments to counter the obvious ones Buffalo installed in the 2nd half. At least none that I was aware of from my T.V. Lets just hope that Ben’s foot is ok and he can play out the season since he is one of only a few studs on offense and is obviously our best player on either side of the ball.

    • DrGeorge

      November 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Yes, Mark — the offense in the first half looked like an entirely different unit than the one that played the second half. If Arians made an adjustment, it missed the mark. That game was like watching ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ — and almost as scarey.

  3. Thomas Crowley

    November 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Apparently ben’s foot is really hurt and he has to wear a walking brace. Interesting to see how much he’ll be able to move around sunday night.


  4. Jay

    November 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Thomas you may be right ( I wonder how many times that’s been said to you in your life)….But thank our o-line and Bruce’s seemingly incessant need to have essentially ALL the receivers in no shorter than intermediate routes; that coupled with BB’s one major flaw which is to hold onto the ball too long, and you will have this…unfortunate but true.

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