Breaking down the game against Buffalo
Washington, Snell stepping up
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:BUD DUPREE
BY BOB LABRIOLA
8:17 p.m. – What Went Right: After returning the opening kickoff to their own 23-yard line, the Dolphins offense went a quick three-and-out. After a 2-yard run by Mark Walton, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw incomplete twice and missed badly on both throws. After a 58-yard punt by Matt Haack, the Steelers started at their own 19-yard line.
8:24 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers offense didn’t even get to run three plays on their first possession. After a 1-yard run by James Conner, Mason Rudolph tried to get the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the pass was intercepted by Xavien Howard to give the Dolphins possession at the Pittsburgh 26-yard line. Ryan Fitzpatrick got the Dolphins close with a 17-yard pass to Jakeem Grant, and then the touchdown came on the next play when he hit Albert Wilson for a 5-yard touch-down. On the play, Wilson went in motion across the formation to the left, and Fitzpatrick hit him before Vince Williams could get out into the flat in coverage. Miami led 7-0 with 10:55 left in the first quarter.
8:39 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers possession following the Miami touchdown includ-ed a penalty on the Dolphins on third-and-long that resulted in a first down, an almost interception where the Dolphins cornerback didn’t get a second foot down in bounds, and a holding penalty on Maurkice Pouncey. But it all came down to a fourth-and-6 at the Miami 37-yard line, and the Steelers decided to go for it. But Mason Rudolph’s pass was behind James Washington and incom-plete. The Dolphins took over on downs.
8:47 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Dolphins took over on downs and then drove 63 yards on 11 plays to extend their lead to 14-0 with 1:34 remain-ing in the first quarter. On the drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 6 of 6 for 60 yards, including the 12-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns, who ran through attempted tackles by Devin Bush and Mark Barron before getting into the end zone.
9:03 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers offense continued to sustain little into the early portion of the second quarter. Starting at their own 24-yard line, the Steelers managed a couple of first downs on James Conner’s running, but then on a third-and-5, Mason Rudolph was sacked by Taco Charlton, who also forced a fumble that David DeCastro recovered. After a 45-yard punt by Jordan Berry, the Dolphins took over at their 30-yard line with about 12 minutes left in the second quarter.
9:20 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers final-ly got on the scoreboard, albeit only with a 42-yard field goal by Chris Boswell to cut the deficit to 14-3 with 2:45 remaining in the first half. Mason Rudolph converted a third-and-11 from the 5-yard line with a 12-yard pass to Diontae Johnson. James Conner had three carries for 19 yards, but the big play was a 34-yard completion to JuJu Smith Schuster. The drive covered 70 yards in 12 plays.
9:30 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers recorded their first takeaway of the game just inside the two-minute warning when Minkah Fitzpatrick recorded his second interception since being acquired by the Steelers, and then his 6-yard return gave the ball to the offense at midfield with 73 seconds left in the first half.
9:42 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers cashed in on the takeaway with a most improbable touchdown to make it 14-10 with 17 seconds left in the first half. After a 17-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster converted a third-and-12, it appeared the offense hit a big play on a pass to Diontae Johnson down to the Miami 1-yard line, but the Steelers rookie was flagged for offensive interference that put the ball back on the 45-yard line. On third-and-20 from there, Mason Rudolph threw a slant pass that Johnson caught at the 43-yard line and ended up scoring thanks to a block by James Washington at the 2-yard line.
10:05 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers took the second half kickoff, and even though Nick Vannett caught a pass for 15 yards, and James Conner carried three times for 21 yards, the drive stalled at the Miami 36-yard line and then Chris Boswell missed a 54-yard field goal attempt with 11:23 left in the third quarter.
10:11 p.m. – What Went Right: On Miami’s third play following Chris Boswell’s missed field goal, Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick again, and this time the Steelers took over at their 3-yard line with 11:03 remaining in the third quar-ter.
0:23 p.m. – What Went Right: Based on what had happened to this point in the game, it was something that had to be seen to be believed. Following Minkah Fitzpatrick’s interception, the Steelers offense drove 97 yards in 12 plays that covered 7:47 of game time to take a 17-14 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. The touchdown came on a 26-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who went up over Chris Lammons to make the catch close to the goal line and get into the end zone.
10:49 p.m. – What Went Right: It may have taken just short of forever, but the Steelers extend-ed their lead to 24-14 with 12:01 left in the fourth quarter after a 9-yard run by James Conner. It all started when Coach Mike Tomlin challenged the