The 2021 NFL regular season continues Sunday with the 6pm Sky Sports matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills. Our resident NFL writer Liz Bhandari from NFLGirlUK.com takes a deeper look at what to expect from the Steelers @ Bills.
The Steelers got off to a fantastic 11-0 start to the 2020 season but crumbled towards the end of the year. They lost four of their next five games and were absolutely blown out by their divisional rivals, the Cleveland Browns, in the Wild Card game. Meanwhile, the Bills finished in first place in their division and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game, where they sadly lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Steelers are going to need their offense to return to the form that we have are expecting. Their passing game seemed to be the only facet of their offense last season, but Najee Harris could change that entirely. Harris is going to combine with Benny Snell Jr. in the backfield to work behind an average offensive line against a Buffalo defensive front that was ranked 17th in the league last season. When it comes to the passing game, Pittsburgh has more than enough talent. Ben Roethlisberger is returning for yet another season and looked fantastic during a couple of preseason drives. He has Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson running routes for him this year with Harris to take some pressure off his shoulders. The Pittsburgh defense is fantastic with a bunch of stars such as Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt and should handle Josh Allen and the Bills nicely here. I would say that the Steelers offense is the determining factor for them if they want to win this ball game.
The Bills are in a similar situation. Will their defense be able to contain Roethlisberger and the rest of this high-powered offense? Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs will be able to get points onto the board at some point in this game but at some point, their defense will have to slow down the Steelers. It isn’t in their best interest to get into a shootout at home in their season opener. Luckily, Buffalo has big names such as Tre’Davious White, Micah Hyde, Tremaine Edmunds, and Jerry Hughes to keep Pittsburgh honest in both the pass and run game. It isn’t talked about enough, but this Buffalo secondary is truly one of the fastest units in the entire NFL. Their speed and agility are something that teams simply don’t account for heading into the game and it is where they catch opponents by surprise.
Keep an eye on Emmanuel Sanders in this contest. I would say that he is going to be the key player to watch here. Sanders is a Super Bowl-winning wide receiver who will be joining forces with Diggs and Allen in that dangerous passing attack we mentioned earlier. It seems like he is always productive no matter what team he is on and could end up being targeted a lot if Pittsburgh attempts to take Diggs out of the game early on.
This is probably going to end up being a low scoring game as these teams played each other last season and couldn’t get in the end zone much at all. Pittsburgh has a load of potential offensively, but I just can’t ignore the recent success that Buffalo has had and the downfall the Steelers had towards the end of 2020. I would roll with Buffalo in this matchup.
Regardless of the final score though, it will be fantastic to finally get football back and rolling once again. It feels like it has been ages since we last saw our favourite teams out on the gridiron. And nothing beats getting together with friends to catch it – in fact, why not make that your new Sunday tradition!
Soak in all the action and excitement of the NFL this season with We Love Sport for the Steelers @ Bills game. Download the We Love Sport App to see which venue near you is showing NFL this season.
To celebrate the new NFL season, our dedicated NFL Venues will be showing the 6pm fixture for each week of the regular season PLUS NFL RedZone starting with Steelers @ Bills – every single week through to the Play-Offs including all games from the NFL London Series!
Liz will be producing regular content for us so be sure to follow Liz @NFLGirlUK on Twitter and Instagram for all things NFL, and keep an eye out on our blog for further articles previewing upcoming games.
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