It has felt like a long time coming, but the NFL is back, and we’re not just talking about preseason, nope. The regular season resumed this weekend, kicking off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Dallas Cowboys. A closely fought contest that would see the Buccaneers hold out for the W by just two points. But we don’t care about them, it’s all about the Pittsburgh Steelers at SteelerNation.com, so let’s take a look at how Week 1 went for them.
Going into the first week of the regular season, the Buffalo Bills, who have Josh Allen pulling the strings at QB, were favorites going into the contest. In fact, besides the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buccaneers, last season’s Super Bowl finalists, the Bills were hotly tipped to make it through the playoffs this season. And rightly so as they have an incredibly talented side.
And as the game started, it was the Bills who set off on the stronger foot. They went 3-0 up in the 1st quarter, before scoring a touchdown in the second quarter, taking them 10-0 up at half time. It wasn’t that the Steelers were playing all that badly, but the Bills were doing an excellent job defensively at stopping the Steelers from getting through. All seemed as though those NFL predictions were going to be right.
But, you can never write the Steelers off. Not for one second. And as the 3rd quarter began, the Steelers defence became steel-like as they prevented the Bills gaining any extra points, and managed to put 6 of their own on the board, to bring the game to a much more level playing field with less than one touchdown between the sides seeing the Bills finish the quarter 10-6 up.
The defense couldn’t quite keep another shutout in the 4th quarter, but they did manage to limit the Bills to just putting another 6 on the board. However, the Steelers had their best quarter of the game, absolutely dominating and sticking an additional 17 points that would see them leapfrog the favorites and have the Steelers leading the Bills 16-23. A win that not many saw coming, but that will have Steelers fans hoping that the season ahead follows the way that final quarter played out.
And now that you know how the general game went, let’s pick out some of the highlights, and the parts of the game where the Steelers could’ve done things a little better.
Whilst the first half wasn’t terrible, the Steelers failed to record a single point and conceded 10. There were a couple of good moments in there too, but the main ones all came in the second half. Ben Roethlisberger created one of the highlights of the second half, as the 39 year old rolled back the years to throw a touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson that would take the Steelers into the lead for the first time during the game.
It then got even better for the Steelers as they played a special team formation with the Bills looking to punt the ball up the field whilst sat on their own 10 yard line. Miles Killebrew then came out of nowhere, throwing his body into the air to make a block, which knocked the ball to the ground, before Ulysees Gilbert managed to pick it up and run it into the End Zone for the Steelers’ second touchdown. Which would then take them 10-20 up.
— PFF (@PFF) September 12, 2021
As stated above, the Steelers didn’t do too much wrong in the first half. They were just a little slow off the mark, before growing into the game in the second half. However if there was one area to highlight in terms of ‘the bad’ it would be some of the statistics after the game. Firstly, the Steelers gained less ground than their Buffalo rivals, with the Bills managing 371 yards to the Steelers 252.
That partly came down to the fact that the Bills also managed to earn more first downs than their rivals too, with 22 compared to the Steelers 16. This would have given the Bills more opportunities to gain ground, but ultimately it wouldn’t matter, because the defense of the Steelers was able to cope with the Bills’ offensive line. But they’ll want to be improving those numbers as the season goes on, because there is only so long you can absorb pressure before something breaks.
And so there you have it, our recap of the Steelers’ week 1 game away to the Buffalo Bills. Next up in the NFL will be the Las Vegas Raiders, who also won their opening game of the season. But this will be the first time the two sides have met since the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas, so who knows how things will go, especially with both teams off to a great start.