July 27, 2014

NFL Story
By Ron Musselman, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: November 10, 2013 05:39:43 PM


Steelers continue home dominance over Bills

PITTSBURGH -- The Buffalo Bills have always had a hard time winning in the Steel City.
Nothing changed Sunday.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, shaking off a report he would ask for a trade after the season, passed for a touchdown and Le'Veon Bell ran for another as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Bills 23-10 before 60,406 at Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh (3-6) snapped a two-game losing streak, while Buffalo (3-7) lost for the fifth time in six games, despite welcoming back rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.
Manuel tossed a 2-yard touchdown strike to tight end Chris Gragg with three seconds left in the game.
But it was a case of too little, too late as the Bills suffered their 10th loss in 12 trips to Pittsburgh, where their last victory came in an AFC playoff game 20 years ago.
"That was a good performance in a lot of areas by a lot of people, but particularly after the initial drive there where we turned the ball over," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought we were able to settle down and find rhythm and establish the running game and convert some third downs.
"I thought the defense was game today."
Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh's two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, vehemently dismissed an NFL Network report that he would ask for a trade after the season.
"When it comes to wanting to go somewhere else, anything like that, that's completely unacceptable," he said. "I don't know where that came from. It's one of the most B.S. stories I've ever heard of.
"I've always said I want to be a Steeler for life. I love it here. I'm happy here. I don't want to go anywhere. No one in my family, in our camp, my agent, no one has ever said anything about that.
"Wherever this was made up from, it's totally false."
Art Rooney II, the Steelers' president and co-owner, also labeled the NFL Network story as inaccurate.
"Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so," Rooney said.
Bell, a rookie running back and second-round draft pick from Michigan State, scored on a 4-yard run with 3:02 left in the third quarter to give Pittsburgh a 17-3 lead.
The Steelers stretched their lead to 23-3 in the fourth quarter on a pair of Shaun Suisham field goals, from 37 and 23 yards.
Pittsburgh, which trailed 3-0 after one quarter, grabbed its first lead of the game at 10-3 late in the second quarter on Roethlisberger's 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who has four touchdown catches in the past two games.
The Steelers, who surrendered a franchise-record 55 points and 610 yards in a loss to the New England Patriots last week, had evened the score at 3-3 at the 8:47 mark of the second quarter on Suisham's 36-yard field goal.
On their opening drive, the Steelers drove to the Buffalo 36, where Roethlisberger tossed his 10th interception of the season. The pass was intended for wide receiver Markus Wheaton, but Bills safety Jairus Byrd picked it off at the 14 and returned it 57 yards to the 29-yard line.
But the Bills had to settle for 20-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter with 6:16 remaining for their lone score.
"I'm just frustrated," said Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. "I'm not discouraged by anybody on the team. It is a loss. It's very frustrating."
Manuel, the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, had missed the past four games with a sprained right knee. He appeared rusty, completing just 22 of 39 passes for 155 yards. He threw one touchdown pass and one interception and was sacked three times. Buffalo was held to just 227 yards total offense.
Roethlisberger was 18-for-30 passing for 204 yards. He tossed one touchdown and one interception and was sacked four times. Antonio Brown led the way with six catches for 104 yards.
"That's the type of quarterback Ben is," Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. "He extends the play and you really have to pay attention to your receivers.
"It was frustrating. I would say we weren't in the game."
NOTES: Steelers rookie S Shamarko Thomas (left ankle) was injured in the second quarter and did not return. Will Allen replaced him in the dime defense. ... Steelers OG Ramon Foster (right ankle) was injured in the third quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Guy Whimper. ... Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley (left calf) was injured in the third quarter and did not return. He was replaced by rookie Jarvis Jones. ... Bills rookie WR Robert Woods (ankle) missed the game because of an injury


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