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Steelers vs Bills First Half Live Update And Discussion Thread


Tonight, we are experimenting with some live blogging of the game. Please refresh frequently to get the latest updates on the game. The second half will have its own thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to score an offensive touchdown in their preseason opener a week ago against the New York Giants. They will be looking to change that this week against the Buffalo Bills, against whom they had to chance to practice this past week.

They enter this game without some key personnel, most notably Jarvis JonesWill Johnson, and Matt Spaeth. But the Bills will also be without their starting left tackle, which is good news for Chris Carter, who will be replacing Jones, as well as starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Former Steelers Doug Legursky and Kraig Urbik are both expected to see time with the Bills’ first-team offensive line as well.

The broadcast just said that the Steelers got “philosophically younger”. I didn’t know that was possible, but okay.

The Bills won the coin toss and elected to receive. Defense out first.

Seems Howard Jones just missed a tackle on the opening kickoff and C.J. Spiller returned the ball to the 38.

Ryan Shazier made his first career tackle on second down, setting up a third and short. It didn’t take him long for tackle number two, but it still gave the Bills a new set of downs.

Former Steeler Frank Summers got the fullback carry and rumbled for a nice gain, and Spiller converted another first down on the next play.

Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel scrambled for five yards on first show, with Shazier escorting him out of bounds. Once again, Shazier was in on yet another tackle on Spiller to set up third down. Manuel’s third-down pass was incomplete to Sammy Watkins, but the Steelers received their first defensive pass interference penalty of the preseason.

In his first action of the preseason, Troy Polamalu engulfed Fred Jackson after a five-yard gain on a short pass. Steve McLendon provided pressure on second down, but the short screen was good for four, setting up third and one. Manuel’s third-down pass was a poor one to Robert Woods, setting up a field goal, with the Bills taking an early 3-0 lead on the opening drive.

Bills receiver Sammy Watkins reportedly has a rib injury.

Shockingly, Dri Archer once again is the recipient of a kickoff out of the back of the end zone. Nobody wants to see him field one, apparently.

Archer did get in on the first play for the Steelers on offense, taking a bubble screen from Ben Roethlisberger, but Markus Wheaton‘s block was underwhelming. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown in stride cutting across the field on second down for a 76-yard touchdown. I think he could be a keeper.

Shaun Suisham earns the distinction of being the first player to miss the experimental extra point attempt, so the lead is just 6-3. I did not see anything unusual about Brad Wing‘s hold, nor the snap.

Seems Luke Ingram is playing after all.

Shazier was in on the stop on the ensuing kickoff, as well as the first tackle, on which Cam Thomas was the primary. Manuel hit his target for 10 yards and a first down on the next play.

Polamalu Spider Man-ed Spiller after the back initially eluded him to make the tackle after three yards. The Steelers strung the Bills offense out on second down, but Mike Mitchell was flagged for taunting.

Cameron Heyward smothered Jackson on the first play after the foolish penalty for a loss of two. On second down, Shazier jumped in front of a route for an interception and received a chest bump from Joey Porter afterward for his efforts.

Following the turnover, Lance Moore was the recipient of Roethlisberger’s third pass for a gain of six. On second and four, Le’Veon Bell took the draw, but he had nowhere to go. The Steelers got a free play after Mario Williams jumped offside. The result was a first down, but he was hoping for a touchdown.

Bell showed great patience on his second carry of the game, wriggling through defenders for six yards to the Bills’ 20. After an audible, Bell got another carry, burrowing his way for a couple to set up third and short. Bell for one more time, plunging ahead for the first down.

LeGarrette Blount slipped on first down, giving the Bills a chance to pick off Roethlisberger, but no harm was done. On second down, Moore missed his block on a screen to Wheaton, and the play was blown up for a loss, setting up third and 11. Roethlisberger threw a beautiful pass to Wheaton in the far left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Sorry, Moore, but we’ll do it without you. Great move by the second-year receiver on Stephon Gilmore.

Shazier in on another special teams tackle, I believe.

After a poor pass on first down, Ike Taylor and Arthur Moats hemmed in the Bills’ receiver to set up third and long. Shazier tried to chase down Scott Chandler before he reached the first down, but couldn’t. Mitchell was flagged for defensive holding, but it was declined.

Manuel’s dink and dunk efforts have reached midfield after a five-yard carry by Spiller, brought down, naturally, by Shazier. I’m pretty sure Shazier will be the team’s leading tackler this season. He’s doing against starters was Dan Molls did to future McDonald’s employees last week. And that’s a wrap on the first quarter.

Jackson managed to find some running room through tight spaces, gaining enough for a first down. On the following play, pressure from McLendon and Jason Worilds forced Manuel to throw the ball away.

Worilds got great pressure once again, and Manuel was flagged for intentional grounding, which is just as good as a sack. Third and long. Real long. Shazier lost his footing going against Chandler. He’s human. Stephon Tuitt ran all the way down the field to make the tackle short of the first down, but it put the Bills in field goal range. The Steelers lead is now 13-6 after a 53-yarder.

Once again, no chance at a return for Archer. Not that I’m surprised.

Roethlisberger is out for his third drive, going 2-for-2 in terms of touchdowns on his first two. Heath Miller is brought down on first down after just two yards. The throw on second down is short in front of Wheaton to set up third and long. Roethlisberger wound up and hit Brown for a first down after an 18-yard gain. Seven protecting, good blocking.

The quarterback was chased and stepped up into the pocket, and threw a hot pass that Miller couldn’t snag. Blount offered a stiff arm on second down for a defender, but only for one yard. Another third and long, and Roethlisberger hit his target again, but Miller was just short. The veteran kept his troops on the field for fourth down to attempt to draw the Bills offside, but they didn’t bite.

Brad Wing got his first opportunity to punt in this game, and it was better than last week. The 39-yarder was downed at the Bills’ 14-yard line.

The Steelers’ starting defense remains out. Polamalu in on the first tackle, but Woods got away from him on second down for a big gain. He was also flagged for illegal contact. Heyward got a hit on Manuel as he threw.

Jackson managed to elude Worilds, but Shazier caught up with him, and Mitchell finished off the tackle. On second and five, the Steelers seemed to have missed a couple tackles in the backfield, but the Bills still only gained a yard to set up third and four. The rookie left tackle false started to make it third and nine. Manuel hit Woods coming back for 16 yards with Allen in coverage.

Shazier and Lawrence Timmons stopped Chandler after a five-yard gain down to the Steelers’ 29 on first down. The back ran right into Shazier on second down to set up third and one. But Timmons stuck the back on the play to force a fourth-down play. Nice show from the veteran. Heyward tipped the ball at the line for a turnover on downs.

Observation: the Steelers’ offensive line is handling the Bills’ front in this game far better than they did last year. Something I was watching for this game.

Landry Jones entered the game with about five minutes left in the half over Bruce Gradkowski. Blount lost three yards on first down, but gained it back on second down. The Steelers went five wide–including Blount–on third and 10, but Nickell Robey stepped in front of Moore for the interception. Moore tackled him at the 42.

Daniel McCullers entered the game as the second-team nose tackle, along with the rest of the second-team defense. Tuitt received no time in the base defense with the starters, but did play in the nickel. Antwon Blake slipped a bit on a 16-yard pass on third down. Bills at the 25.

Manuel’s pass on second and five was not a good one, setting up third and five. He hit Jackson in stride, though, breaking a Vince Williams tackle to make it first and goal.

Note Cam Thomas and McCullers as the sub-package linemen with the second-string.

Shamarko Thomas shows off his stellar instincts once again by blowing up a pass to Jackson on first and goal. Jackson took a quick hand off for about three yards. William Gay had coverage on Woods at the left corner of the end zone. the receiver couldn’t bring it in in-bounds. On fourth down from the three, Robert Golden broke up a pass to the tight end Chandler to force another turnover on downs. Coach Dad approves.

Landry Jones takes a knee, and the Steelers bring a 13-6 lead into the second half, where Pittsburgh is set to receive the ball first.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Shannon Stephenson

    Really?!…ok…now that that is out of the way.

  • Dom

    This is great been wanting one of these on gameday for ages. I’m assuming that slightly more rambly and conversational comments will be taken on here?

  • Spencer Krick

    Wouldn’t hate it if we won this game.

  • Spencer Krick

    I support this, mostly because I’m pretty rambly and off topic.

  • Dom

    It’s tough to hold back sometimes isn’t it?

  • Spencer Krick

    Indeed sir!

  • Dom

    I really hope we receive first today, Want to go 7-0 up thanks to Dri Archer atleast once this season

  • Spencer Krick

    I hope Chris Carter learned to play football overnight, kind of like how Keenan Lewis did.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I may be more rambly and conversational myself tonight, so who am I to judge?

  • Dom

    The game will start soon… For the last 20 minutes

  • Matthew Marczi

    That would be impressive considering his performance last week.

  • Aric Brown

    I like the new Mod attachment… looks good on ya

  • Dom

    I find it’s better to be so on blogs like this one so I don’t bury all the good thoughtful comments with my mindless ramblings to myself.

  • Dom

    Fancy indeed

  • Spencer Krick

    Quite nice.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Ha, been there for a while actually.

  • Dom

    Good wrap up by Shazier there

  • Alex Kozora

    Director’s will look for female fans. Deemed more interesting See: Webb, Katherine.

  • Dom

    Probably just my mind then.

  • Aric Brown

    Seems like Shazier has about 19 tackles already

  • Dom

    Think every tackle but one so far

  • Aric Brown

    welcome back troy

  • Dom

    That tackling technique is ….. unique

  • Dom

    Not the best and not the worst first drive for the D

  • Spencer Krick

    Would like to see a better showing against the run.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Didn’t like the way the Dline was getting pushed around on that drive. Hopefully they settle in.

  • Aric Brown

    looked a little soft.. which im afraid is becoming the norm

  • Dom

    Didn’t seem like much penetration on the first few passing plays, Shazier was encouraging though.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah, it’s intentionally down by TV crews.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    News on who started for Jones??

  • Spencer Krick

    Chris Carter

  • Dom

    The big CC

  • Dom

    Sneaky little buggers

  • WilliamSekinger

    Shaz seems he may be a star by mid season if he can stay healthy. Possible DRoY candidate

  • Dom

    We can only hope

  • WilliamSekinger

    Nice! …

  • Dom

    Woohooooo

  • Spencer Krick

    That! We need more of that!

  • Aric Brown

    It’s all in the initials

  • Dom

    Was sure that was going to be dumped off for 6 or 7 yards there

  • WilliamSekinger

    Sigh…

  • Dom

    Ugh

  • WilliamSekinger

    Should never ever give an extension to a kicker…

  • Dom

    I’m incredibly happy with our offense this season, I think we just need the Defense to give us some good field position a few times and score some points and I’m pretty confident

  • Aric Brown

    Shazier with the ST tackle

  • Dom

    Did we clone Shazier?

  • WilliamSekinger

    Ahh good, the Dline is starting to settle in now.

  • Aric Brown

    He’s a clone of Lawrence Polamalu

  • Dom

    A flag?
    That seems slightly crazy

  • Spencer Krick

    Taunting? Really?

  • Dom

    Whats football coming to?

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Suisham for another 4 years. smart move. not. dude cant kick FGs over 50 yards and is the reason we lost 2 games last year.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Nothing like a flag to rev up the D

  • Dom

    Think you’re a bit harsh on last year, This pre-season is concerning though

  • WilliamSekinger

    OMG…

  • Spencer Krick

    Beautiful!

  • Dom

    Dream first pre-season game?

  • Aric Brown

    Man I’m glad the Steelers completely shocked me by drafting Shazier

  • Superdriller316

    That’s not the Foote wearing #50. WOW!!!!!!!!!

  • Dom

    Don’t fall on him please Cam

  • Jeff

    I remember this past week being absolutely perplexed with people that Spence should get a chance to start over Shazier… I’m glad that this won’t be a problem this week!

  • Matthew Marczi

    Ryan Shazier needs a nickname already.

  • William Weaver

    Shazieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Alex Kozora

    Little late on this but Howard Jones was not running first team kick coverage. Carter was.

  • Dom

    You mean Lawrence Polamalu*

  • Dom

    Bad sign?

  • WilliamSekinger

    Shazmanian Devil hehe

  • tristan

    lol peezy loved it

  • Dom

    Good hustle Bell

  • Dom

    Oh how I miss hines :( also lets not throw to Blount any more than we need to

  • Dom

    Great take

  • WilliamSekinger

    Not happy about Lance Moore not blocking, but a nice throw by Ben!

  • Spencer Krick

    Great play Markus!

  • Spencer Krick

    Can’t seem to buy a good block from our receiving core.

  • Dom

    Anybody know who’s long snapping tonight?

  • Matthew Marczi

    It’s so much more enjoyable writing when the Steelers are doing well.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Luke Ingram is playing. 48.

  • Aric Brown

    The same can be said for reading

  • Agustin-ARG

    I´M SO CRAZY!!

  • Alex Kozora

    Not a good one.

  • Dom

    Ah okay thought he might not get to play with all those strange rules they have to protect the players

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, Kaboly tweeted that he wouldn’t be playing, so I was surprised to see him out there too.

  • Dom

    Oh look a Shazier Special teams tackle. What a surprise /sarcasm

  • Alex Kozora

    Arthur Moats has spent the last two series at ROLB after Carter opened up.

  • Spencer Krick

    EJ looks a little shaken.

  • Agustin-ARG

    I love joey´s attitude

  • Aric Brown

    According to the box score Shazier has been credited with 8 SOLO tackles in the first quarter… thats insane

  • Jeff

    Shazier tackle count.. Anyone have that?

  • Dom

    7 allegedly

  • Dom

    Make that 9/8 and a half

  • Dom

    Wow thats a uhm strange feeling for me while watching a steelers game

  • Aric Brown

    ESPN box score has him at 8 all solo

  • Dom

    And the INT

  • Aric Brown

    yes sir a beautiful 27 yarder

  • Aric Brown

    I was surprised how quickly the WR caught up to him though

  • Dom

    We’ve even got some QB pressure today, We sure this is the Steelers?

  • Spencer Krick

    Looks like just about everyone got into the backfield.

  • Dom

    Go Tuitt that’s some heart

  • Aric Brown

    love the chase down by Tuitt

  • Aric Brown

    53 yarder at Heinz is impressive

  • Dom

    That Long play got them 3 points though, a bit disappointing

  • tristan

    let archer field at least one, please

  • Dom

    Antonio is just so reliable

  • Matthew Marczi

    The Steelers have yet to return a kick in more than 5 quarters.

  • Dom

    Good punt

  • Ray

    I’m enjoying this live discussion.

    Pass rush is looking good, Shazier is dynamite, but boy does the run D look rough. Line is getting gashed, and not keeping the LBs clean.

    Surprised Ben is out for another drive. Guess to work with the young skill players? Love the multiple looks on offense; given all these two RB sets, do you think that increases the likelihood they keep 4 in addition to Will Johnson?

  • tristan

    it’s shortsighted by the bills (and giants) if anything. you would think they would want to test their coverage unit against his speed in preseason

  • Aric Brown

    Kind of raises more questions as to why the Steelers were extending a kicker who doesn’t have the leg to do that to the opposition

  • Matthew Marczi

    Agreed.

  • Dom

    We should bring mccullers in and just get him to lie down in front of the O-line and hope he trips the RB up if he runs inside

  • Dom

    C’mon Troy

  • Aric Brown

    Mike Mitchell reminding me a bit of Lee Flowers

  • Matthew Marczi

    Hopefully just some residuals from him sitting out all the tackling drills during training camp and the first preseason game.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Exactly.

  • Dom

    I can’t imagine how hard it is to step in and just turn it on at an NFL level and be right up to speed. Hope he gets there by the first game though

  • Dom

    *Woooooo

  • Spencer Krick

    Nice Stop D!

  • WilliamSekinger

    I didn’t think it was possible, but a rookie might just motivate the older guys this year. Shazier’s play seems contagious.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Cameron Heyward is playing better this week…good to see.

  • Aric Brown

    He looks tired out there though

  • Dom

    Where do be Gradkowski?

  • Spencer Krick

    Ugh.

  • WilliamSekinger

    oh Landry…

  • Big White

    Landry Jones is, has, and always will be absolutely terrible. I hate to waste a fourth round pick.

  • Dom

    Sigh.

  • Aric Brown

    Steelers giving Landry a shot with first team OL to see what they’ve really got in him

  • Dom

    Well they got their answer

  • Spencer Krick

    McCullers the next NT up.

  • Big White

    Yes, you did see Legarrette Blount returning kicks. He did it in Tampa and Tennessee to pretty good success.

  • Aric Brown

    Mcullers gets a lot of attention for being huge… but how big is Mauro?

  • Dom

    Vince Williams and Sean Spence as our backups. Times are good in the ILB corps

  • Michel Smiffi

    My god, Landry Jones just sucks. Please admit the failed investment and finally CUT HIM!!!

  • Matthew Marczi

    Pretty tall dude…6’6″ I believe.

  • Dom

    Shamarko’s my next jersey for sure

  • Ray

    Speed on D is really showing tonight. Nice close and openfield tackle by Shamarko.

  • Michel Smiffi

    He had a much better angle and Shazier need to set up his blocks in front of him

  • Aric Brown

    I’m leaning towards Shazier

  • Aric Brown

    is the bend but don’t break coming back into form? 2 4th down stands

  • Dom

    Looks like a good choice also

  • Spencer Krick

    I have a feeling there are going to be a whole lot of Shazier jerseys sold after this game.

  • tristan

    at least landry can take a knee without turning it over

  • Agustin-ARG

    good play: jones kneels

  • Steve

    Who’s coach Dad?

  • Michel Smiffi

    Why does Dri not field one from deep in the endzone? Ravens just returned a kick 108 yards for a TD, and Archer is much better than any returner on the roster of this purple swallows…

  • Spencer Krick

    Was McCullers playing DE? I saw that Cam Thomas was still in.

  • Steve

    Remember it’s only preseason. If were going to miss, now is the time.

  • Jonas

    I think I saw pretty bad outside containment by him!

  • Steve

    There were plenty of other mistakes to go around. No ones perfect.

  • Jonas

    NT in Base
    don’t know what you want to call it in nickel, but he played something between 2 and 4 technique with Cam T in the 2nd string nickel.

  • Jonas

    Don’t know.. wouldn’t hurt the teams success risking a deep return, as it’s only preseason.
    On the other hand, it makes as much sense not forcing it in preseason. Archer has to be valuable in RS not in pre.

  • SFIC

    If we can’t get decent pressure on opposing QBs it will be a loooooooong season.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It’s kind of semantic when it comes to the two-man line in the nickel package. I guess I would lean toward calling it defensive tackle.

  • Matthew Marczi

    LeBeau.

  • Big White

    I think Landry might be color blind.

  • Michel Smiffi

    F*ck, Ravens just shredding the Cowboys. Stand up, Ladies. Don’t want the Ravens, who thought it would be a transition year, getting fired up

  • Jeff

    Yeah, let’s go ahead and just keep two QBs on the 53….

  • Spencer Krick

    Can’t hold onto the ball forever.

  • WilliamSekinger

    FYI…2nd half post is up

  • Big White

    Charlie Batch throwing routes as we speak.

  • Michel Smiffi

    My godness, Landry just PISS OFF!!!!

  • Jacque Strappe

    My takeaways from the first half without much pondering: Landry Jones can’t play in this league. Shamarko Thomas needs to be on the field more. Lance Moore is allergic to blocking. And my Captain Obvious statement of the day…that Shazier kid is pretty good.

  • Big White

    Dallas D last year the worst i’ve ever seen.

  • ApexSteel

    Ryan Shazier yall

  • Big White

    I know right. I felt embarrassed about passing on Dennard until I heard one scout say he was the best rookie corner he had ever seen.

  • Michel Smiffi

    As was the Ravens offense. Bad is getting blown out by Bad

  • Steve

    That’s what happened when going through Defensive Coordinators every year.

  • Big White

    Shazier is a beast, if we’re going to pass on the best corner in the draft, i’m glad we made a good call on Shazier.

  • Steve

    Moore never could or was know to be a blocker, read his bios.

  • Michel Smiffi

    He’s an offender. He has to block.

  • Jacque Strappe

    I read It Steve. Doesn’t change the fact. Can’t get the ball to one of his WR pals in space because he’s not willing. There’s a difference in not able and not willing. And not counting Mike Wallace, who is the last Steeler WR who wouldn’t block?

  • Spencer Krick

    Damn that kid is fast.

  • Michel Smiffi

    F*ck you, Landry Jones!!!! Go away!! Go anywhere outside of Pittsburgh, ou suck!!!

  • Agustin-ARG

    it´s official: landry is so over

  • Michel Smiffi

    He doesn’t deserve a Steelers logo on his heart, he’s not worthy of that

  • Matthew Marczi
  • Steven Vincent

    Landry Jones is just horrible. Time to admit we blew last year’s 4th round draft pick and just cut him. Hopefully the Browns will cut Hoyer and we can pick him up as backup.

  • Nolrog

    Yeah, that was an awful pick. Just horrible.

  • Steelers12328882

    Discussion thread? This is ridiculous. Over 170 posts.

  • CrazyTerry

    I don’t think he will be this bad in regular season. Still, I did bash Colbert and Khan for another stupid cap nibbling signing that has the Steelers in the cap mess they have been in recent years.

  • joed32

    Almost. I wish there was at least a timer or something.

  • joed32

    I read last week that Smith instructed Suisham to do just that so the coverage teams could get some work.

  • joed32

    He should be tired.

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