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No-Offense Steelers Win Again : Pro football: Pittsburgh cornerback Rod Woodson and kicker Gary Anderson key 23-10 victory over Buffalo.

November 15, 1994|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Rod Woodson has lobbied for years to play both offense and defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Never has his argument been more persuasive.

Woodson, single-handedly accounting for more scoring in the last two weeks than Pittsburgh's offense, returned an interception for a touchdown and forced a fumble for another to lead the Steelers past the Buffalo Bills, 23-10, Monday night.

In his last five quarters, Woodson has scored one touchdown, almost scored another and forced two fumbles--one of which set up a game-winning field goal.

"When plays come your way, you've got to make them," Woodson said after Pittsburgh's defense kept the Steelers (7-3) within a game of AFC Central-leading Cleveland. "We gamble, we blitz, we make plays, we're playing great defense right now."

Gary Anderson, again the only productive member of the Steelers' no-go offense, kicked three field goals to move into sixth place on the NFL's all-time list with 302 as Pittsburgh won for the second week in a row without an offensive touchdown.

"Our defense tries to score points," said Gerald Williams, who recovered a Woodson-forced fumble by Jim Kelly in the end zone. "We talk about it a lot, but until tonight we weren't doing it."

Woodson stepped in front of intended receiver Bill Brooks for a 37-yard interception return touchdown--the third of his career--to put Pittsburgh ahead, 10-0, in the final minute of the first quarter.

"It was a big play," Woodson said. "We felt we read it, we gambled and it worked."

Later, with Buffalo down only a touchdown after Kelly's 19-yard scoring pass to Andre Reed, a blitzing Woodson dislodged the ball from Kelly near the goal line and Williams fell on it for the first touchdown of his life.

"I didn't even get into the end zone when I was a running back in Pop Warner," Williams said. "The ball was laying there like a big bag of candy, and I gobbled it right up."

Rookie defensive tackle Brentson Buckner added to the Bills' growing frustration, blocking a 32-yard field goal attempt by Steve Christie later in the fourth quarter--Christie's first miss in 18 attempts this season.

Anderson, who last week kicked a field goal in overtime after Woodson forced a critical fumble in the Steelers' 12-9 victory over Houston, is seven for seven the last two weeks, 17 for 18 this season and 45 for 48 the last two seasons.

The loss dropped the four-time defending AFC champion Bills (5-5) to .500 in November for the first time since finishing 7-8 in 1987. They trail Miami (7-3) by two games in the AFC East and must play twice in the next 10 days, against Green Bay and Detroit.

"I talked to some of their players after the game, and they seemed in doubt about the rest of the season," safety Carnell Lake said. "But a lot can change in only a week, and there's a lot of season left."

Kelly, sacked six times for 54 yards in losses, was lifted for Frank Reich late in the fourth quarter after going 22 for 43 for 212 yards and two interceptions.

"More than anything, this will make us mad," Kelly said. "Maybe that's what we really need."

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