Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills-Steelers

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The Buffalo Bills beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-10 on national television on Sunday night, officially clinching a playoff berth. They’ll be headed to the postseason for the second time in three years under head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane.

Like every win this season, we start with the Arrows Up: 

ARROW UP:

  • Resiliency

In a game we all knew would be a tough, low-scoring battle, the Bills found themselves down headed into the fourth quarter, but continued to battle and ultimately found a way to win. 

  • The defense - everything

The Bills put together a terrific defensive performance overall, limiting the Steelers to just 229 yards for the entire game, coming up with five turnovers, giving up first downs on only 5-of-14 third and fourth down attempts combined (36%), registering four sacks, seven tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hurries. 

  • CB - Tre’Davious White

The Bills have one of the best cornerbacks in football, and he showed why on a national stage. White came up with two big interceptions, returning one 49 yards, but also had four tackles, including one for a loss, and two pass breakups. 

  • DT - Jordan Phillips

Phillips had a huge game, filling up the stat sheet with three tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries, and two sacks.  

  • Josh Allen’s fourth quarter

Once again, Allen came up big when it mattered most. He didn’t have great stats for the game, going 13-for-25 for 139 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but hit John Brown for a huge 40-yard completion to start the fourth quarter, then found Tyler Kroft on 3rd-an- 9 with 8:00 left in the game to take the lead they’d never give back. 

  • Brian Daboll’s gameplan

The Bills offensive coordinator did a great job of keeping the Steelers and their vaunted pass rush off-balance, mixing runs and passes at different times, never showing a tendency.   

  • Pass protection

When Allen did drop back, he generally had time. Pittsburgh’s defense got to him only once. 

  • WR - John Brown

Brown was back to putting up the kind of numbers he has consistently put up this season, catching seven passes for 99 yards.

 

ARROW DOWN:

  • Devin Singletary’s two fumbles

The Bills rookie running back fumbled twice Sunday night, and one cost them big time. The Steelers recovered the ball in their own territory, stalling an excellent Bills drive. Fortunately, John Brown recovered the other one for the Bills. 

  • Penalties

The Bills committed eight penalties, and several of them came in crucial situations. That's too many.

 

THE BIG PICTURE

It’s 2 a.m. and I’m on a plane about to land.

I’ll make it short and sweet - the Bills are going to the playoffs. It’s official.

Enjoy it. I know some of you were already doing that...

pic.twitter.com/d57Oy9a5nH

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) December 16, 2019  

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