Bills clinch playoff berth with 17-10 win over the Steelers

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The Buffalo Bills rode four interceptions from their defense and timely scoring from their offense on Sunday Night Football, as the team clinched their second playoff berth in three seasons with a 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

The Buffalo defense was led by cornerback Tre'Davious White, who picked off Steelers quarterback Devlin "Duck" Hodges twice, while the Bills also got pair of late fourth quarter interceptions from safety Jordan Poyer and cornerback Levi Wallace to seal the victory. Buffalo's defense also shut down the Steelers offense throughout the night, only giving up 229 yards of total offense.

On the offensive side of the ball, Josh Allen accounted for both Buffalo touchdowns in the win, running for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter and throwing a 14-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Kroft in the fourth quarter. Allen finished the night going 13-of-25 for 139 yards, his one touchdown in the air and an interception.

After an opening drive punt by the Bills, White came up with his first interception of the game as he picked off Hodges along the sidelines at the Buffalo 25-yard line. However, the Bills were unable to turn White's fifth interception of the year into any points.

A bit of a scary moment happened for White on the next drive Pittsburgh drive when he came up with a big tackle for a loss on a second down play. He was questionable to return with a shoulder injury, but returned no more than a series later.

After a scoreless opening quarter of play, the Bills broke the scoreless tie less than a minute into the second quarter.

After an impressive run from Devin Singletary set up 1st-and-goal for Buffalo at the one-yard line, Allen took the ball into the end zone himself on the very next play for his ninth rushing touchdown of the year. That mark set a new franchise record for quarterbacks, and gave Buffalo a 7-0 lead.

Pittsburgh answered right back to make the score 7-3 with a 49-yard field goal from kicker Chris Boswell to cap off a six play, 41-yard drive.

One of Allen's only mistakes on the night came with 2:28 left to go in the half when he tossed his ninth interception of the season. Allen's pass intended to wide receiver Cole Beasley was a bit high and deflected off his hands and into the midsection of Pittsburgh cornerback Steven Nelson, who returned the ball 33 yards downfield to the Bills' 20-yard line.

However, the Buffalo defense forced another turnover just 35 seconds later as defensive end Trent Murphy forced a fumble of Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson and the loose ball was corralled by Poyer.

The Bills ended up running out the remaining 1:53 left on the clock, opting to take their 7-3 lead into halftime.

Hodges and the Steelers came out with a purpose to start the third quarter, and took their first lead of the night on an efficient opening drive. Hodges completed a pass to running back James Conner and he scampered into the end zone from 11 yards out, breaking a tackle along the way.

Looking to answer back, down 10-7, Buffalo crossed midfield and into Pittsburgh territory after a third down conversion from Allen to wide receiver John Brown. However, on the ensuing play after calling a timeout, rookie running back Devin Singletary fumbled possession away after a nice gain of 11 yards. Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt punched the ball out of Singletary's hands, forcing another turnover for the Steelers' defense. It was Watt's sixth fumble forced on the season.

The battle of turnovers continued late in the third, this time is was White coming up with his second interception of the night as he jumped a route intended for Johnson. White took the ball 49 yards, deep into Steelers' territory to the 18-yard line.

Despite starting the fourth quarter on Pittsburgh's eight-yard line, the Bills could not find the end zone following the turnover. Buffalo dialed up six consecutive run plays in the red zone and the Steelers' stingy defense did not buckle.

The Bills had to turn to Stephen Hauschka from 36 yards out, and the veteran tied the score at 10-10 with 12:27 left in the contest.

After forcing a three-and-out of the Steelers offense, the Buffalo offense went back to work, starting with a 40-yard reception from Allen to Brown. Five plays later, the Bills got the go-ahead score as Allen found Kroft for the 14-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone.

Buffalo held on to the 17-10 lead all the way to the two-minute warning, and then the defense came up with another big interception. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Hodges floated a pass into the end zone that was well off its intended target, and Poyer was able to snag the interception of the night.

After failing to convert a first down to end the game, Buffalo gave the football back to Pittsburgh with 91 seconds left in the game.

Though the Steelers were able to push the ball down the field on their final drive, the last-ditch effort to tie the game ended up in the hands of Wallace in the end zone with just six seconds remaining.

All Allen had to do was take a knee to run the remaining time off the clock and punch the Bills' ticket to the playoffs.

 

Scoring Summary
First Quarter:

  • 0-0 - Bills interception (8:50) - Tre'Davious White picks off Devlin Hodges' at the Buffalo 25-yard line.

Second Quarter:

  • 7-0 BILLS - Bills touchdown (14:22) - Josh Allen rushes for a one-yard touchdown (Stephen Hauschka's extra point attempt is good).
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 40 yards, 4:23
  • 7-3 BILLS - Steelers field goal (11:31) - Chris Boswell's 49-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 41 yards, 2:51
  • 7-3 BILLS - Steelers interception (2:28) - Josh Allen's pass attempt deflects off the hands of receiver Cole Beasley and is picked off by Pittsburgh's Steven Nelson; returned 33 yards to the Buffalo 20-yard line.
  • 7-3 BILLS - Bills fumble recovery (1:53) - Trent Murphy forces a fumble from Pittsburgh's Diontae Johnson, recovered by Jordan Poyer on the Buffalo nine-yard line.

Third Quarter:

  • 10-7 STEELERS - Steelers touchdown (11:18) - Devlin Hodges connects with running back James Conner for an 11-yard touchdown pass (Chris Boswell's extra point attempt is good).
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 69 yards, 3:42
  • 10-7 STEELERS - Steelers fumble recovery (9:01) - T.J. Watt punches the football out of Devin Singletary's hands, recovered by Mike Hilton for Pittsburgh.
  • 10-7 STEELERS - Bills interception (1:24) - Tre'Davious White intercepts a Devlin Hodges pass and returns it 49-yards to the Pittsburgh 18-yard line.

Fourth Quarter:

  • 10-10 - Bills field goal (12:27) - Stephen Hauschka's 36-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 0 yards, 4:01
  • 17-10 BILLS - Bills touchdown (7:55) - Josh Allen finds tight end Tyler Kroft for a 14-yard touchdown (Stephen Hauschka's extra point attempt is good).
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 70 yards, 2:08
  • 17-10 BILLS (1:54) - Devlin Hodges' pass is intercepted by Jordan Poyer in Buffalo end zone for a touchback.
  • 17-10 BILLS (0:06) - Devlin Hodges' pass is intercepted by Levi Wallace in the corner of the Buffalo end zone.

 

LoTempio Complete Stats of the Game 

Individual Stats 
Passing 
Buffalo Bills: 

Josh Allen -  13-of-25, 139 yards, TD, INT

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Devlin Hodges -  23-of-38, 202 yards, TD, 4 INTs

 

Rushing 
Buffalo Bills: 

Devin Singletary - 21 carries, 87 yards

Josh Allen - 7 carries, 28 yards

Frank Gore - 10 carries, 15 yards

Pittsburgh Steelers:

James Conner - 8 carries, 42 yards

Kerrith Whyte - 2 carries, 5 yards

Devlin Hodges - 1 carry, 4 yards

Benny Snell, Jr. - 2 carries, 1 yard

Jaylen Samuels - 2 carries, -1 yards

 

Receiving 
Buffalo Bills: 

John Brown - 7 receptions, 99 yards

Tyler Kroft - 1 reception, 14 yards, 1 TD

Dawson Knox - 1 reception, 11 yards

Andre Roberts - 1 reception, 7 yards

Cole Beasley - 1 reception, 6 yards

Devin Singletary - 2 receptions, 2 yards

Pittsburgh Steelers: 

James Washington - 5 receptions, 83 yards

Diontae Johnson - 5 receptions, 62 yards

Nick Vannett - 5 receptions, 40 yards

James Conner - 4 receptions, 9 yards

Jaylen Samuels - 1 reception, 5 yards

Zach Gentry - 1 reception, 4 yards

 

Defense 
Buffalo Bills:

Tre'Davious White - 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 INTs

Jordan Poyer - 4 tackles, fumble recovery, 1 INT

Levi Wallace - 6 tackles, 1 INT

Tremaine Edmunds - 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

Jordan Phillips - 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

Shaq Lawson - 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, sack

Trent Murphy - 3 tackles, tackle for loss, sack 
Pittsburgh Steelers:

Steven Nelson - 6 tackles, 1 INT

T.J. Watt - 4 tackles, forced fumble, 0.5 sacks

Mike Hilton - 2 tackles, fumble recovery

Terrell Edmunds - 11 tackles

Cameron Heyward - 8 tackles

 

Team Stats 
Total Yards: 
BUF: 261PIT: 229
Passing Yards: 
BUF: 131PIT: 178
Rushing Yards: 
BUF: 130PIT: 51
First Downs: 
BUF: 17PIT: 15
Penalties: 
BUF: 8 for 70 yardsPIT: 6 for 30 yards
Time of Possession: 
BUF: 32:20PIT: 27:40
What's Next:

The Bills have a short week ahead as they travel to Foxboro to do battle with the 11-3 New England Patriots on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. on WGR with pregame coverage starting at 11 a.m.