Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day: Buffalo Bills Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers GameDay Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! Steel City Underground is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a weekly game story, Steelers keys […]

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills: A Complete History of the Rivalry

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo BillsTimothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL’s 100th season, a look at the Steelers and Bills, now and through history.

With all the NFL 100th Season lists, I’ve been thinking about the histories of various Steeler rivalries. So every week for the rest of the year, I’ll post a retrospective preview, considering the two teams and setting up for the upcoming game.

This week: Buffalo Bills


2019 Comparison

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo BillsPhoto by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Current Records:

Pittsburgh : 8-5 (2nd AFC North)
Buffalo : 9-4 (2nd AFC East)

2019 Off/Def Comparisons:

………………………………… Overall……….. Pass ……….. Rush……….. Score

Pittsburgh Offense……..290 (28th)…….196 (31st)……..95 (25th)…….19.9 (23rd)
Buffalo Defense………….297 (3rd)……..192 (3rd)…….105 (14th)……16.3 (2nd)

Buffalo Offense……………342 (20th)………207 (27th)…..135 (5th)………21.1 (20th)
Pittsburgh Defense………311 (5th)………..210 (5th)……101 (9th)………18.6 (6th)

2019 Defensive Comparisons (advanced stats):

Percentage of opponent drives that end in a …score / …turnover / (net difference)

Pittsburgh……28.3……21.1…..(-7.2)
Buffalo..………22.3…….10.1…..(-12.2)

Opponent Passing …TDs / …INTs / (net difference)

Pittsburgh.…..21…..18…..(-3)*
Buffalo………..12……9…..(-3)

*The Steelers gave up 6 passing TDs and grabbed 0 INTs in the two weeks before Minkah Fitzpatrick arrived. That brings their TD/INT difference to +3 over the past 11 weeks.

Opponent Passer Rating:

Pittsburgh……81.2*
Buffalo….…….77.5

*The Steelers allowed a passer rating of 131.3 before Fitzpatrick showed up. Their team rating in the last 11 weeks has been 71.5.

Opponent rushing TDs

Pittsburgh.……5
Buffalo…..……11

Opponent Rushing yards per carry

Pittsburgh.……3.78
Buffalo……..….4.39


HISTORY:

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

All-Time Records:

Steelers : 664-583-22 (.532)
Buffalo : 438-496-8 (.471)

Steelers have the 4th most wins in NFL history; 11th best all time winning percentage. Buffalo is 23rd in both wins and winning percentage.

Since Merger:

Steelers : 502-315-3 (.614)
Buffalo : 371-425-2 (.467)

The Steelers are the winningest team in the NFL since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. The Bills are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals at 22nd.

This Century:

Steelers : 212-115-2 (.648)
Buffalo : 136-181-0 (.429)

The Steelers are the #2 team in the NFL this millennium. Buffalo sits at #28.

Coach in Common:

Mike Mularkey (Steelers Tight End 1989-91, Tight Ends Coach 1996-2000, Offensive Coordinator 2001-03; Bills Head Coach 2004-05)

Mularkey made a pro bowler out of Kordell Stewart in his first year as Steelers O.C., then rode Tommy Maddox to a playoff run the following year. His reward was a two-year run heading the Bills, in which a 14-18 record was enough for the Wilson family to pull the rip-cord. Bizarrely, Mularkey keeps getting head coaching opportunities (Jacksonville 2012, Tennessee 2014-15), but never seems to get more than a season or two to turn a team around.

What Number 4 Represents:

Steelers : Four Super Bowl Titles from 1974-79 (4-0)
Buffalo : Four Super Bowl appearances from 1990-93 (0-4)

All-Time Running Back Controversy:

Steelers : Franco Harris (1972-83) vs Jerome Bettis (1996-2005)
Buffalo : O.J. Simpson (1969-77) vs Thurman Thomas (1988-99)

Best Penn State Linebacker:

Steelers : Jack Ham (1971-82)
Buffalo : Shane Conlan (1987-95)

(Note: Buffalo coach Marv Levy drafted three linebackers from PSU in the 80s, explaining, “as Gloria Venderbilt said, you can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many Penn State linebackers.”)

Longest Stretch of Failure:

Steelers : 1933-71 – zero playoff wins, one (unscheduled) playoff appearance
Buffalo : 2000-2019 – zero playoff wins, one playoff appearance

Division Rivals in another Universe?

Distance Pittsburgh and Buffalo : 214.7 miles
Nearest AFC East team to Buffalo: NY Jets – 373.4 miles
Distance Pittsburgh to Cincinnati: 289 miles
Distance Pittsburgh to Baltimore: 248 miles
* only the Cleveland Browns are closer to the Steelers than Buffalo


HEAD TO HEAD:

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills

All-Time Series:

Steelers : 16 – 9

Playoff Series:

Steelers : 2 – 1

Current Streak:

Steelers : 6w

Longest Streak:

Steelers : 6 games (2001-16)
Buffalo : 5 games (1986-93) *includes one playoff game

First game:

October 11, 1970
Steelers : 23
Buffalo : 10

This was the Steelers’ first win in 17 games, having finished Chuck Noll’s first season on a 13 game losing streak, and starting 1970 at 0-3. They’d finish the year on a promising run, going 5-6 after that winless start. But this was not a good team. The defense held O.J. Simpson to 60 yards on the day, and Steeler quarterbacks (Terry Hanratty and rookie Terry Bradshaw) combined for a stat line of 7-22, 50 yards and a touchdown. Yikes. The Steelers young D (already featuring Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Andy Russel, and L.C. Greenwood) records five sacks and five takeaways, and that’s enough to take the day.

Most Recent game:

December 11, 2016
Steelers : 27
Buffalo : 20

Le’Veon Bell carries 38 times for a team record 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers shut down a scrappy Bills team in the Buffalo snow. Ben Roethlisberger had an uncharacteristically ugly game, throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns, so Bell had to carry the day, and he did. This Steelers team had started 4-5, before going on a tremendous nine game winning streak (including two playoff victories). This was the fourth victory in the run, and the only one in which they ran for more yards than they passed.

Biggest Game in the Series:

December 22, 1974 (AFC Divisional Playoff)
Steelers : 32
Buffalo : 14

This was the first poststeason step on the Steelers journey to the first of their four 1970s Super Bowl victories. The Steelers scored 26 points in the second quarter, as Franco Harris ran for three touchdowns and Rocky Bleier added a short touchdown reception in the quarter. The Steelers defense held O.J. Simpson to 49 yards, and kept Buffalo to 100 as a team, while they ran for 235 yards themselves. This game was also an example of a suffocating defense, but not a big-play D: the Steelers recorded one takeaway and zero sacks, and yet outgained the Bills by 174 yards. The win sent the Steelers to Oakland for a conference title tilt with the hated Raiders.

Other Memorable Games:

November 28, 2010
Steelers : 19*OT
Buffalo : 16

The Steelers were on their way to their second Super Bowl in three years; the Bills would finish the season 4-12. This should have been a rout, but somehow Buffalo hung in there and knotted the score at 16 at the final gun. On to overtime, where Ryan Fitzpatrick (yup) caught the Steelers secondary out of position and threw the game winner deep to Stevie Johnson, who dropped it. This opened the door for Rashard Mendenhall (151 rushing yards) to set up Shaun Suisham’s game winning field goal.

Amazingly, Johnson logged into Twitter after the game and answered one of the great sports questions: since winners always seem to thank God for their success, why does no one ever blame God when they fail? Johnson’s tweet: “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…” Reading about it later, many of us thought this was an Onion headline at first. Nope.

January 2, 2005
Steelers : 29
Buffalo : 24

The Steelers entered the contest at 14-1, having already clinched the AFC’s number 1 seed, while Buffalo needed a win to sneak into the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. The game seemed like a perfect opportunity for the Bills, as the Steelers rested their starters. Unfortunately, the Steelers JV squad was still the better team. The game is significant in that it completed the only 15-1 season in AFC history. As a side story, since Duce Staley was still injured, Bill Cowher rested Jerome Bettis, and was forced to start an undrafted rookie running back named Willie Parker, who recorded 102 yards in his first NFL start. As so often happened in those days, the game sealing points came from the defense, as a backup OLB named James Harrison brought back a fumble 18 yards for a fourth quarter touchdown.

January 6, 1996 (AFC Divisional Playoffs)
Steelers : 40
Buffalo : 21

The Steelers get playoff revenge for their 1993 loss (see below) by trouncing the fading Bills dynasty. The Steelers will host Indianapolis the next week, and when the dust settles, Pittsburgh will wind up in the Super Bowl to take on the Bills’ nemesis and their own 70s whipping boys, the Dallas Cowboys. It will be the Steelers’ first Super Bowl in 15 years.

January 9, 1993 (AFC Divisional Playoffs)
Steelers ; 3
Buffalo : 24

The two-time defending AFC champion Bills had survived the Wildcard round by executing the biggest comeback in NFL history, defeating the Houston Oilers 41-38 after trailing 35-3. Meanwhile, the Steelers came in fresh, after rookie coach Bill Cowher led them to the AFC’s #1 seed. On paper, the game reads like a passing of the torch, particularly since the Bills would be starting backup quarterback Frank Reich in place of future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. Unfortunately, Buffalo is not ready to let go of the conference’s mantle. The Bills defense will sack Neil O’Donnell seven times and force three turnovers without committing one themselves (the Steelers had led the league in takeaways in 1993 with a whopping 46). In the end, the Bills blast the Steelers at Three Rivers, and qualify for their third straight Super Bowl. There, they will be trounced by the Dallas Cowboys 52-17, in a game most famous for Bills wideout Don Beebe running down a showboating Leon Lett before Lett can reach the end zone and score on a fumble return. Kind of an anticlimax, but I guess those happen sometimes.

Podcast: Can the Steelers prove their worth vs. the Bills in Week 15?

The Steelers have only beaten one team with a winning record, but Pittsburgh can silence the doubters with a win on Sunday night.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the verge of a playoff berth, but there are doubters out there who feel this team has only beaten bad teams and aren’t worthy of the playoffs. Can the Steelers beat the 9-4 Bills and prove to they are indeed worthy?

This is a tough question, and one where they can be multiple responses/answers to. This is going to be the talking point in the latest podcast.

Plenty has to be deciphered here, and Jeff Hartman lays it all out there for the listeners in the latest show…

Check out the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section below!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

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Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Distribution Maps: What games will you see in Week 15 before the Steelers and Bills play?

The Steelers are playing the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 on Sunday Night Football. Will you get to see before the showdown?

If you were like me, before I decided to sign up for the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package every week I was wondering whether I’d be able to watch my beloved Steelers in the comfort of my own home, or if I’d have to go elsewhere to watch the game.

Before there were websites devoted to this, it meant a lengthy trip on the television guide screen to see which game was scheduled to air, but now it’s just a click away.

Since anyone with standard cable will get to see the Steelers and Bills go head-to-head in Week 15, check out which games you’ll see in your local viewing area leading up to the prime time showdown.

For those who want to know which game they’ll see, check the map below, courtesy of 506 Sports:

CBS Single Game

RED: Texans at Titans
GREEN: Vikings at Chargers (LATE)
YELLOW: Jaguars at Raiders (LATE)
BLUE: Broncos at Chiefs
PINK: Browns at Cardinals (LATE)
LIGHT BLUE: Patriots at Bengals


FOX Early Game

RED: Bears at Packers
GREEN: Seahawks at Panthers
YELLOW: Buccaneers at Lions
BLUE: Eagles at Washington
GREY: No Game


FOX Late Game

RED: Rams at Cowboys
BLUE: Falcons at 49ers


So, how will you be watching the game? At home? At a bar? Hosting a party? Either way, today is the day to get pumped!!

HERE WE GO!!

Jokic returns to form with triple-double vs. OKC

12:00 AM ET

Associated Press

DENVER — Breaking out of a mini-slump, Nikola Jokic is reasserting himself as the centerpiece of the Denver Nuggets’ offense.

Jokic had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season, leading the Nuggets past the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-102 on Saturday night.

Jokic now has 32 regular-season triple-doubles to tie Rajon Rondo for 11th on the career list. The stat line signaled his return to form after a series of off-target shooting performances and sluggish ball movement that bogged down the Nuggets’ attack over the last two weeks.

“He’s definitely well past rounding back into form,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “For Nikola, getting past those struggles that everybody goes through, it’s just handling that adversity, staying with it and finding a way to stay aggressive, knowing that’s the only way you’re going to right the

Lillard, Portland set for matchup with Phoenix

Portland Trail Blazers (10-16, 12th in the Western Conference) vs. Phoenix Suns (11-14, eighth in the Western Conference)

Phoenix; Monday, 9 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers square off against the Phoenix Suns. Lillard currently ranks eighth in the NBA scoring 26.3 points per game.

The Suns are 7-10 in conference games. Phoenix is 1-5 in games when losing the turnover battle and averages 13.8 turnovers.

The Trail Blazers have gone 6-11 against Western Conference opponents. Portland is 4-14 when opponents win the rebound battle and averages 46.3 rebounds per game.

The Suns and Trail Blazers face off Monday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cameron Johnson ranks second on the Suns with 2.0 made 3-pointers and averages 9.2 points while shooting 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. Dario Saric has averaged 10 rebounds and added 13.8 points per game over the last

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks take on the Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks (17-8, third in the Western Conference) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (24-3, first in the Eastern Conference)

Milwaukee; Monday, 8 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee into a matchup with Dallas. He ranks second in the NBA averaging 31.0 points per game.

The Bucks are 13-1 in home games. Milwaukee is seventh in the league with 25.8 assists per game. Eric Bledsoe leads the Bucks averaging 5.7.

The Mavericks have gone 9-2 away from home. Dallas is 10-3 when it wins the turnover battle and averages 12.8 turnovers per game.

The Bucks and Mavericks match up Monday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 12.8 rebounds and averages 31 points. Khris Middleton has averaged 18.7 points and collected 5.1 rebounds while shooting 55.0 percent over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.

Tim Hardaway Jr. ranks second on the Mavericks averaging 2.5 made

Denver and New York to meet for cross-conference contest

New York Knicks (6-20, 14th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Denver Nuggets (16-8, fourth in the Western Conference)

Denver; Sunday, 8 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets host Julius Randle and the New York Knicks in a non-conference matchup.

The Nuggets are 10-3 on their home court. Denver is 7-2 in games decided by at least 10 points.

The Knicks are 3-10 in road games. New York leads the Eastern Conference with 12.1 offensive rebounds per game led by Mitchell Robinson averaging 3.1.

The teams meet for the second time this season. The Nuggets won 129-92 in the last matchup on Dec. 5. Will Barton led Denver with 17 points, and Robinson led New York with 17 points.

TOP PERFORMERS: Barton leads the Nuggets averaging 1.9 made 3-pointers and scoring 14.9 points per game while shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the arc. Jokic has averaged 11.1

Morant and Memphis take on Miami in non-conference play

Miami Heat (19-7, third in the Eastern Conference) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (9-17, 13th in the Western Conference)

Memphis; Monday, 8 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat take on Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies in non-conference action.

The Grizzlies are 4-11 in home games. Memphis ranks second in the Western Conference with 26.5 assists per game led by Morant averaging 6.4.

The Heat are 8-6 in road games. Miami ranks second in the Eastern Conference shooting 37.9 percent from downtown. Duncan Robinson leads the Heat shooting 44 percent from 3-point range.

The teams square off for the second time this season. The Heat won 120-101 in the last matchup on Oct. 23. Justise Winslow led Miami with 27 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 17 points.

TOP PERFORMERS: Morant is shooting 46.2 percent and averaging 18.7 points. Tyus Jones has averaged 5.2 assists and