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Friday, November 08, 2013

Who I like, Buffalo version

The Steelers have allowed 197 yards rushing in back-to-back games to fall to 31st in the NFL against the  run.

They're better than that, but there's no doubt the run defense hasn't been up to snuff this season.

That’s bad news against the Bills. With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Buffalo runs the ball as well as anyone. The Bills average 145.3 yards rushing per game. Add in E.J. Manuel doing some running  out of the read-option as well, and the Bills can hurt the Steelers on the ground.

Buffalo also has some premium pass rushers, led by Mario Williams, and is third in the NFL in sacks.

Like the Steelers, the Bills have found ways to pull defeated out of the jaws of victory.

The Steelers are 3-point favorites in this game and could certainly win it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Ben Roethlisberger has a lot of success throwing the ball. Buffalo has allowed an amazing 20 touchdown passes already this season.

But the feeling is that the Bills will control this game with their rushing attack and squeak out a win.

Take Buffalo, 21-20


Anonymous said...

Boy Dale, you break my heart. You were the beacon of light in that dark night, one of the few who could mention the P word without snickering, the eternal optimist. Is losing by 1 being optimistic?

Dale Lolley said...

Just can't pick this team right now. Wouldn't surprise me at all if they won this game. In fact, as you can guess, it was a game I assumed they'd win all season.

But Buffalo went for over 200 yards last week against Kansas City on the ground. Bills will be able to run it and run it well.

Anonymous Brian said...

Initial thoughts are that - especially with Gilbert & Adams injuries - the O-line can't block M. & K. Williams or Dareus. Then there's the Buffalo running game like Dale says.

That's a pretty amazing stat about the 20 TD passes given up, though. So I'll go with Pittsburgh, 23-16, thinking Ben will make enough plays and Manuel will make some rusty mistakes.

(Then again, wouldn't surprise me if Buffalo was constantly in 2nd-and-3 situations, and Manuel won't even have a chance to make mistakes, and they lose by 17. Have no idea what to expect anymore, other than sloppiness on offense and the other team usually having a better front 7 than our O-line, and vice-versa.)

Dale Lolley said...

That's the thing, Brian, you just don't know what to expect out of this team.

They've been in every game and found a way to lose. And even one of the games they dominated, against Baltimore, they found a way to let the Ravens get close.

It wouldn't shock me, though, if they beat the Bills as badly as they beat the Jets. Very similar teams offensively.

Buffalo has a better pass rush, but still gives up 115 on the ground. The Jets were tough to run on, but easy to throw against.

Anonymous said...

We know exactly what to expect from this team at this point. That's the problem. :(

Can't see how they can be favored in any game going forward. They hand the ball to the other team waaaay too much, home or away.

Anonymous said...

Steelers will need to jump out on top early with a big lead to put the pressure on Manuel to pass for them to win. Considering their slow starts this season, I don't see that happening. Buffalo by 10.

Dale Lolley said...

They're favored this week. Might be favored next week against Detroit - I'm guessing it opens at pick or Pitt minus 1.

Will definitely be favored against Cleveland and Miami at home.

Patrick said...

lets assume its the steelers v. buf rushing game and EJ Manuel. In that scenario, how do you lose? Play the run tight and let Manuel, off of the injury-rookie beat you. How often does that happen?

I think the Steelers beat this team up. But then again, I thought that against Oak.

I say Steelers 27-10 still.

Anonymous said... says Ben has demanded a trade. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

That trade thing is fiction. I agree with Patrick.

Zac in Tempe