The Buffalo Bills (3-6) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) teeter at the brink of elimination as their paths collide at Heinz Field in Week 10. Jeff Tuel made a couple plays to put Buffalo ahead early in Week 9 before crippling them with bad throws in a 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs today. Meanwhile Pittsburgh’s defense proved the antidote for the struggling New England Patriots‘ offense in 55-31 trouncing in Foxboro.
NFL Week 10 Matchup, Game Time and TV Info: Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS)
Predicted Spread: Steelers by 4 (Early spread: Steelers by 3)
Both the Bills and Steelers are clawing from the outside of the playoff picture in and now play what could very well amount to an elimination game at Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger had taken 26 sacks heading into Week 9 which landed him fourth in the league despite getting generally better protection than in previous seasons. Roethlisberger has a chance to break some chunk plays against a Bills defense that’s allowed plenty this year, including two 40-plus gainers to New Orleans Saints rookie WR Kenny Stills in Week 8. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders both have the speed to exploit this.
The Bills struggled mightily without Thad Lewis or EJ Manuel in Week 9 as injuries yielded way to the horrible alternatives. Returning at least one of them in the near future is especially critical. Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller can only churn first downs so much with incompetent QB play. Nickell Robey‘s stepped up in the Bills secondary while Stephon Gilmore and Kyle Williams were known valuable assets heading to the year, but the Bills defense still isn’t at a place where it can take over games.
Key Matchup: Mario Williams vs. Steelers RT (Marcus Gilbert left Patriots game with right ankle injury)
Losing right guard David DeCastro for Week 9 hurt despite the rushing totals and the Steelers will certainly want their best offensive lineman back for Week 10. Gilbert could especially benefit from having help to his right, especially with Williams firing off his side when the Bills come to town. Williams has done his best Robert Quinn impression (or vice versa) in thoroughly dominating the league’s poorer right tackles but failing to make much impact against the better ones. This bodes poorly for Roethlisberger and well for Williams’ pursuit of the single-season sack record..