Bills need a mistake free game against Pittsburgh

December 11, 2019 - 3:16 am

Getting the one required win that clinches a playoff spot for the Buffalo Bills likely won't come as easy as the other nine wins have in 2019.

While a favorable home matchup against the New York Jets in Week 17 is still on the schedule, potentially needing a win with just one game remaining isn't ideal.

Just ask the Jets, who missed the postseason in the same scenario back in 2016 thanks to a Bills upset win in Week 17.

If Buffalo wants to punch their ticket into the AFC playoffs before their season finale, quarterback Josh Allen and the offense will need to make plays they have struggled to make, at times, against top-tier defenses. Allen may not need to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers or New England Patriots, who both have extremely limited offenses, but the second-year quarterback needs to come through in critical situations.

Most importantly, they need to make limiting mistakes a top priority. Not turning the football over may seem like an obvious key to any win, but it reigns especially true against the opportunistic defenses the Bills get on the road the next two weeks.

Thanks to their defense, the Steelers have managed to get to an 8-5 record without almost any threat on offense to score points. Pittsburgh has held their opponent to under 20 yards in six of their last eight games, but they are also getting their offense short fields and scoring points themselves thanks to turnovers.

Allen can't have the multiple fumbles he had against the Baltimore Ravens last week. He can't have the three critical interceptions deep down the field that he threw against New England during their Week 4 matchup in Orchard Park.

The Wyoming product must know where Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is on the field at all times. What once was seen as a rip-off of a trade between the Steelers and the Miami Dolphins involving Fitzpatrick, now seems like a great move by Pittsburgh.

After losing starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season, the Steelers traded, what the Dolphins saw as, a potential top-five first round draft pick for Fitzpatrick.

A few months later, he may very well be the main reason Pittsburgh is 8-5 and in the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. Since coming over from Miami, he has 46 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovered, and most importantly five interceptions.

Minkah Fitzpatrick can make the Bills pay if they aren't careful. The entire Steelers defense can.

Only the Patriots have a better turnover differential this season than Pittsburgh. They also only trail New England in interceptions. The Steelers have picked off the opposing quarterback 18 times this year.

The Bills don't have to score 40 points this week to clinch a playoff spot, but the offense can't have the same performance it did against the Ravens.

Not only did Allen, once again, complete under 50% of his passes, including some erratic throws down the field against a really good defense, but his receivers dropped some big time passes deep as well.

The offensive line struggled too for Buffalo. A lot of Allen's accuracy issues down the field happen when he is rushed. When the pressure gets their before he even gets out of his drop, that is when the pure arm power takes over for the mechanics, and you see a lot of the overthrows.

Against a Steelers defense that leads the league in sacks? Against the likes of T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree? Buffalo has to be better in pass protection.

This is a premier defensive unit the Bills are going up against. Although the name "Duck" Hodges shouldn't strike a lot of fear in the hearts of the Buffalo defense, they cannot take the Steelers lightly.

That is 2005 nonsense.

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