5 questions from Steelers to the Bills


Sep 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) celebrates a touchdown during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Every week we do a question and answer segment with our fansided counterpart for whom the Buffalo Bills play that week.

This week we are talking with Nice Pick Cowher, the Steelers Fansided Blog Site.  Dominik DiTolla is the co-editor for Nice Pick Cowher and asked me a couple of questions.

Here are his questions and my answers.

1. Who in your opinion has been Buffalo’s “2013 MVP” this season and why?

There are a couple of names that could fall into this category.  Manuel and Spiller come to mind.  Manuel as solid until he got injured and held the offense together to a point that they were winning and making a good run for the playoffs.  Spiller has been his explosive self even while being injured, he has helped the team.  Kiko Alonso is another, being tied for 2nd in the NFL for tackles and his overall play, but I think that the MVP for the Bills so far has been Fred Jackson.  Jackson has been able to step in after losing the starting job from last year and continue to be a rock in the back field and a leader for an offense that has been struggling at times and dealing with injuries.  He has played through injuries and continued to gain yards on the ground and been the go to guy these past couple of games.

2. Will you look for the Bills to employ a run-heavy offense this weekend with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller leading the charge? Or do you expect EJ Manuel to “air it out” in his first game back from his knee injury if he plays?

With Manuel coming off a knee injury, expect the Bills to ease him back into the speed of the game with the Bills using  run heavy offense.  With Spiller back at 100% and Jackson leading the charge as he does every week, look for the Bills to take some shots deep but they will employ a running attack at what seems to be a stumbling Steelers defense who is ranked 31st in the league in run defense.

3. What do you believe is the biggest reason behind Buffalo’s red zone struggles? What can the team do most to ensure that they score “sixes” instead of “threes” down the stretch?

They are a young team and are unable to finish.  They have a 42% conversion rate for red zone this year which puts them at the bottom.  I think that they have moved away from the basics and have made things too complicated in the red zone when things should be simple.  They are looking to change their red zone approach so the Steelers should anticipate a new look.

4. Buffalo’s pass-rush is one of the most formidable in the league (T-3rd 29 sacks), how much success do you believe that they will have on Sunday against Pittsburgh’s make-shift offensive line populated by backups and sub-par players?

Too be honest, I think that they will handle it well.  Mike Pettine as done wonders for the entire defense and created pressure with only rushing 4 guys.  I don’t think that they will change their game plan too much and just continue to do what they do best.  Put quarterbacks on their backs.

5. Do you have any predictions for the game? Perhaps a final score?

This is a must win for the Bills to stay mathematically in the playoff hunt.  Last week was a tough loss for them as well. I think that the Bills will bounce back with their starting QB coming off of injury. I think that the Bills will be able to handle Big Ben and the Steelers and win 27 – 14.

Look for the accompanying post where we switch roles and he answers my questions about the Steelers.