The 2021 regular season is upon us, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. While the Steelers hit the road for their season opener, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.
Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below, and even a pick from an enemy guest!
I know I’ll be called a homer for my pick, and I’m fine with that. There is something about this team which I feel is a mystery. Maybe it’s the offense and Matt Canada. Maybe it’s the unknown of the rushing game with this fresh offensive line. Or maybe it is just the fact the Bills, like their fans, might be going into this game extremely arrogant. They’ve won the last two games, but this is a game which will have Steelers fans reminiscing about 2017...with Chris Boswell booting the game-winning field goal as time expires.
Pick: Steelers 27, Bills 24
I came up with my prediction early in the week and told myself not to change it. As much as I wanted to ride the wave of emotion from the signing of T.J. Watt, I wanted to keep this game in perspective. The Steelers could very well win this game if everything comes together in the right way to start the season. Unfortunately, I don’t know if all the question marks can be fulfilled right off the bat. I see the defense keeping the Steelers in the game, but the offense struggling to maintain and finish drives. I like my number for the Bills total, but if the Steelers offense gets rolling then they could pull this one out. I’m just not ready to bet on it quite yet.
Pick: Bills 17, Steelers 13
Bryan Anthony Davis
Seriously, I’m not a pessimist. 20 years ago the Steelers went 13-3 and lost in Week 1. The black and gold will be a playoff team this year, but there will be potholes along the way. I have gone on record that the Steelers could win on a show earlier this week, but I’ve seen this movie before. The Bills win now and the Steelers take the rematch in January.
Pick: Bills 30, Steelers 24
First, a disclaimer. I think the Steelers will be pretty good this season. I think this is a “nobody believes in us” season, with a sprinkling of “win it for Ben” thrown in. I like the chip-on-their-shoulders Steelers far better than the front-running version. Hungry dogs run faster, and I think this Steelers team will be hungry.
That said, they’re in a tough spot on Sunday. All the change this off-season should pay dividends in the long run. I just fear it will take some time to come together. Buffalo returns last year’s team predominantly in tact with the expectation of building on its recent success. That may be too much for the good guys to overcome in week 1.
Pick: Bills 27, Steelers 20
The Steelers are going to be a good team, and I believe the defense is going to be good down the stretch. But with Tuitt out, Bush coming back, Schobert new to the team, and the turnover and question marks at corner, especially the depth, the Steelers defense is in a tough spot facing an offense returning 14 of their top 17 players for offensive snaps from the #2 offense in the NFL last season.
I also think the Steelers send a message this first game that their offense is loaded and Ben Roethlisberger is back. I predict a shootout in Buffalo.
Pick: Bills 38, Steelers 35
Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)
I feel that this could be a close game if the Steelers have everyone ready and execution is good. My biggest issue is that the Steelers still have too many questions unanswered or where we don’t have enough information to know if the questions have been answered. The Steelers play a solid game but come up short (could flip the outcome if they play a perfect game).
Pick: Bills 24, Steelers 23
This week's matchup has the potential to be a perfect storm scenario for the good guys in Black and Gold. No pressure whatsoever, because absolutely nobody is giving the Steelers a snowball's chance in Cleveland of winning this game. That's the type of disrespect usually reserved for NFL cellar dwellers, not reigning division winners. I understand the rationale behind that line of thinking, considering the Bills have defeated the Steelers two years in a row, and the Steelers have plenty of unanswered questions.
The Steelers should be united as underdogs this season, doing their best Bills impersonation by circling the wagons. That being said, Week 1 might be too much to ask for. Steelers play better than many expect, multiple youngsters prove ready for primetime, but the Steelers come up short on the road.
Pick: Bills 28 Steelers 24
When I predicted the outcome of each game on the Steelers schedule for part of the Training Camp Confidential, I had the Steelers losing to Buffalo 27-20. However, I am currently a little more concerned about how much of an impact T.J. Watt will make in his first game back. Combine that with no Zach Banner and no Stephon Tuitt, and this team is not near as scary on paper.
I am excited to see how this new-look offense performs, but I do not think it will be enough to outlast Josh Allen and the Bills. I think the Steelers can survive without Zach Banner for a couple weeks, but not having Stephon Tuitt will make Buffalo’s task slightly easier.
Pick: Bills 30, Steelers 20
Can the young offensive line stand up to the young-ish pass rush of the Bills? I think so! Can the Steelers stop Stephon Diggs? That’s the question. While I’d love to see an old fashioned gun-slingin’ shootout between Allen the new(ish) kid and Ben, this one is going to be a mix of short-medium passing, hard running, getting the tight-ends involved and will likely come down to a defensive turnover or missed kick.
Pick: Bills 27, Steelers 24
The National Football League Is back and the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 campaign begins. Steeler Nation I’m going to keep this first prediction short and sweet. The Pittsburgh Steelers have to win and will win. The Steelers have been told all off season they have no chance to make the playoffs. Beating the Bills at home will quiet the noise and Bills mafia.
Pick: Bills 17, Steelers 24
The Steelers have a lot of doubters and a lot of question marks as they head into their Week 1 clash with the Bills. Will this prevent them from being competitive against Buffalo on the road? I don’t think so. Will it prevent them from winning? I do think so.
Pick: Bills 20, Steelers 17
Corey Giacovelli (Buffalo Rumblings Contributor)
It is Week 1 but this game already feels like it has a lot of implications. Buffalo should be hungry to pick up where they left off last season as Josh Allen makes a very early statement for MVP.
Pick: Buffalo 27, Steelers 14
What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!