- The Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) visit the Buffalo Bills (9-3) on SNF in Week 14 (Dec. 13th, 8:20 pm EST)
- Pittsburgh fell 23-17 to Washington in Week 13, while Buffalo hammered San Francisco 34-24
- Read below for analysis on which way the line will move ahead of kickoff
All the talk about a potential perfect season for the Pittsburgh Steelers can finally come to an end. The Steelers suffered their first loss of the season on Monday at the hands of the Washington Football Team, and now have to travel to Buffalo on Sunday Night Football in Week 14, to face the AFC East leading Bills.
Steelers vs Bills Opening Odds
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-1.5 (-110)||-125||Over 47.5 (-110)|
|Buffalo Bills||+1.5 (-110)||+105||Under 47.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 7th.
Despite the loss, Pittsburgh still opened up as a 1.5-point favorite. Due to a rash of positive COVID tests last week that delayed their game with Baltimore, they were forced to face Washington on just four days rest. Next week’s contest will also be on short rest, but at least this time their opponent will be in the same boat.
Costly Mistakes Derail Perfect Season
For the second straight game, the Steelers’ performance was marred by mistakes. Pittsburgh lost for just the second time since 2004 when leading by 14 points, and dropped seven passes, the most by any team this season.
Live look at Steelers fans: pic.twitter.com/HFd3C2vbVH
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 8, 2020
This comes on the heels of five drops against the Ravens in Week 12, and once again the run game was abysmal. They rushed for a season-low 21 yards on Monday, averaging just 1.5 yards per carry. Backup running back Benny Snell has failed miserably with James Conner out with COVID, and the offense as a whole looked nothing like an 11-win team.
SORRY PITTSBURGH STEELERS ONLY THE CURT HENNING IS MR. PERFECT. pic.twitter.com/bXGBjHmOYX
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) December 8, 2020
Over the past two weeks, they’ve averaged 4.8 yards per play and 2.8 yards per rush. By comparison, in 2019 when they were the league’s 30th ranked offense, they averaged 4.7 yards per play and 3.7 yards per rush.
To make matters worse, injuries are starting to pile up. Last week, they lost stud linebacker Bud Dupree for the season, and on Monday both linebacker Robert Spillane and corner Joe Haden left the game and did not return. The loss of Haden is especially worrisome versus the Bills passing attack, as corner Steven Nelson was also forced to miss the Washington game due to a knee injury.
Bills Ball Out vs 49ers
Speaking of Buffalo, Josh Allen turned in one of the best performances of his career on Monday in a 10-point victory over San Francisco. The third-year pivot threw for 375 yards and 4 TD, embarrassing the league’s fourth highest rated coverage unit.
Josh Allen tore it up in the Bills’ win on MNF against the 49ers:
? 32/40 passing
? 375 yards
? 4 TDs pic.twitter.com/OlNPEEnekG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 8, 2020
Allen has now eclipsed the 300-yard mark six times in 2020, after failing to do so in each of the first 28 starts of his career. Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley put on a route running clinic, racking up a combined 19 catches, for 222 yards and a score.
Stefon Diggs ???pic.twitter.com/E1npPa8hso
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 8, 2020
Buffalo’s defense also did its part, holding the Niners to 24 points, while forcing two turnovers. That unit will be tested on Sunday night, as few teams possess receiving weapons as strong as the Steelers, that is when they’re holding onto the football.
Expect a Move Towards Buffalo
The Bills opened up as a 2.5-point favorite in Week 13, before the number moved all the way to the 49ers -1. We could see something similar leading up to their game this week versus Pittsburgh, but this time in Buffalo’s favor.
[email protected], @BuffaloBills.
LET’S DO THIS. pic.twitter.com/zsYF9fAUcv
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) December 7, 2020
The Bills looked like world beaters in primetime against San Fran, while the Steelers have underwhelmed in back-to-back island games. Recency bias is incredibly strong in the gambling community, and it shouldn’t shock anyone to see this line move quickly towards Josh Allen and company.