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Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers first-half open thread

Big game, big stage—can the Bills pull out a big win?

Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills fans have waited all day for Sunday night for the first time since 2007, and we’re ready to watch the Bills go into Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tonight’s game is a pivotal one in the AFC Playoff race, as the winner will take firm control of the fifth overall see in the playoffs.

In Buffalo’s case, a victory clinches at least that fifth seed. For Pittsburgh, a win would even their record with Buffalo, putting both teams at 9-5. The Steelers would have control of their own destiny for the fifth spot from here on out if they can defeat the Bills. Pittsburgh has beaten Buffalo in the teams’ last six meetings, a streak that dates back to 1999. Buffalo last beat Pittsburgh on October 10, 1999, winning 24-21.

Josh Allen played poorly last week in the face of a stiff Baltimore Ravens pass rush. He’ll need to play much better this week if Buffalo is going to clinch its second playoff berth in three seasons under head coach Sean McDermott. Rookie running back Devin Singletary should see plenty of touches as the Bills look to keep Pittsburgh’s stellar pass rush off balance.

Pittsburgh starts a rookie quarterback, Devlin “Duck” Hodges,” who is undefeated in his three starts this season. The Bills will look to keep the Duck under pressure tonight, and he will also rely on his talented young running back, second-year man James Conner, to lighten the load. Conner returns after missing the last three games due to a shoulder injury.

Kickoff is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. A Bills victory will make trudging off to work early tomorrow morning much more palatable, so let’s hope that the team can take care of business tonight.

Your first-half thread is here—go Bills!