Week 14 of the 2016 NFL schedule got off with a bang when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 21-13 on Thursday Night Football. The win put the Chiefs in the driver’s seat in the AFC West, and now fans will have to see how the rest of the Week 13 NFL schedule plays out. The Chiefs-Raiders clash was just the first of several key games on the schedule for this upcoming weekend, one of which features the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Buffalo Bills.
Recent history shows that during this time of the year, Buffalo is usually just playing for a better place in the NFL draft standings, but that isn’t the case this season. If the Bills can take down the Steelers this Sunday afternoon, they will be very much alive in the AFC wild-card hunt.
CBS Sports reports that heading into this match-up, Buffalo is 6-6 on the year and are currently the 10th seed in the AFC playoff race. However, a win over the Steelers on Sunday could have the Buffalo Bills as high as seventh or possibly even tied for a playoff spot depending on the outcome of Sunday’s results.
The Steelers, on the other hand, are currently tied for first place in the AFC North, but if the season ended today, they would be on the outside looking in when it comes to postseason play. Tied with the Baltimore Ravens at 7-5, Pittsburgh would not be the division winner due to Baltimore’s inter-conference record.
Just like Buffalo, this game is very important for the Steelers.
On paper, most people would say that the Steelers should and will win this game, not just because of the talent difference, but because the Steelers already have the reputation for winning. That reputation had to start somewhere, and that’s what Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is trying to instill into his team.
“This experience right here could be the start of something new,” Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “That’s what we’re trying to do and trying to establish. Take seize of it right now, this opportunity that we have. If we can do that, things start to turn around.”
The Steelers might have more championships than the Bills, but they know that to continue to be a winner, you can’t overlook any opponent. The instant you start doing that, you will end up in the loss column. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger knows that from here on out, every game is a playoff game. One slip-up, combined with a Ravens and Dolphins win, could be a deal breaker for the Steelers this season.
“We always want to worry about what’s going on in the stadium we’re in,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “We don’t want to have to look around. We’ve done that in years past. For us to just have to go out and take care of our own business is good for us.”
Buffalo plays three of their last four games at home, and they believe if they can take care of business in front of the hometown fans, they could be playoff bound. The Bills face the Steelers on Sunday and Miami in two weeks – two teams they need to leapfrog if they have any hopes of making the postseason.
Las Vegas odds makers have the Steelers listed as three-point favorites, with the over/under number set at 46.
This game is going to be hard-hitting, that’s for sure. For Buffalo to pull off the upset, they will need Tyrod Taylor to play big against a Steelers defense that is improving each week. While this game may just come down to the final drive, in the end, Big Ben and the Steelers get it done in a nail biter.
Pick – Steelers -3
Fans can catch all of the action nationally on CBS. The game will also be streaming live online through NFL.com for subscribers, however, you can also watch every game this weekend live online for free by signing up for NFL.com’s free seven-day trial. You can click here for all of the information.
[Featured Image by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]