Week 14: Bills vs. Steelers
The Bills come home for the first of a three game homestand. This is the toughest game left on the schedule for the Bills as the red hot Pittsburgh Steelers come to town and will be bringing thousands of their legions of fans with them up the I-90. A loss and the fantasy of the Bills making a run at a playoff spot will be gone for even the most optimistic of fans
Sunday, Dec. 11th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (6-6) vs. Pittsburgh (7-5)
||New Era Field
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 705; Sirius: 82
||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, & Tracy Wolfson
||Steelers by 1
||Steelers lead 13-8 (Bills 1-2 in playoffs)
||Steelers Won 5
||Steelers 23-10 in Pittsburgh (2013)
||Rush (18th); Pass (8th); overall (11th)
||Rush (6th); Pass (19th); overall (14th)
||Rush (1st); Pass (32nd); overall (19th)
||Rush (26th); Pass (8th); overall (12th)
The Bills are getting healthier as they may get Robert Woods and Ronald Darby back this week. Darby is out of concussion protocol and Woods is trying to come back from a sprained knee. Lerentee McCray is sidelined with a concussion.
The Steelers kicker has an abdomen issue as Chris Boswell is currently sidelined. DT Javon Hargrave and S Shamarko Thomas have concussions while WR Darrius Hayward-Bey has a foot injury.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Lawrence Timmons:
As Shady goes, so goes the Bills. They need a big game from him to have a chance. Timmons leads the Steelers in tackles with over 30 more than the number two tackler on the team.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. LB James Harrison:
The 14 year veteran Harrison has had a resurgence this year in Pittsburgh as he leads the team with five sacks. Glenn will have to watch out for him in passing situations.
CB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Antonio Brown:
Gilmore wants to be lined up against the best and Brown is pretty much the best receiver the league has to offer. Should be a great battle if Rex Ryan let's Gilmore line up opposite Brown most of the game.
LB Zach Brown vs. RB Le'Veon Bell:
Brown's play has tailed off a bit since earlier in the season. Bell is red hot with three straight 100 yard games. Brown needs to lead the charge to slow down Bell and make the Steelers more one dimensional.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Force Turnovers: This team has done a terrible job taking the ball away. The bottom line is if they don't do it this week they will lose. If they can force a turnover or two they can get the crowd riled up and hopefully make it easier for the struggling passing game.
2. Contain Roethlisberger: Big Ben does a great job of extending plays with his size. The Bills need to keep him in the pocket and make him force some throws even if they don't get sacs.
3. Play Mentally Tough: There has been lots of talk this week that the Bills just aren't tough enough mentally after blowing a 15 point lead last week. They will need to show that they can handle adversity if they fall behind this week. If not, they can get steamrolled if they fall behind once again.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
I have been struggling with picking this game as I put my stellar record picking Bills games on the line. The frustration shown by Tyrod Taylor in Wednesday's press conference helped make that decision for me. His frustration seems to show a loss of confidence and that will be deadly against a very tough Steelers team. The bottom line is the best quarterback on the field by far is Ben Roethlisberger and that will lead to a victory for the Steel Curtain:
Steelers 24, Bills 17
Season Prediction Record: (11-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (10-2)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Evening!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Evening or Early Monday Morning!