The Buffalo Bills were close to winning games with impressive NFL scores against the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs before they finally scored their first win of the season over the Detroit Lions.
After taking the Chiefs and Ravens deep into overtime, NFL betting experts were suggesting that it was only a matter of time before the Bills scored their first win.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had mixed NFL predictions in the preseason. With starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out for the first four weeks with a suspension, fans did not know what to expect when Big Ben returned.
The Steelers wound up going 3-1 in that stretch, and at 7-3 the Steelers are one of the top teams in the AFC. A loss to the Patriots at home still lingers for the Steelers but, for now, they should really focus on a feisty Buffalo Bills team.
The Steelers offense has relied a little more on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this season than fans are used to. Running back Rashard Mendenhall does have 811 yards and eight touchdowns this season, but there is no other Pittsburgh runner with more than 150 yards.
The Steelers used to attack with a speed running back and a pounding running back, and now it is just Mendenhall. Roethlisberger has performed well, but this is just not the Steelers offense we are used to seeing.
The Bills, on the other hand, are starting to bring back the look of an offense that won games in the 1990s for them. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a gun-slinger who makes some mistakes but, more often than not, he finds his target.
Running back Fred Jackson became the only feature back when Marshawn Lynch was traded to Seattle and rookie C.J. Spiller pulled his hamstring. Jackson has been more than up to the task and has carried the team up and down the field with authority.
The Bills still have one of the worst defenses in football, but it showed signs of improvement in last week’s win over the Bengals. The Bills defense managed to cause turnovers in that Bengals game, which is something the Bills could not do all season.
The Bills defense had not intercepted the ball all season long, but they managed two picks against Carson Palmer. The problem for the Bills defense is that they are playing Big Ben and the Pittsburgh offense which, as they will find out, is a significant upgrade from Cincinnati.
The Steelers defense hits hard and runs fast. The secondary, led by Troy Palomalu, is one of the fastest in the league. The linebackers, like James Harrison, punish runners and passers all day long. The biggest problem for the Bills in this game will be their offensive line.
Gun-slinger Fitzpatrick may wind up spending most of the game running for his life.
The Bottom Line
Ralph Wilson Stadium is sold out with Bills fans hoping to see a third Bills win in a row, and the first at the Ralph. While the Bills will give the Steelers all they can handle, the Steelers can handle a lot more than Buffalo is able to give.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers