Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh- TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
*Keys to the game: It's difficult to figure out what to expect from Buffalo's offense. The Bills are facing a Steelers team that gave up 55 points and 610 yards of offense at New England last week, and rookie QB EJ Manuel is expected to return to the lineup. However, he hasn't played since Week 5 and could be minus two of his top three receivers with fellow rookies Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin uncertain. Buffalo's hope is that the game doesn't fall on Manuel's arm. The Bills enter the game seventh in rushing, while the Steelers' once-vaunted defense is 31st in the NFL allowing 131.2 yards per game on the ground. Coach Mike Tomlin has again threatened benchings for continued poor defensive play, but the offense is just as culpable in the Steelers' struggles. The Steelers average only 3.5 yards per carry, continually exposing QB Ben Roethlisberger behind an offensive line that has surrendered a ghastly 31 sacks. Granted, some of those takedowns are the result of Big Ben's propensity to hold onto the ball.
*Matchup to watch – Bills RBs C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson vs. Steelers run defense: Spiller isn't on the injury report for the first time in five weeks after a season-high 155 yards from scrimmage last week and his big-play ability has to concern Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau. Jackson is the workhorse, but also wants to be more involved in the passing game inside the 20-yard line. Buffalo is 31st in the league in touchdown efficiency inside the red zone (42.3 percent).
*Player spotlight – Bills DE Mario Williams: He enters with 11 sacks and will move around looking to exploit overmatched OTs Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert.
*Fast facts: The Bills are the only NFL team with four players who each have at least four sacks this season. ... For the first time since 1989, LeBeau's defense has allowed 34-plus points in three different games.
WHO WILL WIN AND WHY
The Bills are younger and have more overall talent on both sides of the ball. But did we mention they're young? Buffalo still has too many self-inflicted wounds and the Steelers' veterans find a way to buck up at home.
*Our pick: Steelers 27-2
By Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: November 7, 2013 02:12:25 PM
Game Scout: Bills at Steelers
|All Times Eastern|