The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills would be in the playoffs if it started today. The Buffalo Bills lead the Wild Card in the AFC and the Steelers have the final spot. The Bills has an 9-4 record and Pittsburgh comes in 8-5. Both of these teams possess one of the best defenses in the league. With young quarterbacks on both sides, this Sunday Night game figured to be controlled by the defenses. If Buffalo were to win any of their final three games, they make the playoffs. Since the Bills have the Patriots next week, this game was a must have for the Bills.
With the Titans losing to Houston, the Steelers have a little cushion coming into this game. This is the home finale for the Steelers as they hit the road against the Jets and Ravens. With the Steelers facing the Ravens in the final game, you would think they really need this one. Let’s see how things turned out.
In Pittsburgh’s first two possessions, Buffalo held their own. During the second possession, Tre’Davious White intercepted Delvin Hodges to give the Bills offense the ball back. Buffalo didn’t do anything on their first possession but moved the ball on the second one. As the first quarter ended, the game was scoreless with the Bills driving. Less than a minute into the second quarter, Buffalo got on the board. Josh Allen scored on a 1-yard rush. Pittsburgh moved the ball down field and scored on a 49 yard field goal. After going back and forth, Josh Allen tossed an interception. The Steelers returned it deep into the Bills territory. Pittsburgh turned the ball over due to a fumble as they ran the Wildcat formation. Buffalo ran the time out and went into halftime with a 7-3 lead.
Pittsburgh opened the second half by marching down the field and into the Bills red zone. Delvin Hodges hit James Connor for a 11-yard TD pass. The Steelers took the 10-7 lead on the seven play, 69-yard drive that took less than four minutes. Buffalo was putting together a good drive, but they turned it over again. Devin Singletary has a great run but was stripped and recovered by the Steelers. Buffalo’s defense stepped up as they held the Steelers to a 3-and-out. Buffalo didn’t do much with their possession either. With the next possession for Pittsburgh, they were putting together a nice drive. Tre’Davious White picked Hodges off again and returned it for 50 yards. The quarter ended with Buffalo inside the Steeler 20 yard line.
The Pittsburgh defense held the Bills to a field goal and the score was knotted up at 10 with 12:23 remaining. After stopping the Steelers, Buffalo marched down the field. Josh Allen hit John Brown for a 30 yard pass. A few plays later, Allen hit Tyler Kroft for a 14 yard touchdown. With less than 8 minutes remaining, the Bills took a 17-10 lead. They traded 3-and-outs with Pittsburgh getting the ball back with a little over 5 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh was driving down the field till they got to the 2-minute warning and 4th & 7. With two timeouts remaining, this was the game and I’d lose another one on my predictions.
Hodges went for it all but was intercepted by Jordan Foyer and making his 3rd INT thrown. The Steelers were able to stop Buffalo on three consecutive runs and forced a punt. Pittsburgh tried to tie the game, but Hodges was intercepted in the end zone with a few seconds remaining. Buffalo won 17-10 and raises their record to 10-4. They travel to New England next weekend as they’ve clinched a playoff berth. With the loss, Pittsburgh falls to 8-6 and stay tied with Tennessee for the final Wild Card spot. The Steelers travel to New York to battle the Jets next weekend.