GAME BALL goes to: WR Antonio Brown
One week after he was benched for the final series in New England because of a missed assignment, Antonio Brown bounced back with a number of big plays on offense and special teams. He finished with six catches for 104 yards, including a 40-yarder to set up a touchdown and a 24-yarder to set up another. And he had punt returns of 24 and 50 yards that led to 10 points. "Not at all," Brown said when asked if his benching had anything to do with the performance. "Each time we go out there we have something to prove."
THE COUNTDOWN A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. Back-to-back plays: With the Steelers leading 10-3, Antonio Brown helped put the game away in the third when he returned a punt 24 yards to his 42, then had a 40-yard catch on the next play to the Bills 18. Brown put a good fake on CB Stephon Gilmore after the catch and gained 18 more yards, setting up Le'Veon Bell's 4-yard TD run five plays later. "It was a good throw by Ben," Brown said. "He always makes time with his feet and, thankfully, I was able to get yards after the catch."
2. Touchdown maker: One play after Brown's 24-yard catch on third down, Jerricho Cotchery caught his fourth touchdown in two games when he beat Gilmore to the left corner on a 5-yard fade for a 10-3 lead.
3. Little jumpy: With Shaun Suisham ready to attempt a 29-yard field goal on fourth-and-3, Bills DT Marcell Dareus jumped offside, giving the Steelers a first down. Two plays later, Le'Veon Bell ran behind Mike Adams for a 4-yard touchdown and a 17-3 lead.
4. Lone mistake: Ben Roethlisberger's pass for rookie Markus Wheaton from the Bills 36 was intercepted by safety Jarius Byrd and returned 57 yards, setting up the Bills' only field goal. It was Roethlisberger's 15th turnover (10 interceptions, 5 fumbles) this season.
5. Shovel pass: Roethlisberger made two big plays on the 86-yard drive that resulted in Cotchery's touchdown, the first of which was a shovel pass to Bell that gained 34 yards as Roethlisberger was being hauled to the ground by DT Corbin Bryant.
"When you get punched in the mouth and embarrassed like we did, you want to come back and have a performance like this to move forward. It was a step in the right direction, but that's all it was. We don't need to pat ourselves on the back."
-- DE Brett Keisel on rebounding from the loss in New England
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
23: That's the longest play the defense surrendered against the Bills -- a 23-yard catch-and-run by receiver Stevie Johnson. It was the first time this season the Steelers did not allow a play of 25 yards or longer in a game.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
In the past two games, Jonathan Dwyer has come off the bench and energized the offense with big plays, touching the ball nine times and producing 94 yards. That total includes runs of 30 and 17 yards, one catch for 23 yards and third-down conversions of 6, 2 and 8 yards. The conversions were all against the Bills. "I'm just trying to make plays whenever I touch the ball," Dwyer said. "I'm just trying to bring energy, that's what they ask me to do. Coach Tomlin likes the way I play. That's what he keeps saying."
X's AND O's
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau promised a better performance from the defense, and the unit delivered. After giving up 55 points and 610 yards -- both club records -- in New England, the Steelers held the Bills to 227 yards (95 rushing) and just one meaningless touchdown. Also, the Bills converted just 3 of 14 third downs, 1 of 6 in the first half. "I'd like to think we didn't practice or prepare any differently than we ever do," said S Troy Polamalu. "I just know, from my perspective, we're at our best when we can sit in our base, not really blitzing and we stop the run."
The Steelers (3-6) play the Detroit Lions (6-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field. The Lions have won two in a row, but they have lost 11 of the past 13 against the Steelers, including eight in a row in Pittsburgh.