Bills at Steelers

A Win Clinches Playoff Berth

WGR 550
December 15, 2019 - 5:36 am
Bills-Steelers
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(WBEN/WGR)  Bills reporrter Sal Capaccio says the Bills can clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.  Here are three keys to the game:

Duck calling

Steelers QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges has made quite a name for himself since becoming the team’s starting quarterback a few weeks ago.  He’s simply been asked to be a game-manager and not make mistakes, and he’s done exactly that, completing 75% of his passes with a pair of touchdowns and one interception.  He’s not lighting up the scoreboard or the leaderboard, but he plays within the confines of the offense, and then will put a few balls up for his receivers to go after.  The Bills need to make sure those chances aren’t completed and make Hodges feel and look like a rookie and force him into making some mistakes.

Perfect-O

Speaking of not making mistakes, that’s exactly how the Bills offense has to perform, as well, so they don’t give the Steelers short fields and easy scores, and maximize their own chances for points in what should be a low scoring game.  The Steelers defense is 6th in the NFL in fewest points allowed and top-5 in yards per play allowed overall, against the run and against the pass.  They also lead the league with 48 sacks and 33 takeaways, and are second to only the Patriots with 18 interceptions.  They’ll be ball-hawking both when Bills QB Josh Allen puts it up in the air and when he drops back, looking for strip sacks.  The Bills can’t give them those freebies.

Sunday Night Lights

The Bills played Thanksgiving Day in Dallas on national TV, but will now be playing on Sunday Night for the first time in 12 seasons and only the second time in the history of the show in its current format on NBC, which began in 2006.  Obviously many of the Bills players have played in night games with other teams or even in college with big programs, but for the organization and majority of players, it’s unfamiliar territory.  The Steelers as an organization, on the other hand, are very accustomed to this.  They’ve played 33 times NBC’s SNF, fifth-most in he NFL, compelling a 19-14 record.  They’ve already played once this year, winning at the Los Angeles Chargers, 24-17

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