PITTSBURGH — Sunday night’s game between the Steelers and Buffalo Bills was expected to be a defensive battle.
The two units came into the game among the tops in the AFC in points allowed this season. The key would be to limit mistakes in a low-scoring game.
In the end, the Steelers made one too many, as Devlin Hodges was intercepted four and James Conner and Diontae Johnson fumbled an exchange as the Steelers came up one score short, losing 17-10.
Hodges was intercepted in the end zone twice with under two minutes remaining for the final blow. The Steelers had two turnovers in the red zone, as the exchange between Conner and Johnson was fumbled at the Buffalo nine-yard line late in the first half.
Hodges was intercepted by Jordan Poyer in the end zone with 1:54 to play. The Steelers defense held, getting Hodges another shot, but he was once again intercepted in the end zone, this time by Levi Wallace, to seal the game.
The Steelers offense was unable to move the ball for much of the game, with Hodges held to 202 yards on 23 of 38 passing and the running game bottled up, as well.
In his return from a shoulder injury, James Conner had a couple of big carries, with runs of 15 and 17 yards, but finished with just 42 yards on eight carries.
The Steelers defense was stout, forcing a pair of turnovers of its own and holding Bills quarterback Josh Allen to 139 yards passing.
The Bills just took advantage of the Steelers mistakes, scoring a touchdown after a 22-yard Jordan Berry punt in the first quarter and a field goal after a Hodges interception in the third quarter.
The Bills improved to 9-4 and clinched a postseason berth, while the Steelers fell to 8-5. The Steelers will visit the New York Jets next Sunday.