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Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: First-half open thread

The Bills can make a big statement by knocking off the AFC’s top team on Sunday Night Football!

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills play their second consecutive primetime game this week, facing off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Steelers are coming off a loss last week, they are still the top seed in the AFC at 11-1. A win allows Pittsburgh to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs, who pushed their record to 12-1 with a victory today over the Miami Dolphins.

For the Bills, they’ll look to give themselves an outside shot at moving up from the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff race. Of course, they could also clinch a spot in the playoffs this week if a number of things go their way. Buffalo has plenty of good scenarios at this point, but the most important element is the most obvious: They just have to keep winning and the rest will fall into place.

Josh Allen was able to gut out a big 17-10 victory over Pittsburgh last year in December to clinch a playoff berth. The Steelers started Devlin “Duck” Hodges in that game, and while Hodges is still on Pittsburgh’s roster, he’s a member of the practice squad now. Veteran and future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back this season, and he’ll present a much greater challenge tonight than Hodges did last season.

With Stefon Diggs closing in on the franchise record for receptions—Diggs has 90, just ten shy of Eric Moulds and his 100-catch season in 2002—tonight’s contest could be one where the Bills make strides towards completing a few goals they set out to attain this season. Pittsburgh clinched a playoff spot by virtue of Miami’s loss, and the Bills would like to pick up a win and ensure their seat at the table in January.

Our first-half open thread is here, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy the game tonight, and go Bills!