EJ Manuel saw almost nothing but black and gold when he dropped back to pass on Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills’ rookie quarterback was no match for coaching wizard Dick LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense.

The Bills’ 23-10 loss to the Steelers was Manuel’s worst showing in six starts this season and was more lopsided than the final score indicated.

During the first 55 minutes of the game – before the Bills managed a garbage-time touchdown drive – Pittsburgh held Manuel to just 79 passing yards and 10 completions in 25 attempts. Buffalo’s offense had only 140 total yards in the first 55 minutes.

When he wasn’t off target on underneath passes against tight coverage, Manuel was hurriedly checking down, Trent Edwards-style, for measly gains to receivers in the flats. Manuel did not have one completion on a pass that traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

“At the end of the day, if you want to know exactly what happened out there, he was going through his footwork too quick,” said Bills coach Doug Marrone. “Not as slowed down to see things develop. … And you know what? That happens to young quarterbacks.”

It happens a lot to young quarterbacks against the Steelers.

Rookie QBs now are 2-17 against the Steelers since LeBeau took over as defensive coordinator in 2004. In those 19 games, the rookies have averaged just 166 passing yards and been sacked 64 times. Manuel finished 22 of 39 for 155 yards, with three sacks and one interception.

The discouraging thing for the Bills, who dropped to 3-7, is this Pittsburgh defense isn’t as good as in past years. It just gave up 610 yards and 55 points to New England last week.

Of course, New England’s Tom Brady has seen all of LeBeau’s schemes. Manuel hasn’t.

“We didn’t capitalize on everything we thought we could have, and obviously it wasn’t the way I wanted to come back,” said Manuel, who had missed the previous four games with a sprained knee.