Either team could clinch a playoff spot on Sunday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) face the Buffalo Bills (9-3).
Pittsburgh lost their unbeaten record in a shock 23-17 defeat against Washington last week.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said the offense [via pittsburghsteelers.com] “haven’t been physical enough,” but the return of running-back James Conner and centre Maurkice Pouncey from the Covid-19 list should help.
Linebackers Vince Williams (Covid-19) and Robert Spillane (knee) are out.Embed from Getty Images
The Steelers second-ranked defense, which leads the league in sacks with 44, should match-up well with Buffalo’s fourth-ranked passing offense, but the absence of all-pro cornerback Joe Haden (concussion) is big when Bills receiver Stefon Diggs has a league-high 90 catches.
“You can’t centre all your attention on his exploits, (Cole) Beasley inside is a handful to be reckoned with,” said Tomlin.
He added that it was “critical” to keep outside contain on Bills quarterback Josh Allen “because of his abilities to extend plays and to scramble.”Embed from Getty Images
Buffalo, coming off a 34-24 win over San Francisco on Monday night, are without Jaquan Johnson (ankle) at safety.
Head coach Sean McDermott said [via buffalobills.com]: “We’re humble enough to know we haven’t played our best game yet.”
Pittsburgh’s nearest rival for the number-one seed, Kansas City, and Buffalo’s main AFC East challenger, Miami, play each other this week.
The Bills won this match-up last season 17-10.
Predicted Score – Steelers 21-20 Bills
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