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Steelers’ Season Ends With Loss To Bills

The Pittsburgh Steelers were eliminated from the AFC Playoffs on Monday with a 31-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium.

After being rescheduled from Sunday afternoon, both teams and their fans were ready for action on Monday.  But the Bills came out of the gates early and were ready to play, building a big lead and eventually closing the door on any possible Steelers’ comeback.

Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns and an interception, while Pat Freiermuth led with 76 yards on five catches. 

The Bills took control of the game with two touchdowns in the first quarter.  Josh Allen connected with Dawson Knox on a 9 yard pass to score the game’s first touchdown, and Allen hit Dalton Kincaid from 29 yards out to make it 14-0.  A 52-yard touchdown run by Allen made it 21-0, and it looked as though this would be a blowout.

But the Steelers battled back, as they have done all season long.  They scored their first touchdown just before the end of the half, a 10 yard pass from Rudolph to Dionate Johnson to make it 21-7.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter – a 40 yarder from Chris Boswell and a 45 yarder from Tyler Bass – to make it 24-10 entering the final quarter.  Pittsburgh marched down the field and cut the lead to 24-17 on a pass from Rudolph to Calvin Austin III midway through the fourth quarter.  But with the game, and season, on the line, the Steelers’ defense couldn’t make the necessary stop.  Allen hit Khalil Shakir for a 17 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach.

Many questions face this Pittsburgh team as the offseason begins.  First and foremost is the situation at quarterback.  Rudolph came in late in the season and ignited a rally to get this team into the playoffs, but he is not the long-term answer at quarterback.  Similarly, there are a lot of question marks surrounding Kenny Pickett.  It will be interesting to see what unfolds between now and the start of training camp in the summer.

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor