BOSTON (CBS) — The Buffalo Bills entered this season with something they haven’t had for a very long time: Expectations.
After a gaggle of gridiron experts picked the Bills to make and/or win the Super Bowl, the team came out in front of a home crowd in Buffalo and … allowed 20 consecutive points from the Steelers to turn a 10-0 lead into a 20-10 deficit. Pittsburgh rode that run to a 23-16 Week 1 win.
Josh Allen threw 51 passes, completing 30 of them for 270 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, while taking three sacks. He also rushed for 44 yards on nine carries.
Ben Roethlisberger was 18-for-32 for 188 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for Pittsburgh. The Steelers scored just one offensive touchdown — a Roethlisberger pass to Diontae Johnson — while scoring on a blocked punt and getting three field goals from the leg of Chris Boswell.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 12, 2021
The Bills led 10-0 at halftime, after Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a 3-yard touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter.
The Bills also confused the NFL world with a botched fourth down attempt that resulted in a turnover on downs early in the fourth quarter.
that's one hell of a fourth-and-1 play you've got there, Bills pic.twitter.com/opQgGfelAb
— Christian D'Andrea needs help to buy Ale Asylum (@TrainIsland) September 12, 2021
The Steelers scored the go-ahead touchdown on the ensuing drive.
A Week 1 loss obviously won’t doom the Bills’ season. But after a 13-3 season, Sunday afternoon provided a blunt reminder that winning in the NFL remains a difficult thing to do. Sustaining success and carrying it from one year into the next remains even harder.