The Buffalo Bills' first team offense has taken a few good steps forward in the past few weeks. But there's one thing they haven't done in three preseason games.
Score a touchdown.
Like the games against the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, the Bills' offensive starters didn't reach the end zone in a 19-16 loss Saturday to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
While quarterback E.J. Manuel registered a solid performance against the Steelers defense, he couldn't hook up with wide receiver Robert Woods on third and goal late in the first half and a pass to tight end Scott Chandler on fourth down was batted away.
Despite the offense's struggles in the red zone, the unit had success moving the ball down the field. Manuel connected with running back Fred Jackson seven times, and Jackson rushed six times for 27 yards. Manuel also hit Woods three times in the first half, including a 30-yard completion on one of the team's longest drives.
Manuel did have a few bad moments. He threw an interception on a pass that was intended for Scott Chandler. On a fourth and short play, he overthrew Woods on the outside. On another fourth and short play, Manuel's pass to T.J. Graham was tipped.
But Manuel is making progress. He may have made a few bad plays Saturday night, but he had a decent number of good throws. He was efficient in the short passing game and completed a few deeper throws. That's a good thing. But he needs to find a way to get his team in the end zone.
Sammy Watkins injured, but there's good news
Rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins left the game after being accidentally kicked in the ribs. He was grabbing his side and was taken to the locker room.
The good news: Watkins' injury isn't serious. The Bills say it's a contusion. He probably won't miss any time with such a minor injury.
Landon Cohen continues to impress
Cohen is playing with his ninth NFL team in his seventh NFL season, and he's making quite an impact in the preseason play.
Against the Steelers, Cohen made a nice play to burst through the line and get a tackle for a loss. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 59 yards. The play set up the Bills' only touchdown.
The Bills have one of the best defensive lines in the league, but Cohen could find a spot on the roster as a reserve defensive lineman. And with his ability, he could be a nice backup in case one of the starting defensive tackles get hurt.
Gurley's three big plays on one drive
Gurley, who is competing for a roster spot with the Bills, caught two passes for 25 yards and delivered a big block on Ronnie Wingo's 7-yard run in the fourth quarter.
It will be tough for Gurley to make the team, but plays like that will make it a difficult decision for his coaches. With guys like Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan on the inside track, Gurley will need to make more of an impact to stand out in the competition for the final wide receiver roster spots.
Carpenter drills 53-yard field goal at Heinz Field
If there's one thing you can say about Heinz Field, it's that the stadium isn't a friendly place for kickers.
Kicking a 50-yard field goal at Heinz Field is quite an achievement. Bills kicker Dan Carpenter drilled a 53-yard field goal in the second quarter, cutting the Steelers' lead to 13-6.
Records weren't immediately available, but Carpenter's kick was one of the longest made at Heinz Field.
To put that kick in perspective, Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham hasn't made a field goal from more than 50 yards out at Heinz Field since he joined Pittsburgh in November 2010.