The Buffalo Bills are back in the win column after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 23-20. Now they turn their attention to another AFC North team in the Pittsburgh Steelers. For this matchup, there are three keys for the Bills to achieve a victory.
Prepare For Kenny Pickett
It will not be Mitchell Trubisky that the Bills will have to game plan for defensively, instead it will be the Steelers first-round pick in quarterback Kenny Pickett. After halftime last week against the New York Jets, Mike Tomlin decided to bench Trusbisky and let Pickett get some playing time. During which he completed 10-of-13 passes for 120 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. The three incompletions he had were all interceptions, one thing to take away from the interceptions though is that Pickett was not afraid to give his guys a chance at the catch point. Going up against this Bills defense front though will be different from the Jets. With how the Bills like to disguise coverages, Pickett will be tested early on, and when you add in the pressure he will be under that does not equal success for a rookie. The Bills defensive front has gotten 38 pressures and 13 sacks, while the Steelers offensive line has allowed 24 pressures and eight sacks. Arguably the worst spot on the offensive line for the Steelers is the tackle spots that will now have to prepare for Von Miller and Greg Rousseau. If Miller and Rousseau can rattle Pickett, causing him to throw early, the Bills secondary that leads the NFL in interceptions will capitalize.
On the topic of the Bills secondary, they will need to limit the Steelers spark at the wide receiver position, that player being George Pickens. Last week, Pickens had the most targets out of all the wide receivers with a target share percentage of 30.8%, and he averaged a team high 4.25 yards per route run. Pickens is going to be a key guy for Pickett, but Pickens will most likely be seeing a lot of fellow rookie Kaiir Elam. Through four weeks so far, Elam has been lockdown, playing 109 coverage snaps and only allowing 50 yards. Whether it is Pickens or even Diontae Johnson, Elam should be up to the task once again.
The Health Of Gabe Davis
The Steelers secondary has allowed only a completion percentage of 60.3%, yet they have allowed the 12th most passing yards with 1,006. The cornerback room consists of Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace, and Arthur Maulet. That is a group Josh Allen will be able to test vertically, but Gabe Davis is going to play a role in this. At safety, the Steelers have Minkah Fitzpatrick who will most likely try to double cover Stefon Diggs. This would allow Davis to stretch the field with Diggs getting that attention, as Davis did in Week One when he averaged 22 yards per reception. Davis missed Week Two with an ankle injury and still has been battling that. If Davis can return to being the deep threat that he was in Week One, the offense will be able to generate the big plays early to score and set the tone of the game.