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First quarter analysis: Steelers penalty helps Bills avoid full-scale meltdown

Only a timely holding penalty on Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree saved the Bills from a full-scale meltdown in the first quarter.

Robert Woods got open on a third and 13 deep in the Bills’ end, but Tyrod Taylor’s pass somehow bounced off his facemask and was easily intercepted by William Gay, who returned it for a touchdown. That would’ve made the score 14-0 before the Bills had a first down, but the play was wiped out by Dupree’s penalty.

The Steelers dominated the rest of the quarter. Le’Veon Bell churned his way into the end zone for a 3-yard TD on their second possession to open the scoring. The big gain on the eight-play, 71-yard drive was a 40-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown, who beat The Other Guy, Ronald Darby, on the play. Brown had referred to Bills’ corners Stephon Gilmore and Darby as “Gilbert and the other guy” during the week.

Pittsburgh got into the red zone on its first possession before Lorenzo Alexander stepped in front of a poorly thrown Roethlisberger pass for his first career interception.

Kouandjio in: Left tackle Cordy Glenn was replaced by Cyrus Kouandjio due to a back injury.

Sad! The Bills' offense totaled negative 1 yard in the first quarter.

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