Two AFC powerhouses collide on Sunday night as the Buffalo Bills (9-3) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1). The no-longer-undefeated Steelers are coming off their first loss of the season to Washington. On the opposite sideline, the Bills have won five of their last six games and are trying to prove they can hang with the big dogs in the AFC.
The Bills are listed as two-point favorites, and the over/under is set at 49. Kickoff is at 8:20 P.M. Eastern on NBC.
Steelers Look to Bounce Back
When you’re undefeated and lose your first game, everything can change pretty quickly. Pittsburgh is hoping the loss won’t turn into a streak and that they can keep pace with Kansas City atop the AFC. One more loss could force them into a first-round game and eliminate the opportunity for a bye week.
After the injuries of last year, Roethlisberger has been a big reason for Pittsburgh’s success. He sits just outside the Top 10 in passing yards with 3,105 this season, along with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Roethlisberger has leaned heavily on his young receiving core, in particular Chase Claypool. The rookie leads the team in receiving touchdowns with eight, one ahead of Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson to lead all rookie receivers.
Pittsburgh’s biggest weakness is in the run game. The Steelers only trail the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and Cincinnati Bengals for the dubious honor of the league’s worst rushing attack. Buffalo’s defense allows the ninth-most yards to opposing running backs, so there’s a chance to get back on track Sunday night.
Bills Look to Make Statement
Buffalo has rolled through the AFC East this season, led by the fantastic play of MVP candidate Josh Allen. Entering Week 14, Allen was fifth in the league in passing yards (3,403) and tied for sixth in touchdowns (26). He has also rushed for six scores this season, keeping opposing defenses guessing.
After being traded from the Vikings in the offseason, Stefon Diggs has been a godsend for the Bills’ offense. Diggs is tied for the league lead in receptions (90) and could go over the century-mark Sunday night. While his high catch volume has only lead to four receiving touchdowns, his ability to stretch the field has opened the door for fellow receivers Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and John Brown to find the end zone as well.
Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been playing at the level they were a season ago, but they’ve still been serviceable. They’ve put up middle-of-the-road numbers in turnovers, yards allowed per game, and points per game. Linebacker A.J. Klein leads the team in sacks (five) and forced fumbles (two), while safety Jordan Poyer is one of 10 players to reach 100 tackles this season.
The Pick is In
Buffalo is always a tough team to beat at home, and it gets more challenging to do so as the playoffs draw closer. Expect the Bills to take advantage of a banged-up Steelers defense and hand Pittsburgh its second loss of the season.
FREE PLAY: Buffalo Bills (-2).
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