NFL Sunday Night Football: Bills/Steelers Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Sunday night game on NBC features two AFC teams looking to make deep runs in the playoffs. The Steelers and the Bills are also playing on a short week after both competed on Monday.

Pittsburgh lost their first game of the season last week in their 23-17 upset loss at home to Washington as a 5.5-point favorite. The Steelers blew a 14-0 first-half lead in that game to lose to the Football Team. The 23 points that Washington scored was the most points that the Steel Curtain has allowed since the 24 points Baltimore put up in Week 8.

Offensive woes held Pittsburgh back on Monday. They turned the ball over twice on downs from failed fourth-down conversions. They also failed to score from the Washington 1-yard line on five separate occasions. The Steelers also dropped another seven passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh leads the NFL with 34 dropped passes this season.

Roethlisberger completed 33 of 53 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The veteran is completing 66.9% of his passes for 3105 yards with 27 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.

Roethlisberger has thrown 53 and 51 passes in his last two games, but after their first loss on Monday, relying less on the Steelers’ passing game appears likely. Pittsburgh expects to get back both running back James Conner and center Maurkice Pouncey from injuries for this game to provide a shot in the arm to their rushing attack.

Buffalo has won five of their last six games after they upset San Francisco on the road in their temporary home field in Glendale, Arizona, Monday night in their 34-24 victory. Josh Allen earned AFC Player of the Week honors by completing 32 of his 40 passes for 375 yards with four touchdown passes. The third-year pro is converting 69.9% of his passes for 3403 yards with 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions, and he has added 322 yards with another six touchdowns with his legs.

Allen leads an offense that is scoring 27.8 points-per-game while averaging 378.8 yards-per-game, which ranks eighth and tenth in the league. The Bills' defense has taken a step back this season as they are allowing 25.5 points-per-game along with 375.4 yards-per-game, which rank 18th and 21st in the NFL.

Buffalo will be without safety Jaquan Johnson who is out with an ankle injury. The injuries for Pittsburgh are more significant with cornerback Joe Haden out with a concussion and inside linebacker Robert Spillane out with a knee injury. Neither team has any other players on their injured list.

The Steelers remain two games ahead of Cleveland in the AFC North. Their 11-1 record is tied with Kansas City as they battle for the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The Bills are 9-3, which places them one game ahead of Miami in the AFC East.

BetAnySports lists the Bills as a 2-point favorite with the total set at 49. The kickoff on NBC is at 8:20 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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