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Third-quarter analysis: Stephon Gilmore gets picked on again

By Jay Skurski   

Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore continues to have a target on his back today against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Gilmore was victimized again by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who connected with receiver Antonio Brown for a 40-yard gain on Pittsburgh's first play of their second offensive series in the third quarter. That got the Steelers down to the Bills' 18-yard line. 

Five plays later, rookie running back Le'Veon Bell ran in from 4 yards out to give Pittsburgh a 17-3 lead.

Costly penalty: Marcell Dareus made a big play early in the third quarter when he forced a fumble by Roethlisberger on a third down, which led to a Pittsburgh punt. But Dareus made a critical mistake later in the quarter when he jumped offside on a fourth-and-3 play on which the Steelers were going to attempt a field goal. That gave Pittsburgh a first down, leading to Bell's touchdown.

Day to forget: Bills punter Brian Moorman has struggled this afternoon. Moorman's two punts in the third quarter were both mediocre. The first went into the end zone for a touchback, and the second was returned 24 yards by Antonio Brown. That meant Moorman had a net average of just 24.5 yards on the two punts.

Third-down struggles: The Bills' offense went just 1 of 4 on third downs in the third quarter, continuing a trend from the first half, when the team was just 1 of 6.


Brian Moorman | Marcell Dareus | Stephon Gilmore
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |