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NFL Playoffs: Steelers come up short against Bills in wild card showdown

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CBS News Pittsburgh Live

(AP) Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes and scored on a franchise playoff-record 52-yard touchdown run, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-17 on Monday in an AFC wild-card playoff game that was postponed a day because of a lake-effect blizzard.

The Highmark Stadium stands erupted with snow being tossed into the air like confetti when Allen threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Shakir with 6:27 remaining that restored a two-touchdown lead for Buffalo. Shakir caught the pass at the 10 over the middle, and then slipped Minkah Fitzpatrick's tackle attempt by spinning around before outracing the rest of the Steelers defenders into the end zone.

The second-seeded Bills (12-6), who closed the regular season with five straight wins, advance to host Patrick Mahomes and the No. 3 seed Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round on Sunday night.

"We've got a resilient group. The veteran leadership that we have, I really think it's unmatched in the league," Allen said of a team that was 6-6 after an overtime loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 26.

The Bills have longed for a home playoff game against the Chiefs after their 2020 and '21 seasons ended with playoff losses at Kansas City.

"It's going to take a team effort," Allen said. "We know the type of team that they are, obviously the type of quarterback that they have in Pat over there. ... Just thanking God that we get another chance to play another game."

Allen finished 21 of 30 for 203 yards and ran for 74 yards on eight carries, becoming the first quarterback in NFL playoff history to throw three or more TD passes while rushing for 70 or more yards and a score. He didn't have a turnover for just the fourth time this season.

Mason Rudolph threw two touchdown passes with an interception in his first playoff start for the Steelers (10-8), but Pittsburgh was too inconsistent on either side of the ball to keep up with Allen and the Bills. The Steelers lost their fifth straight playoff game; the franchise's most recent postseason victory was exactly seven years ago.

Rudolph, a longtime backup, took over for the injured Kenny Pickett and the ineffective Mitch Trubisky to lead the Steelers to three straight wins to close the regular season and was given the playoff start even after Pickett recovered from an ankle injury.

"I'm appreciative of the efforts. But it's not mystical. We didn't do what was required to win tonight," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, noting that two Steelers turnovers led to the Bills scoring 14 points. "Can't come into an environment like this with a playoff-caliber team and turn the ball over like that and expect to be competitive."

Asked about his future in Pittsburgh after completing his 17th season — all of them with a record of .500 or better — Tomlin smirked and walked away.

Buffalo had a to wait an extra day to host the Steelers after a dangerous storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the region, leading the NFL to bump the game from its scheduled Sunday afternoon start.

The elements didn't play much of a factor. Though temperatures were in the teens, the skies were clear and there was only a slight breeze blowing in off Lake Erie.

The Steelers came out flat, allowing Buffalo to score touchdowns on three of its first five possessions and build a 21-0 lead on Allen's electrifying touchdown run midway through the second quarter.

Rudolph went 22 of 39 for 229 yards with an interception.

Allen's 9-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Knox capped an 80-yard opening drive for the Bills.

After Buffalo linebacker Terrel Bernard recovered receiver George Pickens' fumble at the Pittsburgh 29, Allen threw a TD pass to Dalton Kincaid on the next play.

Allen's touchdown run came after cornerback Kaiir Elam intercepted Rudolph's pass intended for Diontae Johnson in the end zone.

The Steelers finally capitalized on one of the Bills' few errors of the half, when coach Sean McDermott elected to attempt a 49-yard field goal into the wind with a little more than two minutes left.

Montravius Adams blocked Tyler Bass' low kick. The ball squirted some 20 yards into Bills territory and was recovered by Nick Herbig at Buffalo's 33. The Steelers scored five plays later on Rudolph's 10-yard TD pass to Johnson.

Pittsburgh eventually cut the lead to 24-17 on Rudolph's 7-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Austin with 10:32 left.


The Bills' already depleted defense held up despite losing several regulars to injuries. Buffalo allowed 324 yards and limited the Steelers to converting 5 of 11 third-down opportunities.

Bernard was ruled out after twisting his right ankle and starting nickelback Taron Johnson did not return after being evaluated for a concussion. The Bills began the game without cornerback Rasul Douglas (knee) and linebacker Tyrel Dodson (shoulder).


Final Score

The Steelers' season came to an end after a 31-17 loss to the Bills on Super Wild Card Weekend.

By Michael Guise

PHOTOS: Steelers' season ends with 31-17 loss to Bills

The Steelers fell 31-17 to the Bills in New York. Click here for a look at all the action from the game. 

By Madeline Bartos

Bills score TD late in the 4Q

Josh Allen found wide receiver Khalil Shakir for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to give the Bills a 14-point lead. 

Shakir caught a pass over the middle, shook at tackle from Minkah Fitzpatrick and dashed into the end zone with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left in the final quarter. 

The Bills lead 31-17.

By Michael Guise

Steelers score TD

Mason Rudolph found Calvin Austin to get the Steelers within one possession in the fourth quarter. 

Rudolph connected with Austin for a 7-yard score, capping off a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

Pittsburgh trails Buffalo 24-17 with 10 minutes, 32 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

By Michael Guise

End of third quarter

The Steelers trail 24-10 after three quarters of play.

By Michael Guise

Steelers' Joey Porter Jr. questionable to return

Steelers defensive back Joey Porter Jr. is questionable to return with a possible concussion. 

Porter was injured with 3 minutes, 42 seconds left in the third quarter after tackling Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Porter then went to the locker room to be evaluated. 

By Michael Guise

Bills respond with own field goal

The Bills increased their lead back to 14 points after a 45-yard field goal from kicker Tyler Bass. 

Buffalo leads 24-10 with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the third quarter. 

By Michael Guise

Boswell notches field goal

The Steelers cut their deficit to 21-10 on a 40-yard field goal from kicker Chris Boswell.

The kick capped off a 9-play, 38-yard drive on Pittsburgh's opening drive of the third quarter. Pittsburgh got the ball after the Bills went three and out on their first drive of the half. 

Pittsburgh trails 21-10 with 8 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third quarter. 

By Michael Guise


The Steelers trail 21-7 after two quarters of play. 

By Michael Guise

Bills punter Sam Martin hurts hamstring trying to chase down blocked field goal

Bills punter Sam Martin hurt his hamstring attempting to chase down a blocked field goal in the final minutes of the first half of Buffalo's playoff game against Pittsburgh on Monday.

Martin pulled up holding the back of his left hamstring while attempting to chase down the ball, which was recovered by Nick Herbig at Buffalo's 33. It happened after Montravius Adams blocked Tyler Bass' 49-yard field goal attempt.

Martin was examined in the blue medical tent, though he returned to the game in the third quarter. 

Bills coach Sean McDermott opted to try the long field goal in frigid and windy conditions with his team leading by three touchdowns. Bass tried to drive the ball low, contributing to the block — which ended up providing the Steelers with momentum.

Mason Rudolph capped a five-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson that cut Buffalo's lead to 21-7.

By The Associated Press

Steelers block field goal

The Steelers' special teams unit made a big play and blocked a Bills field-goal attempt, setting the offense up with good field position. 

Montravius Adams got a hand on the 49-yard field goal from Tyler Bass. The Steelers take over on the Bills' 33-yard line trailing 21-0 with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. 

By Michael Guise

Steelers fall behind 21-0 after magical Josh Allen run

Josh Allen worked his magic and put the Bills ahead 21-0 with 7 minutes, 1 second left in the second quarter.

On third down, Allen galloped 52 yards to the end zone, leaving the Steelers' defense in the wind. Allen has three total touchdowns on the day. 

The touchdown came eight plays after Pittsburgh's red zone turnover. 

By Michael Guise

Mason Rudolph throws red zone INT

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph threw a red zone interception as the team was driving to cut the deficit.

Rudolph was looking for wide receiver Diontae Johnson, but Bills defender Kaiir Elam stepped in and grabbed the interception. 

The turnover came on second and goal from the 4-yard line with 10 minutes, 52 seconds left in the second quarter. The Bills lead 14-0.

By Michael Guise

End of first quarter

The Steelers trail the Bills 14-0 after the first quarter. 

When play resumes, Pittsburgh is closing in on Buffalo territory. 

By Michael Guise

Bills take 14-0 lead

One play after a Steelers turnover, Bills quarterback Josh Allen found tight end Dalton Kincaid for a 29-yard touchdown to take advantage of the Pittsburgh miscue. 

The Bills lead 14-0 with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first quarter.  

By Michael Guise

Steelers turn the ball over

Steelers wide receiver George Pickens fumbled the ball on the team's third possession of the game, setting up the Bills with a short field. 

The Bills take over 29 yards from the end zone. 

By Michael Guise

Bills go up 7-0

The Bills marched down the field on their first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead.

Quarterback Josh Allen found tight end Dawson Knox for a 9-yard score with 7 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter.

Allen went 5-for-5 passing on the opening drive for 56 yards passing and the TD. 

By Michael Guise

Field clear, seats full of snow as fans pack Highmark Stadium for Steelers-Bills game

The field is clear, but fans are braving seats full of snow to watch the Steelers take on the Bills at Highmark Stadium. See more photos from Orchard Park here.

By Madeline Bartos

Steelers punt on first possession

After getting one first down, the Steelers punted the ball on their first possession of the game. 

Buffalo takes over on its 20-yard line for its first drive of the day. 

By Michael Guise

Steelers to receive

The Bills won the toss and deferred, so the Steelers will get the ball first.

By Michael Guise

Steelers/Bills announce inactives

The Bills and Steelers have announced their inactive lists for Monday's game. 

Buffalo's list includes starting wide receiver Gabe Davis and key defensive players Taylor Rapp and Rasul Douglas. 

For the Steelers, T.J. Watt is the biggest name on the inactive list. 

By Michael Guise

Minkah Fitzpatrick takes field for pregame without sleeves

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is getting ready to take the field again after his injury, and he's doing it without any sleeves. 

Fitzpatrick was one of the first players on the field for pregame. While KDKA-TV's Rich Walsh reports from the scene that it feels like zero with the windchill, Fitzpatrick was sleeveless. 

By Madeline Bartos

Highmark Stadium field clear but seats still covered in snow

(CBS/AP) -- Video from inside Highmark Stadium shows a clear field, but the seats are still covered in snow with just hours to go until kick-off.

Shovel crews have been working on clearing the stadium seats, walkways and tunnels since Sunday, when snow fell at a rate of more than 2 inches per hour. Crews worked overnight, with the Bills making a plea for more volunteers early Monday.

Major roadways leading to the stadium were cleared, with 5-foot snowdrifts lining the roads after they were plowed. It's unclear whether crews would have enough time to clear the 70,000-seat stadium's three decks in time for kickoff.

The parking lots are clear though, and fans are already out tailgating. 


Bars and restaurants change plans for rescheduled Steelers-Bills game

Steelers fans are finding ways to enjoy the game. Even a scheduling change won't stop them from showing up and going all out in support, and businesses are ready. 

KDKA-TV's Chris Hoffman talked to an operating partner at a bar on the North Shore about what they're expecting. Read more here.

Businesses ready for Steelers fans to watch rescheduled playoff game 02:25
By Chris Hoffman

Evgeni Malkin breaks out the black and gold

Evgeni Malkin is ready for the game! The Penguins game against the Seattle Kraken was moved up this afternoon to accommodate Steelers fans. It's a Pittsburgh sports' double feature today.

By Heather Lang

Steelers' buses ready to head to Highmark Stadium

The Steelers' team buses are ready to head to the stadium for the game in snowy Orchard Park, New York. 

All week, the Steelers said they won't be fazed by the weather. 

The Steelers are definitely playing their best football at the right time, but the Bills are also red hot, winning five straight and six of their last seven.

Both teams will have to deal with the elements. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the teens at game time, along with high wind gusts.

KDKA-TV's Rich Walsh thinks the worse the conditions, the better the chances the Steelers have. The Steelers have been the best rushing team in the NFL for the last three games, and the Steelers defense gets Minkah Fitzpatrick back. 

Patrick Peterson could be the difference maker for Pittsburgh's defense later Monday. Josh Allen has thrown four interceptions in the last three games.

"We have to win this game together," Peterson said. "We have to fight to the end, because like you said, this is a very, very high power, powerful offense. They got really, really good edge rushers, they try to make it hard on the quarterback to try to find receivers down in the intermediate part of the field. So we all know that this is a very, very tough challenge for us -- hostile environment, you gotta battle the elements," he said. 

The Steelers were scheduled to leave their downtown hotel at 12:30 to make their way to the stadium, followed by a police escort and snow plows.

By Rich Walsh

A weather update from Buffalo

From CBS Sports:

Snow is still falling in Orchard Park, New York, home of the Bills, as of Monday morning, with showers expected to continue past the noon hour, per The Weather Channel. Between 12-1 p.m. Eastern, the snow is expected to taper off, with precipitation forecasts dropping from 32% at 12 p.m. to 24% through 2 p.m. But percentages won't fall beneath 10% until 5 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to remain relatively stagnant from Monday morning through 4:30 p.m. kickoff, when the forecast calls for somewhere between 16-18 degrees. The temp is expected to remain about 15 degrees for much of the evening. Winds, meanwhile, are set to hover near 15 miles per hour around noon, only to drop to around 10 miles per hour by kickoff before another slight dip thereafter.

In total, snow accumulations on Monday are expected to be less than one inch, though at least 12 inches had already fallen in the Orchard Park area as of Sunday night, per the National Weather Service. The windy conditions that occurred during the snowfall resulted in near-zero visibility in and around the Bills' stadium during the original game time Sunday.

To read the full story, click here


Bills still looking for snow shovelers

As kickoff approaches, the Buffalo Bills are still looking for people to help shovel out Highmark Stadium.

An early morning post on social media showed a daylight view of the venue.

By Mike Darnay

Rich Walsh joins the KDKA-TV Morning News ahead of kickoff

With less than 12 hours before kickoff at Highmark Stadium, Rich Walsh joined the KDKA-TV Morning News during the 6:00 a.m. hour, getting you ready for the big matchup! 

Steelers and Bills preparing for action after one-day delay of Wild Card game 02:17
By Rich Walsh

Steelers-Bills kickoff forecast

First Alert Meteorologist Ron Smiley has your forecast for kickoff right here!

KDKA-TV Steelers-Bills forecast (1/15) 00:36
By Ron Smiley

Cleanup underway at Highmark Stadium

As kickoff awaits in Orchard Park, crews are working around the clock to help get the stadium cleared and ready for fans. 

Ahead of the game, the Bills put out a call for help to clear snow at the stadium, offering $20 per hour as part of the major undertaking of getting the venue game-ready. 

Crews shoveling out Highmark Stadium ahead of Steelers-Bills Wild Card game 01:46

The teams of shovelers heap the snow onto a large chute, which takes it down to field level where trucks and machinery haul it away.

Some locals in the Buffalo area were on hand on Sunday, helping out as the snow was still falling, even having some fun in the process.

By Megan Shinn

PHOTOS: Massive lake effect storm hammers Western New York

On Saturday night, the Buffalo Bills shared a video from inside Highmark Stadium that showed the whiteout conditions at the time. 

By Mike Darnay

Rich Walsh's hair holds up in the wintry conditions of Buffalo

By Mike Darnay
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