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Steeler Nation is a world-wide army that lives and dies with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The six-time Super Bowl champions are a franchise that considers excellence the only standard, and their fans expect nothing less than hard hitting, top notch football. This is the ultimate Steelers GameDay Preview that all followers of the black and gold come to find everything they need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation), who covers both Pitt football and the Steelers for NGSC Sports, brings you inside the huddle for both teams with the Keys to Victory, score prediction, Game Day information, a detailed breakdown of each team, and an up to date team injury report. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff. The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

NFL Week 5

Game-time: Sunday, October 9th, 1:00 PM.

  • Vegas line: Buffalo -14.5

Venue: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY.

  • Field: Natural Grass

Keys to Victory

 Offense

  • Play to win: Open the playbook and let Kenny Pickett find his rhythm. This is not to say throw the ball 40 times, but you have to let the kid run his offense. Playing ‘Prevent Offense’ leads to prevent wins, as we have witnessed under Mitch Trubisky. Buffalo’s defense is missing star safety Jordan Poyer, and CB Christian Benford, this is in addition to corner Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde also being out. Attack downfield with George Pickens and especially in the middle with Pat Friermuth. That should create some lanes for Diontae Johnson to exploit in open space.
  • Catch the damn ball: The time for excuses are over. Receivers are paid to catch the ball, even under tough circumstances. Pickett had three interceptions last week, and two of those should have been caught by Chase Claypool and Friermuth. If the ball hits your hands, make a play.
  • Feed Najee Harris: It would help to loosen up a tough Bills run defense by throwing a few early deep balls and connecting. The offensive line is beginning to solidify, and in this game, it would behoove the Steelers offense to open some holes for Harris and control the clock as much as possible. Which leads to…
  • Play Action: It’s been missing from this offense for far too long, and if Harris can get his game going, then setting up a wounded Bills defense could develop into some splash plays.

Defense

  • Make a damn playA dropped interception here, and just missed sack… this defense has to step up their game, period. They are the highest paid unit in the NFL and being dominated minus T.J. Watt is no excuse. If you get to Josh Allen, you bring him down. How about making a tackle for a loss on a handoff? Play to expectations or find a new job.
  • Get off the field: The defense had plenty of chances to stop the Jets last week on third downs in the 4th quarter, but failed miserably. A blown ten point 4th quarter lead is unthinkable when it come to the history of the Steelers. Embarrassing. Against a banged up Bills offense, someone needs to step up and make some plays and keep the 3rd down conversions to a minimum.
  • Isolate Stephon Diggs: Easier said than done, but I’ll take my chances doubling up Diggs and forcing Allen to look elsewhere to make plays.
  • Shutdown middle of the field: The Steelers defense across the middle of the field has been as open as the border under the Biden Administration. That territory needs protected or Josh Allen will torch it.

The Scoop

The Kenny Pickett Era has begun, and the young quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) isn’t showing any signs of fear before he takes the field against the heavily favored Buffalo Bills (3-1), this Sunday in Orchard Park, at 1:00 pm.

“Everyone thinks we’re underdogs. But we don’t,” Pickett said.

Since the NFL-AFL Merger in 1966, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the last team since to be an underdog by two touchdowns, and this week Buffalo is favored by 14.5 points.

It will a tough order for Pickett and the Steelers to take down Buffalo for the 2nd year in a row, but with Pickett, at least Pittsburgh has a fighting chance, especially with the Bills defense missing so many key components entering the game. The Bills had already suffered major losses with corner Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde out, now they’ll also be without star safety Jordan Poyer, another cornerback in Christian Benford, and possibly key players such as LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Ed Oliver, and DT Jordan Phillips, all whom are questionable to play this week. The Bills aren’t faring much better offensively, as Josh Allen will be without wide receivers Jake Kumerow and Jamison Crowder, as well as tight end Dawson Knox. To boot, WR Isaiah McKenzie is questionable, and Gabe Davis has had ankle issues all season.

The Pittsburgh defense, still minus T.J. Watt, has to find a way to pressure Allen, or it will be an ugly day for the highest paid unit in the NFL. Pittsburgh will be without corner Ahkello Witherspoon, and both CB Cam Sutton and SS Terrell Edmunds are questionable.

Pickett is obviously a major upgrade over Mitch Trubisky, but his receivers will need to help their rookie QB out by making some splash plays instead of having the ball clang off their hands.

“It’s our job as receivers to go out there and make the quarterback look good,” receiver Diontae Johnson said, “whether it’s Kenny or Mitch. That’s our job on the bottom line, and that’s what we’ve got to continue to do. We’ve just got to make more plays down the field, and just in general.”

This could end up being a shootout, and honestly, don’t be surprised if Pickett and the Steelers pull a miracle upset. Pickett just has that IT factor, and his teammates seem to be sparked with him taking over the helm of the offense. Unfortunately, this defense has yet to find it’s footing since Watt got hurt, and against Allen, even with a few of his weapons out, will be too much to ask of Pickett this Sunday,

Prediction: Buffalo 31 Steelers 24  

 

Game Day Information

TV: CBS (Local- KDKA-TV)

  • Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play) Tony Romo (analyst) | Tracy Wolfson (sideline)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM & 970 WBGG-AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Craig Wolfley (analyst) | Max Starks (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

National Radio: Sports USA

  • Announcers: John Ahlers (play-by-play) Brandon Noble (analysis)

Internet broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

 

Weather at kickoff: Partly cloudy and 57. Winds out of the WSW at 15-25 mph.

NFL Links

 

Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall record: 1-3 (4th in AFC North)

Last game: NY Jets 24 Pittsburgh 20

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

  • 15th Season with Steelers
  • Overall regular-season record: 155-88-2
  • Playoff record: 8-9 (Qualified for playoffs 10 times)

Team Links

 

Steelers Offense

Offensive Stats

  • Points per game: 18.5
  • Total yards per game: 290.5
  • Passing yards per game: 193.3
  • Rushing yards per game: 97.3

 

Quarterback

Kenny Pickett | #8

The future is now for the rookie first round draft pick. Entered the Jets game at halftime and lead the team to two scoring drives. Had three interceptions, but one was dropped by Chase Claypool, one could’ve been caught by Pat Friermuth, and the last was a Hail Mary. Has that IT factor, and if given the chance, will shine.

  • Passing Yards: 120 | TD Passes: 0 | INT’s: 3 | Sacked: 0 | Rushing Yards: 15 | Rushing TD’s: 2

Back-up: Mitch Trubisky | #10

  • Passing Yards: 653 | TD Passes: 2 | INT’s: 2 | Sacked: 8 | Rushing Yards: 24 | Rushing TD’s: 1

 

Running Backs

Najee Harris | #22

Has yet to record a 100 yard rushing game, but it would help if he was given the ball more.

  • Rushing Yards: 202 | Rushing TD’s: 1 | Receptions:10 | Receiving Yards: 48 | Receiving TD’s: 1

Jaylon Warren | #30

Good change of pace back when he comes in for relief of Harris.

  • Rushing Yards: 70 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 7 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Derek Watt | #44

  • Rushing Yards: 2 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Diontae Johnson | #18

Has been Pittsburgh’s most consistent threat as a receiver. 

  • Receptions: 23 | Receiving Yards: 207 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Chase Claypool | #11

Has plenty of tools, but has underachieved badly. Too much size to not make combat catches. 

  • Receptions: 11 | Receiving Yards: 79 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 47 | Rushing TD’s: 0

George Pickens | #14

A soon to be force in the NFL. Pickens has already made one of the greatest catches of 2022 and may become Kenny Pickett’s favorite target.

  • Receptions: 11 | Receiving Yards: 167 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Myles Boykin | #82

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Calvin Austin III | #19

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Steven Sims | #13

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Pat Friermuth | #88

One of the better tight ends in the game, and should flourish with Pickett at quarterback.

  • Receptions: 18 | Receiving Yards: 223 | Receiving TD’s: 1

Zach Gentry | #81

Gentry is getting better each year and could make some noise in the redzone, especially in two tight end sets.

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 42 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Conner Heyward | #83

Plays hard and will shine when called upon to perform.

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Placekicker

Chris Boswell | #9

One of the best clutch kickers in the game.

  • Extra Points: 4-4
  • Field Goals: 6-8
  • 1-19 yards: 0-0
  • 20-29 yards: 1-1
  • 30-39 yards: 2-2
  • 40-49 yards: 1-2
  • 50+ yards: 2-3

*Injured/Out

 

Steelers Defense (Base 3-4)

Defensive Stats

  • Points per game allowed: 22.5
  • Total offense yards per game allowed: 383
  • Passing yards allowed: 251.5
  • Rushing yards allowed: 131.5
  • Sacks: 10
  • Interceptions: 7

 

Stat Leaders

Tackles

  • 44- Myles Jack
  • 32- Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • 26- Devin Bush
  • 24- Alex Highsmith
  • 16- Cam Heyward

 Sacks

  • 5.5- Alex Highsmith
  • 1- T.J. Watt, Robert Spillane, Arthur Maulet, and Cam Heyward

Interceptions

  • 3- Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • 2- Cam Sutton
  • 1- T.J. Watt and Ahkello Witherspoon

 

Defensive Starters

DE: Cam Heyward #97 | DT: Tyson Alualu #94 | DE: Larry Ogunjobi #99

One of the best 3-4 defensive lines in football. Cam Heyward is a future HOF and Larry Ogunjobi has been a major addition.

OLB: Malik Reed #50 | ILB: Devin Bush #55 | ILB: Myles Jack #51| OLB: Alex Highsmith #56

Highsmith leads the NFL with 5.5 sacks. Jack has been a beast and leads the team with 44 tackles.

CB: Levi Wallace #29 | SS: Terrell Edmunds #34 | FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick #39 | CB: Cameron Sutton #20

Fitzpatrick has been one of the best defensive backs in the NFL.

 

Steelers Special Teams

Kickoff Returners

Gunner Olszewski | #89

  • Average: 9.5 | TD Returns: 0

 

Punt Returner

Steven Sims | #82

Sims has great speed and will get a chance to return punts after Gunner Olszewski lost the job after muffing two punts.

  • Average: 0.0 | TD Returns: 0

 

Scouting the Buffalo Bills

Overall record: 3-1 (2nd in AFC East)

Last game: Buffalo 23 Ravens 20

Head Coach: Sean McDermott

  • 6th Season with Buffalo Bills 
  • Overall regular-season record: 52-33 | 52-33 with Bills
  • Playoff Record: 3-4 I 3-4 with the Bills

Team Links

 

Bills Offense

Offensive Stats

  • Points per game: 28.5
  • Total Offense per game: 422.3
  • Passing yards per game: 306.8
  • Rushing yards per game: 115.5

 

Quarterback

Josh Allen | #17

One of the best QB’s in the game, gifted with a cannon of an arm and also very mobile out of the pocket. A clone of Ben Roethlisberger.

  • Passing Yards: 1,227 | TD Passes: 10 | INT’s: 3 | Sacked: 8 | Rushing Yards: 183 | Rushing TD’s: 2

Back-up: Case Keenum | #18

 

Running Backs

Devin Singletary | #26

Has stepped up his game in 2022, becoming a dual threat out of the backfield.

  • Rushing Yards: 129 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 17 | Receiving Yards: 141 | Receiving TD’s: 1

Zach Moss | #20

Not utilized often, and has yet to live up to expectations.

  • Rushing Yards: 84 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 7 | Receiving Yards: 27 | Receiving TD’s: 0

James Cook | #28

Great speed out of the backfield and very dangerous in open space.

  • Rushing Yards: 58 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 37 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Reggie Gilliam | #41

  • Rushing Yards: 58 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 39 | Receiving TD’s: 1

 

Receivers

 Stephon Diggs | #14

One of the top receivers in the game and Allen’s top target.

  • Receptions: 31 | Receiving Yards: 406 | Receiving TD’s: 4

Gabe Davis | #13

Davis is still looking for his breakout game for the season, but his time will come.

  • Receptions: 8 | Receiving Yards: 138 | Receiving TD’s: 1

Isaiah McKenzie | #6

Becoming one of Allen’s most trusted targets inside the redzone. Suffered a concussion last week.

  • Receptions: 15 | Receiving Yards: 153 | Receiving TD’s: 3

Khalil Shakir | #10

The rookie WR may see plenty of action with Jamison Crowder now out and other receivers banged up.

  • Receptions: 2 | Receiving Yards: 23 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Jake Kumerow* | #15

  • Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 64 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Dawson Knox* | #88

Solid tight end that makes plays when  counted upon.

  • Receptions: 12 | Receiving Yards: 111 | Receiving TD’s: 0

Quintin Morris | #85

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 28 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Placekicker

Tyler Bass | #2

  • Extra Points: 13-13
  • Field Goals: 7-8
  • 1-19 yards: 0-0
  • 20-29 yards: 1-1
  • 30-39 yards: 4-5
  • 40-49 yards: 2-2
  • 50+ yards: 0-0

*Injured/out

 

Bills Defense (Base 4-3) 

Defensive Stats

  • Points per game allowed: 14.5
  • Total offense yards per game allowed: 234.5
  • Passing yards allowed: 150.8
  • Rushing yards allowed: 83.8
  • Sacks: 13
  • Interceptions: 7

 

Stat Leaders

Tackles

  • 27- Matt Milano
  • 26- Tremaine Edmunds
  • 23- Taron Johnson
  • 15- Kalir Elam and Greg Rousseau
  • 12- Jordan Poyer and Damar Hamlin

Sacks

  • 4- Greg Rousseau
  • 3- Von Miller
  • 1.5- Jordan Phillips and A.J. Epenesa
  • 1- Tremaine Edmunds and Boogie Basham

Interceptions

  • 1- D.J. Reed, Jr. and Ashryn Davis

 

Defensive Starters

DE: Greg Rousseau #50 | DT: Ed Oliver #91 | DT: DaQuan Jones #92 | DE: Von Miller #40

 

OLB: Terrel Bernard #43 | MLB: Tremaine Edmunds #49 | | OLB: Matt Milano #58

 

CB: Taron Johnson #7 | SS: Jordan Poyer* #21 | FS: Damar Hamlin #3 | CB: Dane Jackson #30

 

Bills Special Teams

Kickoff Returners

Isaiah McKenzie | #6

  • Average: 23.0 | TD Returns: 0

 

Punt Returner

Khalil Shakir | #10

  • Average: 0.0 | TD Returns: 0

 

Steelers vs Bills History

Series History: Began in 1970

Overall Record: 17-11

  • Home: 10-3
  • Away: 7-8
  • Postseason: 2-1

Streak: Steelers won the last game.

Last regular-season meeting: Steelers Win, 23-16 (Sept. 12, 2021)

Last postseason meeting: Steelers Win, 40-21 (Jan. 6, 1996)

 

Injury Report (10/7/22)

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • IR: LB T.J. Watt
  • Out: CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Hamstring)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: CB Cameron Sutton, S Terrell Edmunds

 

Buffalo Bills

  • IR: S Micah Hyde, CB Tre’Davious White
  • Out: CB Christian Benford (Hand), SS Jordan Poyer (Ribs), TE Dawson Knox (Knee), WR Jamison Crowder (Ankle), WR Jake Kumerow (Ankle)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring), WR Isaiah McKenzie (Concussion), DT Ed Oliver (Ankle), DT Jordan Phillips (Hamstring)

 

 

 

 

About Post Author

Mike Drakulich

From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team. There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all! As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football. For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
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Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!

By Mike Drakulich

From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team. There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all! As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football. For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!

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