Steelers Survive Overtime Scare in Buffalo
Steve Johnson looks at dropped game. (Getty)
Steve Johnson looks at dropped game. (Getty)

Posted Nov 28, 2010


The Steelers survived Steve Johnson's overtime drop in the end zone to beat the Buffalo Bills, 19-16, on Shaun Suisham's 41-yard field goal.

It’s pronounced Sweeze-um, and now all of the Pittsburgh Steelers can call Shaun Suisham a teammate.

The new kicker was 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, including a 41-yarder in overtime to lift the Steelers to a 19-16 win over the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Steelers held a 13-0 lead late in the third quarter, but once again allowed their opponent back into the game.

A screen pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Fred Jackson went 65 yards for a touchdown with 3:45 left in the third quarter, and a 29-yard field goal by Rian Lindell early in the fourth quarter cut the Steelers’ lead to 13-10.

The Bills tied the game with a score on their third consecutive series, a 32-yard Lindell field goal after a Rashard Mendenhall fumble.

The Steelers halted the Bills’ momentum with a big play by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who scrambled 18 yards on third-and-18 deep in Steelers territory to continue a drive that ended with a 48-yard field goal by Suisham that gave the Steelers a 16-13 lead with 6:19 left.

Troy Polamalu’s diving interception at the Steelers’ goal line foiled the Bills’ next possession, but the Bills got the ball back and Lindell kicked a 49-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

The Bills drove to the Pittsburgh 41 on their first possession of overtime, but opted to punt on fourth-and-3.

On their next possession, the Bills drove to the Pittsburgh 40 and, on first down, Fitzpatrick threw deep to Steve Johnson, who had gotten behind Ike Taylor and then Ryan Clark. But Johnson dropped the perfectly thrown pass. The Bills did reach the Pittsburgh 36, but Fitzpatrick was sacked by James Farrior on third down and the Bills punted.

It would be the Bills’ last possession, as the Steelers, behind Mike Wallace’s 17-yard catch on third-and-8, and the running of Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, put Suisham in position for his game-winning kick.

The Steelers dominated the first half but only had an opening-drive 1-yard touchdown run by Mendenhall and a pair of second-quarter field goals (45 and 46 yards) by Suisham to show for a 23:55 to 6:05 advantage in time of possession. They had outgained the Bills 225-51 in the first half.

Mendenhall finished with a season-high 36 carries and 151 yards rushing. Hines Ward caught 7 passes for 107 yards. Roethlisberger completed 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards and a passer rating of 83.6.

The Steelers improved to 8-3, while the Bills fell to 2-9.

Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Good road victory for us, and by that I mean things didn’t always go our way. We didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked to play from an execution standpoint. Looked bleak at times. But we didn’t have a bleak approach to our work on the sideline. I thought that the guys were pretty composed. They continued to fight and it was good to see it pay off in the form of a victory. Tough place to play, of course; hostile environment, good football team on the rise. They’re really good over their last five games and won their last two, so we feel fortunate to have come away with a win tonight. On the injury front, Ben [Roethlisberger] has a foot sprain, right foot sprain. Nick Eason has an MCL sprain of his right knee. Bryant McFadden has a right hamstring (injury). Don’t know the degree of the hamstring.

Could you talk about the punt Daniel Sepulveda hit?

Dan has been really good all year, he really has. We haven’t helped him at all times in terms of downing the ball inside the 20, but he’s been really good for us. Of course, none was bigger than that one. But our specialists collectively were big today. How about Shaun [Suisham] banging field goals there for us? He’s now a Steeler. Casey Hampton and others know his name now. Big game by those guys.

How would you evaluate your offense after it played so well in the first half and bogged down in the second?

They had possession of the ball in the second half. They were moving it. They were converting third downs. Of course, we controlled it in the first half. Penalties had something to do with that. I just feel good about the willingness to continue to fight in the midst of adversity. It was a positive thing, not only offensively but defensively and special teams.

What does it say about your team that after Steve Johnson dropped the ball it went for the jugular?

Give us a blade of grass. We’ll defend it or attack. We got a blade there. Good to have a little fortune sometimes. Didn’t feel like we had a bunch of fortune today, but sometimes the ball bounces like that. You’ve gotta show your mettle and I thought our group did.

What about the personal foul on James Harrison?

I don’t even want to talk about it.

How was the wind affecting field goals?

I don’t kick field goals. We’ll let Shaun talk about that. I did see that they went in. I’m appreciative of that.

Was it a case of almost beating yourself?

It was tough sledding and some of the adversity was self-induced, no doubt, but that’s football.

Did you have a bad feeling at halftime with a small lead after dominating the action?

No. Our glass was half full at the half.

Could you talk about Troy Polamalu?

Man, he made significant plays and timely plays. That’s what we’ve come to expect from him. A guy who didn’t practice much during the week, he’s always ready to deliver for his teammates and his teammates appreciate it and understand it.

Are you proud of the way you ran the ball?

I’m just proud to get a win.


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