The NFL Wild Card Weekend games continue this afternoon with a clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are home in snowy Orchard Park, New York in a game postponed by winter weather. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 pm EST.
The 10-7 Pittsburgh Steelers come into this game winners of three straight games after losing four of their previous five. This is a Steelers team that, frankly, you wonder how they made it this far. They have the NFL’s 25th ranked offense in yards gained and 21st ranked defense in yards allowed. They have an average running attack and a bad passing attack. Their run defense is average and their pass defense is average. So how did they make it to the post-season? In a word, turnovers. The Steelers live and die by turnovers. They have committed the second least number of offensive turnovers in the NFL, and they have generated the eighth most defensive turnovers. The Steelers are 8-2 in games when they’ve won the turnover battle, and they’re 0-2 in games they’ve lost the turnover battle. The Steelers face a Bills team that turns the ball over a lot on offense, coughing it up 28 times this season. That might give the Steelers just the wedge they need to pry open an upset today.
The 11-6 Buffalo Bills come into this game hot, having won their last five games, including victories over three playoff teams in that stretch. The Bills rank fourth in the NFL in offense and ninth in defense. Their main weakness is in the turnovers department. Quarterback Josh Allen is a turnover machine, and as a result the Bills have turned the ball over 28 times on offense this season. However, what the Bills giveth, they taketh away. The Bills have a stellar 7-1 record this season when they win the turnover battle. If they take care of the ball today, this should be a fairly easy win for the Bills. If Josh Allen reverts to turning the ball over repeatedly, the Steelers should have a shot at an upset in Buffalo.
I’m taking the Bills to prevail at home over a Pittsburgh team that probably doesn’t belong in the post-season this year.