Bills vs. Steelers key matchups: Kickers Dan Carpenter vs. Shaun Suisham

Chris Trotman

Never count out the detrimental factor of November at Heinz Field.

Nothing in the league can scare a kicker more than having to play at Heinz Field in November less than 24 hours after a college game was played.

The University of PIttsburgh defeated No. 23-ranked Notre Dame 28-21 Saturday, a game that ended approximately 15 hours from kickoff of the Steelers' Week 10 game against Buffalo.

Only one field goal was attempted in the game, a 50-yarder from Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza. Naturally, he missed. Field goals in that range are rarely successful at Heinz Field.

The scorched turf factor of that field, though, makes the Steelers vs. Bills game compelling.

Buffalo's Dan Carpenter is a big-legged kicker who's hit from 55 yards this season, and is 18-for-20 on the season, having missed one each from 40-49 yards and 50-plus yards.

Shaun Suisham is as in-tune with the conditions at Heinz Field as any kicker in the league, naturally, and he's one of the few who have ever had continued success there. He's 16-for-18 on the season, still recovering from two odd misses from 32 and 34 yards, respectfully, in the Steelers' 21-18 loss to Oakland.

O.co Coliseum is also a brutal place to kick, especially after new grass is laid to cover the baseball diamond there. Suisham missing from 30 yards is nearly as infrequent as Ike Taylor holding onto the ball. In a game that could be somewhat difficult to move the ball down the field, and the known poor quality of Heinz Field as seasons wear on, the consistency of each kicker will prove to be a major factor in the final score.

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