Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Has the Advantage?
Bills vs. Steelers: Who Has the Advantage?
The Week 10 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers definitely won’t receive the most attention from NFL fans this coming Sunday. The Bills (3-6) and the Steelers (2-6) are both at the bottom of their respective divisions, and are both riding two-game losing streaks. The probability of either Buffalo or Pittsburgh making the postseason is very slim even with a victory by one of the teams. However, this game is considered a must-win for both ball clubs, and could be the last chance for either team to get something rolling to start the second half of this football season.
Last week, the Bills came up short against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, while the Steelers had a total defensive meltdown against the New England Patriots that saw them surrender 55 points and 610 total yards, both franchise records.
For the Bills, six of their nine games played thus far have been decided by seven points or less, and Buffalo has come away with their three victories on the season. As for the Steelers, they’ve had four games that have been decided by seven points or less, only winning one of the four.
There could be a good chance of seeing both teams duking it out for the entire four quarters of play and having the game be decided in the final minutes. Buffalo is currently 1-4 on the road, while Pittsburgh has only won one of their three home games so far this year.
It’s hard to say who has the advantage just by looking at win-loss records, so let’s take a deeper look into this matchup.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
Steelers' Pass Offense vs. Bills' Pass Defense
Buffalo’s defense has allowed the most passing touchdowns than any team thus far in the season. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has had two 400-yard games this year, and is coming off a four-touchdown passing performance. However, the Bills are tied for the third-most sacks in the NFL, while the Steelers have surrendered the second-most sacks in the league. Roethlisberger’s elusiveness in the pocket should be the difference-maker in this matchup.
Steelers' Run Offense vs. Bills' Run Defense
Even though Pittsburgh’s numbers on the ground from last week weren’t eye-popping, they proved that they are able to break loose for some big runs. The Steelers may lean on rookie running back Le’Veon Bell and the running game to reduce the risk of surrendering sacks on offense.
Bills' Pass Offense vs Steelers' Pass Defense
The Bills’ pass offense is one of the worst in the league, and Pittsburgh’s pass defense is one of the best. Buffalo announced that rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel will get the start this Sunday. Manuel has been sidelined since suffering a LCL injury in Week 5. Jumping back in the fire against the fourth-best pass defense won’t be an easy task.
Bills' Run Offense vs. Steelers' Run Defense
Pittsburgh has allowed 197 rushing yards and three touchdowns in each of their last two games. Bills running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller should find many holes in the Steelers’ front seven.
Neither team has had explosive plays in the return game thus far. The kickers for both teams have only missed two field goal each, and both team's punting games are about the same.
Both teams have struggled over the past two weeks. Needless to say, the Bills and the Steelers need to win this game. Even though it may be too late to save the season, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will have his team ready to play in front of a home crowd after two disappointing road losses.
Buffalo’s running game will be a handful for the Steelers’ defense, and Pittsburgh’s play against the pass will be a challenge for the Bills. Though it will be tough for the Steelers to contain Buffalo’s pass rush, Roethlisberger’s poise and Emanuel’s inexperience and rust will prove to be the difference in this game.
Prediction: Steelers 23, Bill 17