Can the Bills win 3 in a row!?!??! Well find out this Sunday as the Bills return to Ralph Wilson Stadium to play against the always tough Pittsburgh Steelers.
To get a better feel about the Steelers, I had the pleasure of talking to Chris Viola of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Blog Nice Pick Cowher to answer some key questions heading into Sunday’s match-up
BLD: Start off with a personal question, after the offseason that he had, do you still stand behind Ben Roethlisberger ? It seems as if Pittsburgh had no problem winning without him earlier in the season.
NPC: When the news first broke, I was extremely angry with Ben. But after calming down and getting a chance to see the complete lack of evidence of any wrongdoing, he has my full support. In fact, it’s truly unfortunate Ben has been victimized by the NFL and the media to such a great extent over baseless accusations made by a loose drunken sorority girl.
Oh and the Steelers definitely need Roethlisberger. They were 31st in passing offense and 24th in total offense without him. They won because they were healthy and played mediocre teams. We can’t win a Super Bowl unless he’s behind center and nobody cares about winning games, only winning championships.
BLD: The Steelers’ defense are #1 against the run but only 22nd against the pass. The Bills come into this game with one of the hottest receivers in the NFL in Steve Johnson. What must the Steelers do to contain the Bills newly found passing attack?
NPC: Harass Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Steelers have an admittedly mediocre (to put it kindly) secondary and rely on pressuring the QB to cover for their shortcomings. The teams who beat them decisively (Patriots, Saints) have O-lines capable of protecting their signal caller and QBs capable of making quick accurate throws. When our linebackers can force the QB into making hurried dangerous throws, our pass defense looks a whole lot better.
BLD: After the Bills, the Steelers play the Ravens, Bengals and Jets. Could you see the Steelers overlooking this week and not concentrating enough on the 2-8 Bills?
NPC: Not after last season. Last year, the Steelers started 6-2 and then lost five straight, three of which were to some of the worst teams in the NFL. This is a veteran team with a lot of proud leadership and I think they’ve learned their lesson to never take any game for granted.
BLD: There are a lot of big names on the Steelers’ offense and defense, name us one player on both sides that Bills fans might not of heard of, but will be making some noise come Sunday.
NPC: Defense: Linebacker Lawrence Timmons. LBs LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison are Pro Bowlers who get all the press and of course you have future HOFer Troy Polamalu. But Timmons has actually been our most dynamic playmaker on defense this year. He’s the quickest linebacker in the league, capable of rushing the passer or dropping into coverage with equal effectiveness. If somebody other than the Big Three is going to have an outstanding game, I’d put my money on
Offense: WR Mike Wallace. People wonder how the Steelers could afford to get rid of a game-breaker like Santonio Holmes and the answer is Mike Wallace. Wallace actually led the NFL in average yards per catch last year and is leading again this year. Nobody in the league can cover him due to his blazing speed and forget about it if he gets into open space. Holmes was drafted to be our big play receiver and Wallace, in his 2nd year, has already proven to be as good as Holmes ever was.
BLD: Game Prediction
NPC: 34-21 Steelers. I predict the Steelers will start strong and get out to a big lead but lay off in the 4th quarter allowing the Bills to make some big plays in the passing game. Teams tend to pick up garbage time TDs when D-coordinator Dick LeBeau calls off the dogs and I believe the Bills have enough weapons to make things a tad interesting late in the game before ultimately falling short.