Walter Abercrombie scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left as the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had trailed by 21-0, rallied for a 30-24 NFL victory today over the Buffalo Bills.
Pittsburgh (7-8) ended a three-game losing streak but was eliminated from playoff contention when AFC Central rival Cleveland defeated Houston, 28-21. It is only the third time in 14 years Pittsburgh has failed to make the playoffs.
"It's not a good feeling. I don't think there's anybody on the team that enjoys it," Steelers fullback Frank Pollard said. "We're just going to have to go home and wait until next year."
The Steelers rallied behind third-string quarterback Scott Campbell, who came into the game after David Woodley injured his left shoulder on his first play of the game and backup Mark Malone took a blow to the head later in the first quarter.
Pittsburgh pulled to within 21-14 before halftime on Campbell's 13-yard touchdown pass to Louis Lipps and Frank Pollard's four-yard scoring run.
While the Steelers' defense held Buffalo (2-13) to a field goal in the second half, the Steelers pulled to within 24-23 on Gary Anderson's field goals of 26, 31 and 45 yards.
Abercrombie's touchdown capped a 71-yard, seven-play drive. Campbell's 44-yard pass to Lipps was the key play.
Campbell completed 18 of 38 passes for 275 yards. Lipps (four catches, 116 yards) got his 15th touchdown of the season, breaking Franco Harris' team record set in 1976.
The game, played in whipping winds and 20-degree temperature, drew 35,953, the smallest crowd in the Steelers' 16 seasons at Three Rivers Stadium.