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Steelers Gameday

Offense Rolls, Steelers Stifle Allen in 27-15 Win over Bills



Steelers Pat Freiermuth
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers first-team offense looked great in its one drive in the team’s preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.

In its second outing against the Buffalo Bills, they went two drives, and somehow looked better.

Jaylen Warren ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run and Pat Freiermuth and Kenny Pickett capitalized on great field position from a Calvin Austin III punt return as the Steelers’ starters paced the team to a two-touchdown lead and the Steelers cruised to a 27-15 victory.

The Steelers gained two first downs on the opening drive, with Najee Harris rushing for three yards on his first — and so far only — carry of the preseason. The second came with Kenny Pickett found Allen Robinson II for 10 yards for the vet’s first grab in black and gold.

That set the Steelers up with first and 10 at their own 38. Jaylen Warren took care of things from there, taking off through a massive hole opened by Dan Moore Jr. and Isaac Seumalo on the left side of the offensive line.

The Steelers’ starting defense forced Josh Allen and company to go three and out, with T.J. Watt pressuring the Buffalo star on third down.

Calvin Austin III then made his first Acrisure Stadium appearance a memorable one, returning the Buffalo punt 52 yards to the Bills’ 25. Pickett hit Pat Freiermuth for the touchdown on the following play.

That was the last play for the offensive starters. Pickett finished 3 of 4 for 43 yards and a 149 passer rating.

The Pittsburgh defense kept Allen bottled up. In three drives, he finished 5 of 8 for 29 yards and a 69.3 passer rating. Starting Buffalo running back James Cook had three carries for three yards.

After Allen exited, the Steelers feasted on Buffalo turnovers. Cole Holcomb tipped a Matt Barkley pass in the Pittsburgh end zone, where it was corralled by Elijah Riley. Then Joey Porter Jr. got his paws on one, setting the Steelers up inside the Buffalo 10-yard line.

Mitch Trubisky cashed that one in with a 3-yard pass to Connor Heyward.

In the second half, the defense kept up its pilfering, with Chandon Sullivan intercepting him and Tanner Muse falling on a fumble forced by Nick Herbig.

Herbig, the fourth-round rookie out Wisconsin, got plenty of playing time early after feasting on reserves in the opener. He continued to impress, racking up two tackles, one for a loss, and the sack and forced fumble.

The Steelers gave one turnover back when Kendrick Green snapped the ball while Mason Rudolph was not looking. The fumble resulted in a first and goal for Buffalo, which scored on a short Jordan Mims.

The Bills added another touchdown late, when Kyle Allen found Justin Shorter in front of safety Jalen Elliott for a 17-yard score with under a minute to play.

The Steelers will have a short week ahead of their preseason finale. They will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Thursday night.