2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Manuel struggles as Bills fall to Steelers 23-10

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-10 17:45

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The problem, EJ Manuel insisted, wasn't rust. It wasn't the wind or the sprained right knee that forced him to miss a month, either.

There were chances to make a difference in Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manuel didn't take advantage of them. Neither did anyone else on an offense apparently fatigued by the revolving door behind center.

''There were plays that I missed,'' Manuel said. ''I have just to get better from there.''

Shouldn't be too difficult.

Manuel completed 22 of 39 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his return, most of the yards and the only score coming during a meaningless drive in the final minutes with the Bills (3-7) already on their way to a third straight loss.

''The kid missed four weeks and just came back,'' Buffalo coach Doug Marrone said. ''He's trying his best. ... He's going through his footwork too quick and not (slowing) down to see things develop as quick. That happens to young quarterbacks.''

Particularly when they play the Steelers.

Pittsburgh (3-6) improved to 18-2 when facing a rookie quarterback since 2004, redeeming itself a week after getting lit up by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a 55-31 loss.

The Bills managed just 227 total yards and ran for 95, 50 below their average. Manuel was sacked three times and never looked comfortable in blustery conditions that made going downfield a treacherous proposition. Manuel spent most of the day working in the face of a renewed pass rush and struggled with his accuracy when asked to do anything more than dump the ball to a running back.

Marrone never considered going to backup Thad Lewis, knowing his team's future rests in the hands of the 16th overall pick in last April's draft. Manuel was an immediate hit during an intriguing September. He hardly looked as polished while serving as Buffalo's third different starting quarterback in as many weeks.

''It doesn't matter who is at the helm,'' Buffalo wide receiver Stevie Johnson said. ''We have got to be able to come together as a team. It's not on one person or a couple players. This is a team game. We need to figure it out.''

Something the Steelers are still trying to do after a miserable first half of the season left them mired at the bottom of the AFC North. They took a significant step Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and a touchdown, Le'Veon Bell added 96 total yards and a score as Pittsburgh (3-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.

''I think we went out there and answered the call today,'' Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. ''We played like we're always supposed to.''

Even if it took some time for the Steelers to take control

Roethlisberger, like Manuel, had issues with his command early in the game. He underthrew Markus Wheaton on Pittsburgh's opening drive. Jairus Byrd stepped in front and returned it 57 yards to the Pittsburgh 29.

Led by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, the Bills made it all the way to the Pittsburgh 1. Rather than test a defense that has allowed the second-most TDs rushing in the NFL, Manuel lobbed pass toward the corner of the end zone that sailed well out of bounds. The Bills settled for a field goal.

''What we saw on film was that we probably had a good chance throwing the ball,'' Spiller said. ''The wind did sail the ball a little bit. We just need to look at it and see what we could have done differently.''

The Steelers got back into it by taking the ball out of Roethlisberger's hands and relying on a running game ranked 28th. A 25-yard run on an end around by Emmanuel Sanders highlighted a 13-play, 58-yard drive that ended with Shaun Suisham's 36-yard field goal.

Pittsburgh went in front the next time it had the ball. Bell raced 34 yards to midfield. Roethlisberger then found Antonio Brown for a 24-yard gain before hitting Jerricho Cotchery with a pretty 5-yard touchdown to make it 10-3.

Any chance Buffalo had of rallying ended late in the third quarter. Roethlisberger connected with Brown for a 40-yard gain, and Suisham came on for a short field goal attempt. Buffalo jumped offside, and two plays later Bell used a block from tight end Mike Adams to give the Steelers' their first 14-point lead at home this season.

An interception and a 50-yard punt return by Brown helped Pittsburgh tack on two more Suisham field goals, allowing the Steelers to enjoy a brief respite from two humbling months while sending the Bills back home wondering how a promising start has begun to turn into a familiar finish.

''My frustration level is a 10,'' Johnson said. ''When you're losing games, nobody should be happy.''

NOTES: The Bills had four sacks, pushing their season total to 33, including a career-high five by DE Jerry Hughes. ... Johnson left with a groin injury in the third quarter and did not return. ... The Bills have lost seven straight regular season games in Pittsburgh. ... Buffalo hosts the New York Jets next week. New York beat Buffalo 27-20 on Sept. 22.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Micah HydeJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is working with the first-team defense at strong safety beside FS Micah Hyde Thursday, July 31.

Lardarius WebbJul 31 09:23a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back), DE Brent Urban (knee), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), OG Will Rackley (concussion) and WR Jeremy Butler (undisclosed) are out of practice Thursday, July [ More ]

Terrell SuggsJul 31 09:03a

Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata and LB Daryl Smith are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

A.J. HawkJul 31 01:53a

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones has been working ahead of LB A.J. Hawk as the lone linebacker in the dime defense in practice.

Matt CasselJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater saw reps with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday, July 30. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, QB Matt Cassel appears to lead the [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder's reps were cut during practice Wednesday, July 30.

Josh GordonJul 30 11:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage III of the NFL's substance-abuse program, and a positive test automatically triggers a one-year suspension. For Gordon, only two options exist: [ More ]

Rod StreaterJul 30 11:43p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) participated in warmups and drills Wednesday, July 30, but he sat out team sessions. Streater suffered a concussion Monday, July 28, and has [ More ]

Joique BellJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he looked good cutting and accelerating with ease during [ More ]

Rob SimsJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions OG Rob Sims (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he held his own working against DT Nick Fairley [ More ]

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 30 10:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (and fellow rookie WR Allen Robinson) have seen more reps in training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and WR Ace Sanders (personal) sidelined. [ More ]

Carl NicksJul 30 08:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released OG Carl Nicks (toe) Wednesday, July 30, with an injury settlement.

David WilsonJul 30 06:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) tweeted that he is fine after leaving practice early Tuesday, July 29. Wilson said he passed all physical examinations and will find out more Monday, Aug. 3.

Jim LeonhardJul 30 05:53p

The Cleveland Browns signed SS Jim Leonhard (Bills) Wednesday, July 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithJul 30 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is not participating in practice Wednesday, July 30, as he attends a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney's office regarding an April [ More ]

Fred JacksonJul 30 04:13p

The Buffalo Bills have signed RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jason GarrettJul 30 03:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) will undergo surgery for a broken foot Thursday, July 31, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

LaMichael JamesJul 30 03:03p

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James (elbow) will wear a brace on his dislocated elbow and should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Brent UrbanJul 30 02:23p

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (leg) and DT Timmy Jernigan (back) appear to have suffered injuries during practice Wednesday, July 30. Urban was helped off the field after suffering the injury.

Tyron SmithJul 30 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith has agreed to terms with the team on an eight-year contract extension worth $98 million, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group