In Week 1 of the 2021 regular season, the Buffalo Bills—fresh off of an appearance in the AFC Championship Game the previous season, and facing heightened expectations as a result—were dealt an early helping of humble pie by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the form of a 23-16 loss at Highmark Stadium.
This weekend’s Highmark rematch with the Steelers hardly carries revenge vibes, but it’s nonetheless an opportunity for the 3-1 Bills to bury the past—and to stack another important win—against a reeling 1-3 Steelers outfit that has just made a change at the quarterback position.
Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, will make his first career start against Buffalo after relieving benched former Bills backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky in last weekend’s loss to the New York Jets. While Pickett did throw three interceptions in the second half of that contest, he also scored twice on the ground, and completed 10-of-13 passes for 120 yards.
Rookie and first-year quarterbacks have historically struggled mightily against the Bills’ defense coached by Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier, however, which might help explain why, even though the Steelers are likely to be better with Pickett under center, DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the Bills as 14-point favorites in this contest. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted on Tuesday night, if this line holds, it’ll be the first time Pittsburgh has been a 14-point underdog since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
Pittsburgh is a 14-point underdog in Buffalo. Pittsburgh is the only team since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger to never be at least a 14-point underdog, via @MackNova. Pittsburgh’s largest underdog role since the merger is +13.5 against Dallas in Super Bowl XXX, when it lost by 10.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 5, 2022
The links below will continually update throughout the week and through the game as the Bills-Steelers matchup takes shape.