Top 3 things we learned from Bills vs. Steelers | Week 5
1 – Bombs away
The shackles were removed from Buffalo’s potent passing assault on Sunday in the first half for a Bills offence that has mainly been forced to sacrifice explosiveness for efficiency through the first month of the season. On the team’s first and fifth drives, Josh Allen uncorked two bombs to Gabe Davis that covered 98 and 62 yards, with the second kicking off their Week 5 game against the Steelers and leading to a dominant 38-3 victory.
With the team pinned back on their own two-yard line, Allen turned back on a third-and-10 play from the two and found Davis on a deep post as he gained an advantage over former Bill Levi Wallace and the safety assistance arrived too late. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Terrell Owens originally held the team record for the longest touchdown reception in 2009, and Davis tied it by covering roughly half the field after the catch (98 yards at Jacksonville).
As soon as Davis lined up, he noticed the style of coverage they were using and realised the safety was somewhat out-leveraged. “If I just performed what I was supposed to do, I knew it would be huge. Fortunately, I noticed Josh release the ball when I turned around and realised it was going to be a significant play. Although I had no idea it would be 98 yards, I just so happened to come down with it and make that significant run.”
Later in the first half, with the score still still 10-3, Allen launched another long shot to Davis, who ducked beneath safety Minkah Fitzpatrick but had to fight for the ball the All-Pro safety to control the ball for a 62-yard touchdown
Yes, Davis admitted, “I felt like I couldn’t raise my left arm, so I tried to catch it with one hand.” I was able to get my left hand up under the ball and take it out before we went out of bounds. “I felt like I got a grasp on it, but then I feel like he smacked me or whatever to make the ball fall and it went into his body.”
Josh Allen, the quarterback, expressed his confidence in Davis to make the play, so he has no problem giving Davis an opportunity to make a big play downfield.
Allen explained, “Gabe was rushing so I just gave him a chance to go get a ball.” “He pulled it out after sort of tipping it into the safeties stomach. He played an incredible play. However, I have a lot of confidence in 13, so it was encouraging to see him get going and get the ball frequently. When he only had three catches, I wouldn’t say frequently, but for 170 and two touchdowns is really ridiculous.”
Only Davis’ 201-yard, four-touchdown performance in last year’s Divisional playoff at Kansas City topped his 171-yard day Sunday. His performance against the Steelers was also just the second multiple-touchdown game in the regular season of his career.
The two long scoring plays by Davis marked the first time a Bills receiver had a pair of 50-plus yard touchdowns in the first half of a game since Lee Evans had a pair of 83-yarders at Houston in 2006.
High cover two coverage was used in the Bills passing game 64.1% of the time through the first month of the season. Even though the Steelers defence, particularly with a battered secondary, did much of the same, Davis was happy with how they were still able to take advantage of two big play opportunities.
Davis remarked, “I feel like they were giving us a lot of that cover two zone. “They seemed to have found success with it early on and appeared to have had some faith in it. However, we were able to adapt and perform admirably in opposition to it.”
Buffalo scored touchdowns in drives that lasted 1:04, 10 seconds, 33 seconds, 2:37 seconds, and 57 seconds, giving the Steelers their largest loss margin since 1989. The Bills averaged 12 yards per pass play during the contest.
2 – A day of firsts for Bills rookies
Buffalo’s roster is still not at full strength. With four starters out on Sunday, the Bills successfully implemented their next-man-up strategy. Those that played greater or starting roles against the Steelers, notably the rookies, contributed to the blowout victory.
draught picks for rookies James Cook, Kaiir Elam, and Khalil Shakir all contributed significant plays to the triumph. Shakir recorded three receptions for 75 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown catch when he outran man coverage. Shakir handled the most of Isaiah McKenzie’s duties in the slot while he was injured. As soon as Kenny Pickett attempted to hit -Johnson down the left sideline during the following Pittsburgh possession, Elam intercepted the ball for the first time in his career.
Kaiir has worked extremely hard every day, stated Von Miller. “He follows the appropriate procedures after watching a movie. After finishing my work, I spend the majority of my time in the training room, where he also joins me. He is conversing with Tre’ White. He is exerting all effort within his power to succeed. And wow, it just shows you when you see a young man venture out and achieve success like he did. Success leaves traces behind. And he has been exerting every effort within his power to succeed.”
Early in the fourth quarter, James Cook scored from 24 yards out to cap off the undertaking.
Sean McDermott, the head coach, remarked, “I believe it was a nice read by him, good cut.” “The offensive line played well, and it appeared that he received some blocking down the field. Therefore, those plays occur as a result of the total offensive effort, not just the efforts of one individual. From how you practise to how you play, habits form. That frequently occurs in this league. Very rarely do they not carry over in some form, therefore he should be proud of the way he prepared and practised.”
These plays were Shakir and Cook’s first career touchdowns while wearing a Bills uniform.
Regarding his goal-scoring play, Shakir commented, “It felt amazing… really good.” “I was angry with myself for making that mistake (earlier). Tragic. Josh still has faith in me toss the ball up there and make a play on it, so… Even worse, I had no idea what to do. The sensation was pleasant.”
Shakir was described by McDermott as “a very poised young man, extremely mature for a rookie in particular.” “So, I think it really comes down to his method, the way he gets ready, and the way he’s humble,” the author said.
Late in the game, Terrel Bernard played several defensive snaps as Matt Milano was removed.Much has been decided.
Shakir remarked, “I mean, it’s just said every single day at practise. “On both sides of the ball, we have tremendous veterans and guys. So, when you compete against men, as Kaiir and Gabe do daily against Stefon Diggs, that sets the tone for him. Guys like Taron and Dane are up against me, and it’s like they prepare you for these situations.”
3 – Run defense holds firm
This season, Buffalo has seen a string of defensive tackle injuries. For the first time since Week 1, they had their top eight defensive lineman in the game on Sunday. Despite these injuries, the Bills’ run defence has consistently ranked among the league’s top three units, as evidenced by their performance against the Steelers.
“It’s a team effort, after all, and Leslie (Frazier) and the defensive staff did a wonderful job during practise of bringing them the looks they needed to see and the looks we were anticipating, as well as making adjustments during the game. The press box connection down to the field was, in my opinion, fantastic on truly both sides of the ball. They made some early gains, I believe on the opening drive. Thus, it’s significant, and the guys played well. I believed we did a terrific job of winning at the line of scrimmage, which relieved some of the load on us in other places.”
Najee Harris, the Steelers’ running back, had little freedom to manoeuvre as he only gained 20 yards on 11 carries for an underwhelming average of 1.8 yards. Prior to his carry for the Steelers at the conclusion of the game, backup Jaylen Warren didn’t have much more success, gaining only 12 yards on four attempts.
Pittsburgh could not start the game running the ball, even though they had to stop when the score became too large. The Steelers were restricted to a total of 54 rushing yards, making them the third team the Bills have stopped under the 60-yard mark this season in five games.
“Miller, who added a tackle for loss with his sack, recalled Coach McDermott’s challenge to the offensive line and defensive line before to the game, “He stated it was going to be won up front. Jordan Phillips, along with the offensive and defensive lines, took the task seriously. And our defensive line gave it all they had. Even after adding the twos, they maintained the standard for all four quarters. Each and every one of the guys who stepped up had an amazing day. The Buffalo Bills had a terrific victory with that one.”