7 Steelers surprises in Sunday’s loss to the Bills

Each week our SCU staff and contributors picks the “surprises” from the Pittsburgh Steelers latest matchup. Check out more below to see which plays and situations surprised us the most!

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to face the Buffalo Bills for their Week 5 matchup at Highmark Stadium.

The Steelers got blasted by the Bills by a final score of 38-3. Here are some of the surprises from that game.

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Blame Canada

Quite honestly, the biggest surprise of this game is how fans continue to pile on Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

This simply isn’t an offensive coordinator issue. Having had Mitchell Trubisky struggle at quarterback through 3.5 games too, I don’t grasp how anyone can point the finger solely at the OC. I thought it was obvious that the quarterback play was a big problem…

I get it, the Steelers only scored three points. But how anyone can ignore any of the other issues below, is beyond me.

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38 Points

The Steelers entered this game as the biggest underdog they’ve ever been since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, giving the Bill 14 points.

They could’ve given them 35 for what it’s worth, as the defense failed to slowdown Josh Allen and company at any point in the game. The Bills would finally punt for the first time in the game, in the fourth quarter – and only twice the entire contest.

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Where’s the D?

The Bills not only scored 38 points, but they racked up 552 yards of offense in only 54 plays. They converted 5-of-9 of their third downs and the Steelers only had a single hit on their quarterback.

That’s not going to cut it, no matter which bodies are out there on the field.

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Time of Possession

Want a real surprise?

For the first time this season, the Steelers didn’t lose the time of possession battle. They actually dominated Buffalo 36:08 to 23:52.

So much for keeping that defense fresh…

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Special Teams

When it rains, it pours, doesn’t it?

Steady Chris Boswell missed two of his three field goal attempts on the day.

Punter Pressley Harvin III had four punts, one of which traveled 69 yards – and others which went 34, 26 and 34. The big boot was nice, but the others didn’t do the Steelers defense any favors.

And who can forget the first return by Pittsburgh? CB James Pierre, who was in for an injured Steven Sims, who was just inserted as a returner for the recently benched Gunner Olszewski… are you keeping up?

Pierre muffs the kick, which could’ve ended dangerously for the Steelers, had the defense not held the Bills offense – and blocked ensuing the field goal attempt.

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Kenny Pickett

The debut of Kenny Pickett, for the most part, didn’t appear to be “too big” for the 20th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Pickett completed 34 of 52 pass attempts (65.4%) for 327 yards. He would fail to throw a touchdown pass and had one interception, which ended his day with a 74.8 QB rating.

Regardless, Pickett appeared to be the one player who was dialed in all day and didn’t give up.

Given his numbers, and what the defense and special teams failed to do, is why I am giving Matt Canada a pass for most of this game.

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Who’s That?

Seriously, did you see the defense? (Bonus points if you can name who’s wearing 48 this week!)

Seeing many of these names and the amount of time they were on the field, shouldn’t feel comforting. Levi Wallace and Cameron Sutton were banged up. Terrell Edmunds and Ahkello Witherspoon were ruled out too. Larry Ogunjobi only played 7 snaps (12%).

That’s not including the obvious missing piece, T.J. Watt.

This is a “no name” defense but not in a good way. The Steelers need to get healthy, and quick, or else their lack of rushing the passer, or covering the field, will see many more rough days in the office like Sunday.

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