Can The Steelers Bounce Back Against Buffalo During Week 14?

Week 14 Buffalo Wins

The Steelers followed-up an awful game against the Steelers with an equally terrible game against the Washington Football Team.

The Steelers had more drops, and now lead the NFL in drops (31) on the season. Following a tight defensive battle, the Steelers pulled ahead to a 14-0 lead. After Antonio Gibson went down to injury and Alex Smith busted his leg, everyone was thinking, this is when the Steelers are going to put them away. We were wrong. Washington rallied from 14 points down on the road and pulled off an upset few thought possible.

The Steelers are a +2 point dog against the Buffalo Bill this weekend according to the DraftKings Online Sportsbook in PA. Bet the game today by clicking the link below:

DraftKings PA Online SportsbookIn the aftermath, Mike Tomlin seemed more relieved than anything else. Losing to Washington may have been a blessing in disguise if you subscribe to the belief the team was playing tight. However, what if the Steelers just aren’t that great after all?

When you lay it all out, the Steelers don’t have too many impressive games. They’ve barely won a number of close games that shouldn’t have been close. The truth is, it may be a combination of both. The Steelers still have a few weeks to get everything sorted and get into a strong form for the postseason.

Steelers vs Buffalo Preview

The Buffalo Bills are one of the hottest teams in the NFL (winners of five of their last six). After an offensive slump lasting a few games, the Bills have returned to their explosive offensive ways, scoring at least 27 points in each of their last four games. Despite their offensive prowess, it’s weighted very heavily towards the passing game. Though they’ve been creative, the Bills are vulnerable from a game-planning perspective.

No matter how well a team plans for the Bills, Josh Allen has a bit of a Deshaun Watson/ Russell Wilson/ Kyler Murray ability to extend plays and make good throws downfield. Last week may have been the most impressive performance from Josh Allen we’ve seen in his career. He was incredibly accurate, his receivers were too difficult to cover when the play broke down, and Allen just made good choices.

Defensively, the Bills are vulnerable all over the place. Though the defense is getting healthier, with key guys returning, their biggest flaw is inconsistency. At times, their run defense looks good. The same can be said for their secondary. However, there are windows in every game where the defense can just be flat-out exposed.

The Steelers have had all kinds of issues with drops, as we’ve mentioned before. Though Ben Roethlisberger has the quickest release time in the NFL, the Steelers lead the league in drops. The Steelers also aren’t running the ball well, and rush defense is perhaps the Bills’ biggest issue. From a matchup perspective, the Bills are a mismatch for the Steelers. To compound things, the Bills have been playing especially well lately, while the Steelers have not.

The key for the Steelers in this game will be getting to Josh Allen. A few weeks ago, the Chargers got tremendous pressure on Josh Allen, and were able to stymie the Bills for most of the game. The Steelers have a comparable pass rush, so the expectation should be that the Steelers can take Allen out of rhythm and this game stays moderately close.

Prediction

The Bills are hot, as we’ve proclaimed. However, we can’t fall into the “hot team” fallacy. The Steelers have been ice-cold lately, but this game is critical to their confidence heading into the postseason. The Bills also have a lot to play for, as a win and a Dolphins loss against Kansas City will mean a victory over New England in Week 16 clinches the division.

I am anticipating a blitz-heavy approach from the Steelers in this game. I expect the Steelers to get their efficient, quick-passing game rolling early. I think the Bills will be in trouble in the trenches, but I do expect the Bills to figure some things out as the game goes on. As much as everyone is expecting the Bills to have a great game and the Steelers to have an off week, I think this one comes down to the wire. I like the Bills narrowly.

Final Score: Bills 26 Steelers 23