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2020 GDT Week #14 Steelers at Bills


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Steelers vs. Bills GDT

11-1 Steelers @ 9-3 Bills

Sunday, December 13, 2020 @ 8:20 pm @ Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, NY

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Steelers lead the series 16-10-0 The Steelers have won 8 of the last 10. Last Meeting 12/15/2019, the Bills beat the Duck lead Steelers 17-10 in Pittsburgh. 

Perfect no more! The only thing perfect about this football team is nothing now. They are an imperfect but talented group, but yet have every intention and hope of getting back on track and winning. Game # 3 over a 12 day stretch. 

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Key Buffalo Bills Offensive Players: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs, RB Devon Singletary & Zach Moss, and OG Brian Winters

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Josh Allen is playing at an extremely high level of football. He has taken the next step in his development and growth and in a short time has become an elite QB with both his arm and legs.

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Steelers defenders have been going onto the sidelines and training rooms a lot of late.  It is going to take a complete effort to compete let alone win against a powerful offense like the Bills.

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Is the Steelers defense losing its grip and edge on opposing offenses with the injuries and added time spent on the field due to the lack of offensive production?

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Bills offense is playing like a #1 unit and their team is someone to contend with. They are more than capable of beating any team in the AFC or NFL.

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The Steelers need to take a moment to get their composure back. All is not lost, but it gets no easier this Sunday night in Buffalo. They need to catch their breath, get refocused and get back to playing physical Steelers football. The offense, defense and special need to work together. It's called complimentary football.

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For as much criticism as he gets, Ben is not the problem. The execution of the offense and finishing of drives is the problem. It would be nice to have a decent rushing attack to balance this offense, but this team is still only going to go as far as Big Ben's arm can carry them.

Key Buffalo Bills defensive Players: DL Ed Oliver, LB Tremaine Edmunds, CB Tre'Davious White, Safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde

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Steelers offense will face another stiff test in trying to score points against a stout Bills defense led by Tremaine Edmunds.

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Can the Steelers receivers catch fire again (or more importantly the ball)?

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James Connor comes back, but what affect will that have on the rushing attack? Connor, Snell, McFarland and Samuels cannot run without getting some holes opened up along the OL. Rushing has been nearly non existent the past several games.  This offense will need balance and without scoring is hardly in a position to play in a shootout with the BIlls. Matt Feiler is struggling at LG, so why not move him back to RT and give Dotson a shot? Chuks is very solid as a pass blocker, but Feiler is a road grader type of RT. It may jumpstart the run game and allow the OL to get some push. It's too late in the season to still have unanswered questions about your team. It is week 14. The answers should be here. It's getting late and the Steelers have not played a complete game.

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Bills will hope to get their hands on some tipped passes or fumbled balls from the loose fingered Steelers of late.  If you have to throw 50 times, you gotta start pump faking and doing some other routes as well. The defense is waiting for the two and three yard routes. 

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Steelers TE Eric Ebron and the rest of the receiving corps have something to prove. They have dropped at least 12 balls the last two games. Those are drive killers and put the offense in negative down in distance positions. Let Chase run something other than his typical streak or up and out long. Get him the ball in space and let him do something. The intermediate passing game needs to open up more.

Who is going to win?

I know it is only one loss, but it has been a bunch of frustrating games. Dropped passes, no offensive consistency, slow starts on offense, injuries, bad luck, and a host of other issues including game changes every other day and coming off facing a well rested team versus one that played two games five days apart. Yada, yada, yada. Most thought that this game would be loss number one. Tough hungry team at home, looking to make a statement against an unbeaten team.  Part of that scenario is no more. Buffalo is a legit contender and Pittsburgh is struggling through a lot. I am a homer, but I cannot reasonably pic the Steelers to win this game they way they have been playing of late. The Hatorade will be poured on heavy and often. Bills over Steelers 27-23. We never seem to do anything easy and now everyone will be on the Browns bandwagon as the Steelers drop not one, but two games. Three left with two on e the road and another tough home game against the Colts. Yikes!!!!! 

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I love my team, but they have to prove me wrong here. I don't see them winning playing like they have been. I really hope I am wrong here.....

Edited by Steeler Hitman
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2 hours ago, Steeler Hitman said:

I like to show the big nasty's some love.

 

Which is fair. But for the Bills you picked a non starter and a horrible player.

Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano or Dion Dawkins all would make much more sense. 

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I know the old heads around here aren't going to like this, but I think we're going to have to throw our way out of this funk. We aren't going to be able to run the ball until we start throwing it better, and more efficiently. The main reason why we can't run(other than not trying lol) is because everyone is sitting on the LOS. Everyone knows we aren't pushing the ball down the field, so they just sit around at the LOS waiting on short passes. That gunks up the works and keeps us from establishing a run game. We need to come out and start popping the ball 10-15 yards down the field. That will loosen up defenses and allow us to run a little. The quick passes with the occasional bad deep shot and complete lack of run game has us stuck in the mud. Just like what @August4th said, we need to work the ball to JuJu and Ebron down the seams. Diontae is good with the intermediate routes, so is Washington. Claypool has the ability too. Plus, I know this is blasphemous but Samuel looked pretty quick with the ball in his hands against WFT.  

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1 hour ago, Trentwannabe said:

Which is fair. But for the Bills you picked a non starter and a horrible player.

Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano or Dion Dawkins all would make much more sense. 

Thanks for the correction. I am getting him confused then. You have an interior OL who is working some DL's over. (It is your C Mitch Morse). What's your thoughts on the game?

Edited by Steeler Hitman
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2 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:
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I know the old heads around here aren't going to like this, but I think we're going to have to throw our way out of this funk. We aren't going to be able to run the ball until we start throwing it better, and more efficiently.

I agree, but I also think they have become very stale with what they are trying to do. The field seems smaller because everyone is bunched up near the lOS and the plays have been pretty predictable. I hate the one and two yard routes. The receivers don't have enough room or space to shake anyone.

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The main reason why we can't run(other than not trying lol) is because everyone is sitting on the LOS. Everyone knows we aren't pushing the ball down the field, so they just sit around at the LOS waiting on short passes.

The intermediate passing game is there. I know they are concerned about the rush (avoid Ben taking a lot of hits) and getting the ball out quickly, but where everyone is bunched up as you said, they need to get behind them and in front of the safeties. There is yardage to be had, provided we can hold onto the football. 

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That gunks up the works and keeps us from establishing a run game. We need to come out and start popping the ball 10-15 yards down the field. That will loosen up defenses and allow us to run a little. The quick passes with the occasional bad deep shot and complete lack of run game has us stuck in the mud.

Facts and ugly truth. I still see that they could have had more success with better execution (holding onto some balls), but the offense has lack cohesion and consistency and it is preventing The Steelers from playing complimentary football. The defense has come out strong the past two games. If they had any semblance of offensive support, the games could have been essentially over by halftime. They could have taken the Ravens and WFT completely out of their offensive game plans. 

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Just like what @August4th said, we need to work the ball to JuJu and Ebron down the seams.

I am sure that Ben and the rest of the team has confidence in Ebron making plays, but he has to step his receiving game back up after two bad games catching (or not catching, I should say).  He would be perfect in that role, but I also think there are receptions and better blocking as well with Vance getting some more reps and Derek Watt catching a few balls. As you said, our offense has become very predictable in what they are doing. A comment echoed by Montez Sweat after the WFT game loss. 

Diontae is good with the intermediate routes, so is Washington. Claypool has the ability too. Plus, I know this is blasphemous but Samuel looked pretty quick with the ball in his hands against WFT.  

It has been said for quite some time that he is our best receiving RB. I had no problem with the call and match-up on the fourth down throw that we missed and contributed to the loss against WFT. But why Anthony McFarland in a key situation? They didn't want to put pressure or stress on the new kicker, but they turned around and essentially did the same with McFarland that situation. To your point, why not a sure handed RB in Samuels instead of the struggling rookie? This is not afterthought arm-chair QBing. If they converted, I would have still thought that they took a bad gamble.  Yes we have more offensive weapons that could be used.  I like Mcfarland and think he is going to be solid for us one day. But right now, the game seems too fast for him. He does not seem to have adjusted to NFL speed. Part of it can be, to your point, that everything is jammed up by opposing defense. he doesn't have space to get loose. I have been waiting to see him cut loose and make some big plays.  He just can't seem to get it going. While I am not a fan of Samuels rushing (despite the great game against the Patriots a few years ago), he certainly has proven that he can catch consistently of given the opportunity. Very good post by you sir!

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17 minutes ago, TXsteeler said:

Play calling has been trash. How many quick passes behind the los that go for negative 2 to 5 yards can we have in one season?

Exactly. These passes work if they catch a defense off guard. We do them so constantly that everyone expects it. 

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6 hours ago, TXsteeler said:

Play calling has been trash. How many quick passes behind the los that go for negative 2 to 5 yards can we have in one season?

we will find out at seasons end, but it will be a team record no doubt.  Trash indeed, ben picked the OC and he isn't complaining is he 9_9. Will we even try to run vs the bill and if so, how effective will the run game be?

it's been a while since we played good vs a good team, what will you expect the outcome for this game to be? Hopes are Haden and or Nelson are playing, but if both are out that's problem right there. 

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9 hours ago, Steeler Hitman said:

Thanks for the correction. I am getting him confused then. You have an interior OL who is working some DL's over. (It is your C Mitch Morse). What's your thoughts on the game?

I think the way the Bills are playing right now they are tough for anyone to beat. As weird as it may sound, had Pittsburgh won on Monday, I would feel very confident in a Bills victory. But I think that loss may have woken them up and in the long run been good for them. 
 

I’ll be interested to see the injury report for Pittsburgh. I know Watt will be an issue. Allen does fumble a lot and has some errant throws so if he is off and the Bills give Pittsburgh too many chances then I think they’ll lose. Right now I’m leaning a Bills victory 30-21.

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1 hour ago, Trentwannabe said:

I think the way the Bills are playing right now they are tough for anyone to beat. As weird as it may sound, had Pittsburgh won on Monday, I would feel very confident in a Bills victory. But I think that loss may have woken them up and in the long run been good for them. 
 

I’ll be interested to see the injury report for Pittsburgh. I know Watt will be an issue. Allen does fumble a lot and has some errant throws so if he is off and the Bills give Pittsburgh too many chances then I think they’ll lose. Right now I’m leaning a Bills victory 30-21.

Nelson had a knee, Haden a concussion, so CB1 and CB2 will be recovering and wait to see if they are playing. ILB Sillane too, hurt his knee. Thats all I know , so see how this goes for sunday

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13 hours ago, Trentwannabe said:

Allen does fumble a lot and has some errant throws

This is where I'm interested to see what happens. Alex Smith is Captain Checkdown. Against the Steelers the last 2 seasons, living to play another day is so extremely important. Alex Smith kept the ball safe, and eventually something would happen. Check down 5 times, but the 6th would break a tackle for a big gain. He got some bigger strikes late in the game when Haden and Spillane were out and we were down our top 2 CB's and both ILB not being cover guys.  Just by virtue of health and a week of starters reps and preparation for Avery and guys like Marcus Allen/Brooks/Davis should help alleviate our late game communication problems. 

I haven't watched enough Bills game (which, sucks because they are fun), but I dont get the feeling Allen passes up chances to throw the ball down the field often. You can obviously correct me if I am wrong there. I always think you dont want to do what the other team wants you to do...and what I want the Bills to do is throw the ball down the field. I'm comfortable with our front 4-5 getting pressure and more than happy to give Minkah a few shots to make a play. We could end up getting gashed, but I would prefer you to attack our strongest position right now (if all the DBs are healthy) than work our underneath guys (Williams, Avery, Backup safeties playing LB). 

Probably a good week to see Edmunds roll up in Nickle/dime with Sutton replacing him in a deep half. 

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13 hours ago, Trentwannabe said:

I think the way the Bills are playing right now they are tough for anyone to beat. As weird as it may sound, had Pittsburgh won on Monday, I would feel very confident in a Bills victory.

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But I think that loss may have woken them up and in the long run been good for them. 

Yep! I honestly never understood that thinking by so many football players, fans and teams. "Glad we got that loss out of the way!" Our TE Eric Ebron tweeted the very same thing. You know at the beginning of the year how many games you have and what you have to do to reach your goal (winning the Super Bowl). You are not going to play at your peak every single game, but if you are a good team, you should beat the teams that you are more talented, experienced or skilled than. I could understand a rookie falling prey to this thinking, but a veteran? I just don't understand. They played poorly against the Ravens and I get it, the second time, changes, delays, thrown off schedule, etc,. etc., etc,. However, there was no excuse to come out lethargic and play poorly. That was Wednesday and now we have our heads on straight after playing poorly. Very dangerous thinking in my opinion. This is what cost this team in 2016 and 2017. They felt like they could turn it on and off when they wanted. New England and Jacksonville silenced and humbled them. Now after under-acheiving you are good now that you are playing a hungry team that knocked you out of the play-off's last year at home. 🙏You may very well be right, but this kind of thinking is something I just have never been able to wrap my arms around. I just hope it doesn't bite us in the butt again. 
 

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I’ll be interested to see the injury report for Pittsburgh.

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https://steelersdepot.com/2020/12/steelers-wednesday-injury-report-week-14-boswell-haden-spillane-all-sidelined-nelson-full-participant/

K Boswell, ILB Spillane, CB Nelson and CB Haden, DL Wormley are the concerns right now. RB Connors came off the Covid-19 list and they will update C Pouncey's progress/availability today or tomorrow.

I know Watt will be an issue. Allen does fumble a lot and has some errant throws so if he is off and the Bills give Pittsburgh too many chances then I think they’ll lose. Right now I’m leaning a Bills victory 30-21.

As I am as well, but this team is so Dr.Jekyll/Mr. Hyde they may come out like an out of control train. Even as a Steelers fan, I have to pick the Bills. Buffalo is definitely playing more consistent football, but I also wouldn't be surprised either way the way my Steelers are. 😳 Thanks for the input.

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