The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 of the 2019 regular season. Entering the game with an 8-5 record, the Steelers prepare to host the Bills at Heinz Field for the huge AFC grudge match.
While this could be a familiar matchup for some of the Steelers, there are some new faces many fans want to know more about. Sure, there are the big name players in the matchup, but what about all those other players who can make a difference?
So, I wanted to get a lowdown on what the Bills might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Buffalo Rumbling’s, SB Nation’s Bills website, writer Corey Giacovelli to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.
In this first of many installments, I asked Corey what he thinks the Bills defense will do when the Steelers have the ball. Check out his response:
On defense especially with a young quarterback, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will try to cause some confusion pre-snap. There will probably be seven or eight guys crowding the line of scrimmage to get the offense guessing on who is blitzing and who is going to drop back into coverage. This formation is especially common on third and long situations. You can also expect cornerback Tre’Davious White to follow JuJu Smith-Schuster, if he is healthy enough to play on Sunday.
At the time of this submission, Smith-Schuster had returned to practice and looked like a viable option for the Steelers heading into Week 15. He has since been ruled out of the Week 15 matchup.
With that said, the rest of what Corey said is pretty much spot on. Any good defense, and the Bills’ defense is good, will want to try and confuse a young quarterback. You saw the Steelers do it to Kyler Murray in Week 14, and the Bills will want to get Devlin Hodges thinking one thing, while they do another.
Playing at home helps, especially when it comes to the cadence and hard count, but the Steelers offense will have to run the football and keep the Buffalo defense off balance. Easier said than done, but it is one of the best ways to take an aggressive defense and force them to play your game, not the other way around.
Pittsburgh’s offense has been mediocre at best, but has seen more success with Hodges at quarterback compared to that of Mason Rudolph. Third downs and red-zone trips will be of paramount importance, and the unit which wins those downs likely will have the upper hand when the dust settles.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Bills in Week 15.