FanPost

Oakland Done, Buffalo Up Next

So, as I predicted, this was a very winnable game for the Steelers. A little extra emotion made it a blowout.

I might go against the common public opinion here, but I think that all the penalties actually helped the Steelers. The poor "personal fouls" calls on Harrison, Woodley, and Clark actually fired up the Steelers, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Same applies to the two or three defensive offsides which were actually good calls but made Oakland O-line look nervous expecting these perfectly timed blitzes (especially after Farrior dumped Campbell on a play which remided me of Polamalu's over-the-line getting to Collins in Nashville in Week 2). 

And the biggest news for me is that Troy Polamalu is back to his usual self. He is just around the ball more, as it used to be in the early weeks of the season. If this is LeBeau's tweak, we should see it again this Sunday.

Now we have a very good chance to be 8-3 coming into the defining game of this season for the Steelers (for the good or the bad - we will see) on December 5 in Baltimore (the Steelers are 0-2 on Sunday nights this season). And it is very easy to overlook the game against the Bills, despite their ridiculous 21-point comeback on the road at Cincy (actually, I am not surprised by that, Tampa Bay did almost the same thing a few weeks ago).

This opponent actually makes me nervous. All season Buffalo has been playing better than their record indicates, and recently the play started to translate into wins. The Bills have a fairly good passing attack which matches up well against the Steelers' secondary, their running game is solid. Steelers may need to get into a shootout mode to get this one. Of course, if the pass rush is as efficient as this week, we may not need to worry about the deep throws by Fitzpatrick, but still.

I am also worried about the Steelers' running game. Oakland's running defense is bad, and Mendenhall couldn't do almost anything against it (with Seymour out for the half of the game). The numbers vs. Oakland look respectable only because of the Ben's scrambles and Wallace's reverse run (74 yards on 4 tries combined). Buffalo isn't the definition of the rush defense either, and we should take advantage of that.

In sum, this will not be quiet week and maybe this is what is needed to keep the Steelers focused on the upcoming game.

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