Pittsburgh Steelers Defeat Buffalo Bills: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) is tackled by Buffalo Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) and outside linebacker Arthur Moats (52) on a punt return during the third quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

For the Pittsburgh Steelers and Steeler Nation, I think it’s safe to assume that it would be very difficult to repeat the disaster that took place in Foxboro last week.  Thankfully, the Buffalo Bills proved that they were still the “BuffaLOL” Bills, even against a Steelers team that has had very little in the way of answers to the numerous problems plaguing this team.  The Bills struggled all day on both sides of the ball, and allowed the continually ‘slow out of the gate’ Steelers to overcome tripping over themselves in the first quarter for a lead they would never relinquish.  The good guys walked away with a 23-10 win and kept the good vibes a flowin’ at Heinz Field that bore witness to Pitt defeating Notre Dame the night before.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – let’s get to it…

The Good

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (89) catches a touchdown pass in front of Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephen Gilmore (24) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jerricho Cotchery – Cotch is clutch.  That’s a slogan I started using a few weeks ago and I’m sticking with it.  Despite the Bills being their own enemy at times, there were still numerous things that took place during the game that were good.  Cotch was one of them by continuing to haul in the important catches.  He only had two catches on the day for 31 yards, but one of them was a key touchdown that put the Steelers up 10-3 with less than two minutes left in the first half.  It set a great tone for the team going into the locker room.  The Steelers have rarely led at halftime in games this season (only twice before Sunday), and it felt good to not be in ‘catch up mode’ to start off the second half.  Cotchery may be getting a little long in the tooth, but he is showing his leadership through performance on the field by making his moments count.

The re-emergence of Antonio Brown – Antonio Brown has taken some pretty heavy criticism this season despite being the leading receiver on the team.  His biggest criticism from me is his lack of physicality and attitude.  His punt return numbers have suffered this season because of that, and I’ve taken him to task in several posts about needing to knock off the first down ball drop and to quit taking fair catches when your job as the punt return is to …. well… return punts.  Brown’s performance the last few games in the punt return game has improved immensely, and he should be commended for those efforts.  On Sunday against the Bills, Brown returned two of four punts for 74 yards.  His longest was 50 yards, and it made me think of his season two years ago when he went for 1,000 receiving and 1,000 return yards.  That’s the kind of effort the Steelers, even at 3-6, need to see from all of their players.  Nice work, AB, on the return game.  He also finished the day with over 100 yards receiving and is certainly having his best statistical season of his career.

Jarvis Jones – Jones recorded his first sack of the season and of his career.  It seems like it’s been a long time coming, and now our own Dom can quit busting his chops about having more Subway commercials than sacks.  He’s tied.

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