Bold Predictions as Steelers host Bills in last home regular season game

‘Bold Predictions’ is Steel City Underground’s feature where our SCU team members have shifted from throwing caution to the wind in how crazy they’ll go in their prognostications to a more objective, yet still bold, set of predictions on how Pittsburgh will, or will not, handle business this week.

Believe it or not, Steelers Nation, it’s Week 15 of the 2019-20 NFL regular season. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will host their last home game at Heinz Field when they welcome the Buffalo Bills into their house. The chit-chat among ‘Team SCU’ members in our backrooms has been mainly guarded optimism. The Steelers need a mistake-free game against a tough Bills team that is looking to knock the New England Patriots off of the AFC East throne as this season winds down. There are some predictions, however, about this weekend’s game, so let’s get things kicked off.

Here We Go!

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A quick look back at last week’s predictions

All doubts about how well Steelers Nation travels should firmly be put to bed after State Farm Stadium (Glendale, AZ) was filled with so much black and gold, “Steelers” chants, and plenty of “Terrible Towels” that it looked like a home game for Pittsburgh. The predictions from our Steel City Underground team members (who participated) were highly in favor of the Steelers beating the Cardinals on the road.

While Joe went conservative in regards to the offense that Arizona would put together, he expressed optimism about the Steelers defense being disruptive and Pittsburgh utilizing the run game. Thanks to Benny Snell, Jr., Kerrith Whyte, Jr., and Jaylen Samuels, the Steelers did get to his predicted 100-yards of rushing (140) even though no touchdowns were scored on the ground by Pittsburgh.

I predicted that Snell would gain “just short of 100 yards” (he grabbed 41, as did Whyte) even though I didn’t nail the prediction that he’d grab a score. I also shared, “I see Diontae Johnson making himself known”, and after watching Johnson score a punt return for a touchdown, I had to do a little self-bragging on Twitter… to which Derek responded:

To Derek’s credit, he did predict the following:

“The Steelers roll into Arizona, riding their prized Duck to yet another victory… Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the defense will continue to rack up the turnovers. Sacks won’t be easy to come by with a quarterback like Kyler Murray at the helm, but the pressures will force him into some erroneous throws, 3 of them intercepted.”

And let’s not forget that Terry brought up the fact that it is “December Football” and predicted that the Steelers defense would embrace the challenge and grab a “hat trick” in the interception department while securing their eighth win in another “non-losing season for Coach T (Mike Tomlin).”

This week’s predictions

Brian Roach: The defense feasts. 7 sacks of Josh Allen, 2 INT’s and a fumble recovery. How’s that for bold?! (Well, Brian. Coming from you, that’s not nearly as bold as you usually are, so we’ll take it.)

Terry Fletcher: So here’s the thing on our QB named Duck. According to PFF he’s got a QBR rating of 103, a 71% completion rating, and has won 3 of his starts as a rookie, not to mention finishing off games for wins where our 2nd string QB (Mason Rudolph) failed. Devlin Hodges is must-see-TV and his stats in 3rd downs are off the charts. Much is being said about Bills QB Josh Allen and his mobility but Hodges has him beat, not only in knowing precisely when to run for yardage but having one of the prettiest slides to get down and not take a shot. This undrafted QB will continue to get better and I predict 2 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD and 40 yards rushing. Remember we get JuJu Smith-Schuster back as another receiving weapon that Buffalo’s defense will have to account for, so our “practice squad” players should have a day. On the other side, all three Edmunds brothers (Terrell Edmunds and Trey Edmunds with Pittsburgh and Tremaine Edmunds with Buffalo) will be taking the field together, although playing against each other. I could see a rivalry here, working in our favor from Terrell. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden will each have another INT and Bud Dupree will be sending Allen to the icebath early with 3 sacks on the day. I’m confident that this will be a home-team win, in prime-time, 28-17 Steelers. Let the duck calls begin!

Derek Overly: The Steelers break out the color rush jerseys for Sunday night against the Bills, arguably the biggest game of the season. If the Steelers win, they slide into the 5 seed and could potentially host a home playoff game. Regardless of how you may or may not feel about Mike Tomlin, he’s taken a step forward as a coach this season, and he ALWAYS wins primetime games, and a lot of times it’s not even close (see: vs. Carolina Panthers, 2018). And that’s what I expect for this game. Josh Allen is a fine QB, but when you pressure him he makes mistakes, a lot of them. T.J. Watt and Dupree will get after Allen and force him into making mistakes, just as they did Kyler Murray last week. Duck and the offense will play with a short field all day, and this game will not even feel close. Steelers win by 2+ scores behind 3 touchdowns from Duck Hodges and 3 turnovers by the defense.

Christina Rivers: In lieu of making my own predictions this week, I took to Twitter to get fan responses. Here are the results…



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