Copy Of Steelers Make Playoffs 2024

How The Steelers Can Beat The Bills

The Pittsburgh Steelers had no business finishing the season with 10 wins and a spot as the 7th seed in the NFL Playoffs. Defying the odds, and a brutal loss for the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Tennessee Titans, they’re set to play the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wildcard round.

Steelers’ Path to the Playoffs

The road to the playoffs for the Steelers was anything but smooth. A few weeks back, their chances of making it to the postseason were as low as 5%. With a record of 7-7 heading into Week 16, the odds were stacked against them and almost everyone in the fanbase was distraught, as we watched the 7-4 start slip away. However, the Steelers found a way to their 17th straight winning season under the guidance of Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

Their turnaround came when Mason Rudolph took over as the team’s quarterback. Absolutely hilarious. No matter what, 2023 will be the year Mason Rudolph saved Christmas, New Years Eve, and the season. This decision marked a significant shift in the team’s fortunes. Rudolph led the Steelers to three consecutive victories against Cincinnati, in Seattle, and in Baltimore, doing their part to make the playoffs. The offensive revival of the Pittsburgh Steelers under Rudolph was a fever dream. In a season where the team looked like the worst offense in NFL history, Rudolph proved to be the catalyst for change. The team rallied around Rudolph and managed to score in ways that seemed impossible for long stretches of the season. 

The Upcoming Wildcard Round

The Steelers’ reward for their hard-fought entry into the playoffs is a wildcard round face-off against the red-hot Buffalo Bills. The match will take place at Highmark Stadium, with the Steelers entering the game as 9.5 point underdogs. However, the Steelers have thrived under pressure, and their offense is catching sparks at the right time. There should be no questions heading into the game regarding the starting quarterback. Rudolph has led the team to the playoffs with his impressive performances. 

While the Steelers prepare for the Bills, other teams are also gearing up for their playoff matches. The Baltimore Ravens have earned the top seed in the AFC, securing a bye. The Houston Texans will host the Cleveland Browns, and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Miami Dolphins.

Injury Uncertainty

The leading concern for the Steelers is the health of T.J. Watt. Watt suffered an injury during the game against the Baltimore Ravens, and if he can’t go, then screw it, it’s already over. Steelers are 1-10 when Watt is out of the lineup.

While Watt’s status remains uncertain, the Steelers’ secondary will receive a boost with the return of safety Damontae Kazee. Suspended for the remainder of the regular season following a violent hit on Colts’ WR Michael Pittman, Kazee’s return will certainly strengthen the Steelers’ defensive line-up. Minkah Fitzpatrick is battling a knee injury he suffered against the Colts. If he is able to go, having the two starting safeties can be a huge lift if Watt is unable to play. 

The Outline to Defeat The Bills

Controlling the Game Clock

An effective strategy for the Steelers is to dominate the time of possession. This means establishing a formidable running attack early on, which serves dual purposes: keeping Josh Allen and the high-powered Bills offense sidelined and tiring out their defensive front. Complementing the ground game with quick passes to playmakers, allowing the Steelers to move the chains and take deep shots when the Bills provide the offense chances.

Staying Disciplined

The defensive unit of the Steelers has a tall order in containing Josh Allen. Assuming Watt is out, the defense must creative ways to apply pressure to disrupt Allen and force him to turn the ball over, as he is prone to do. This pressure must be balanced with disciplined secondary play that limits the Bills’ capacity for explosive plays, demanding that the Steelers’ cornerbacks and safeties communicate effectively and provide help over the top. Last time the Steelers went to Buffalo, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs had a field day, resulting in a 38-3 defeat for Pittsburgh. 

Special Teams Impact

There is no rumor for error in this phase of football on Sunday. Special teams could be the unsung hero for the Steelers. It has won them games this season and they might need a special play or two to give themselves a chance. 

Winning the field position battle is critical, and the Steelers’ punt and kickoff units need to pin the Bills deep in their own territory, making their scoring drives as arduous as possible. Any opportunity to swing momentum—be it a lengthy return or a pivotal blocked kick—must be seized.

Strategic Coaching

The Steelers’ coaching staff must bring their A-game, crafting a plan that includes a blend of expected strategies and surprise elements to keep the Bills guessing. Creative play-calling can open up opportunities for big gains. Additionally, managing the clock efficiently, especially at critical junctures in the game, could be the difference between a win or the end of the Steelers’ season.

The mental component of the game can’t be understated, especially as the Steelers enter the hostile environment of Orchard Park. The team must stay composed, even when facing adversity, and show poise under pressure. How the Steelers respond to the game’s ebbs and flows could very well dictate their fate.

Looking to Sunday

The Steelers making the playoffs is nothing short of hilarious. Despite the odds, the team managed to secure a spot in the postseason, setting the stage for an exciting wildcard round against the Buffalo Bills. Regardless of the outcome, Mike Tomlin has proven once again why he is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL.

Since Steelers Nation wanted to run him out of town three weeks ago, the team has displayed enough resilience and determination, to guarantee themselves one more game. Regardless of the result, one thing is certain – the Pittsburgh Steelers always keep it interesting.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *