Steelers thrash Bills, 26-3

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers followed up a 34-7 blowout win in Cleveland on opening week with a 26-3 thrashing of the Buffalo Bills here at Heinz Field Sunday, earning the 500th win in the franchise's 75-year history.

"It was an honor to be part of history in today's 500th win," said rookie head coach Mike Tomlin. "We talked as a football team about it a little (Saturday) night. That was an important thing for us and they were excited."

The Steelers (2-0) outgained the Bills (0-2) 420-223 in total yards and scored on six of their nine possessions in the game. Buffalo, meanwhile, managed just one first down in the first half and 10 for the game as the Bills never seemed to solve Pittsburgh's defense, which recorded four sacks and held Buffalo to 121 yards passing.

Despite outgaining Buffalo 239 to 58 in the first half, the Steelers could manage just a 12-0 lead on four Jeff Reed field goals as Pittsburgh had drives stall at the Buffalo 16, 10, 21 and 13.

The only time the Steelers failed to score in the first half was when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a deep pass to Santonio Holmes that was intercepted. But even that played followed a possession on which the Bills were stopped on fourth down to turn the ball over to Pittsburgh.

"I maybe got a little too aggressive instead of taking something else, but my thought was that I'm going to air it out and throw it deep down the field," said Roethlisberger, who completed 21 of 34 passes for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

"The worst case scenario was the safety making a great play on it. It's a read play, but just like the touchdown to Santonio last week (against Cleveland), it was so far downfield that it was a just let it fly kind of thing and the guy made a great play."

It was one of few glaring mistakes for the Steelers on the day.

Buffalo threatened to make a game of it in the second half as the Steelers' special teams unit, playing without captain James Harrison, who was injured on the final play of the first half, allowed Terrence McGee to return the opening kick of the third quarter to the Pittsburgh 32. McGee appeared to step out of bounds at midfield, but Tomlin was not made aware of that until the Bills had run a couple of plays and was therefore unable to ask for a review of the play.

"It is disheartening because at home, you would like to get a chance to find out," said Tomlin. "But that's football. The defense stiffened and gave up three and we were able to get out of that situation."

Despite Buffalo driving to the Pittsburgh 5, the Bills were unable to get the ball into the end zone and settled for a 24-yard Ryan Lindell field goal that cut the Steelers' lead to 12-3.

That's when Willie Parker, who rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown, took over.

The Steelers ran Parker six times for 34 yards and Roethlisberger completed a pair of passes, the second of which was a one-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Matt Spaeth, as Pittsburgh took a commanding 19-3 lead.

Given how the Steelers' defense was performing, it was a lead Buffalo would never challenge. And when Parker rolled into the end zone untouched from 11 yards out with 7:18 remaining in the game, it was just icing on the cake.

"We're not trying to tell a story with our play," said Tomlin. "We got out there and play on Sunday. We play to win. Style points are things that we analyze on Monday when we are trying to see perfection. We left some plays out there today.

"Thankfully, we are 2-0, but hopefully, we will get better and that is our intention."

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