Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills Week 14 Odds & Pick
The Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Buffalo Bills in key AFC action on Sunday Night Football. It's a big game between conference contenders, and a win here would be a big boost to whoever gets it. Pittsburgh is coming off their first loss of the season, a 23-17 defeat to Washington on Monday. While it ruined their unbeaten mark, they still have a lot to play for. It won't be easy against a Bills team that has been playing very well lately, including their 34-24 win on the road against the Niners on Monday. If not for that crazy Hail-Mary a few weeks ago at Arizona, they'd have won 6 in a row. They look for their biggest win of the season on SNF.
Pittsburgh: Trouble on the Horizon?
A few items of concern make one wonder if the Steelers are poised to become one of those fast-starting teams that peaks too early. Then again, losing once when you are 11-0 is not cause to run a full audit perhaps, but there are some causes for worry. All this rescheduling may have thrown them off their rhythm. Ben Roethlisberger is 38, and a lot has been asked of him this season, and he seems a little worse-for-wear, perhaps a little banged-up. The collapsed state of their running game has rendered their offense a one-dimensional one that isn't near as physical as their defense. And while they have commendable pass-catching depth and a line that does a great job in keeping Big Ben protected, it's an offense where the quarterback has no real stars with which to work.
The Steelers enter a time of the season where they will be tested. And so far, they have answered the call, beating Tennessee, Cleveland, and Baltimore twice. But their other seven wins come against subpar opposition, making one wonder how they will handle a difficult stretch-run, where they play three of their last four on the road, facing winning teams like Buffalo, Indy, and the streaking Browns again. This is where we see if the Steelers will enter the playoffs as a team that elicits fear or a team that melted down a bit at the end.
Why Buffalo Could Be Tough
While the power of home-field has waned in this climate, getting this one on their field will help a lot, as Buffalo looks to score that win that legitimizes their contender status. They already have wins over the Dolphins, Rams, Raiders, Patriots, and Seahawks, showing they can make this formula work in more difficult spots. Josh Allen's blossoming in his third season has lifted this offense to new heights. While they can run the ball usefully in spots with Allen peeling off nice runs and getting help from Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, it is through the air where most of the damage takes place. Cole Beasley's late-career renaissance has been huge, while Stefon Diggs seems to have lifted his game to another level since coming into the fold. It's an offense that is seeing a lot of things click right now.
Issues for Buffalo in This Spot
While one could say that they have more upside on offense, there is an even bigger gap between their two defenses. Buffalo's "D" isn't a bad one, a little better than what the figures suggest, along with a playmaking element that can help change the complexion of games. They also have a few guys playing a lot better. But they are a defense that has melted late in games on occasion while sometimes giving up points in bunches in stretches. It remains a sticking-point for a Buffalo team that otherwise has a lot going for them.
The Buffalo "D" is nothing like the complete unit the Steelers bring to the table every week. In the last five weeks, the Steelers have allowed a total of 69 points. There are really no soft spots on that defense. They're deep and menacing up front, providing a lot of disruption, along with a pass-defense that is among the more stout and playmaking groups in the league. With Allen under pressure and the prospects of not being able to run the ball well, Buffalo's offense will be tested along lines it hasn't experienced yet this year.
- Get more details: Steelers vs. Bills SNF Match-up Stats
Give and Take
They are similar teams in a lot of ways, probably both envious of what each other has in different areas. With Big Ben reduced to throwing the ball most of the time, he sees a Buffalo offense doing what he used to be able to do when he had slightly better weaponry and the ability to move more. Meanwhile, the Buffalo "D" looks at the Steelers' defense as where they would like to eventually be. In a game where there is some give and take, we have to consider how important it is that Buffalo certainly appears to be in slightly better overall form.
Steelers vs. Bills Prediction 12/13/20
I think the Steelers are in that period of the season that you see with many teams that get out to a fast start. And it doesn't mean they won't be a major factor in the postseason, but they have just hit a little lull. They're also playing teams that can better bring that to light lately—a revved up Washington team with a lot to play for and now a home Buffalo team that is peaking. I don't rule out the possibility that a Steelers' defense can have a major say in this game, but I see the greater effervescence on offense getting Buffalo to the winner's circle. I'll take the Bills.