Cheat Sheet: Steelers vs. Bills


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The Steelers are back on the road as they face the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium.
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The Steelers lead this series 17-11 and are 2-1 against Buffalo in the postseason. Pittsburgh won the most recent meeting 23-16 in Week 1 last year. But the Bills won the previous two meetings in 2020 and 2019, making this the fourth-straight season these two teams have squared off. Before that, Pittsburgh was on a six-game winning streak against the Bills. To take it a step further, the Steelers won 10 of 11 (including two in the playoffs) between the 1993 season and 2016. But the era between 1980 and the 1992 season belonged to Buffalo, with the Bills winning seven of eight during that time. This has been a very streaky series. The Bills and Steelers started playing games in 1970, and during the 1970s, Pittsburgh only lost one of six meetings.


  • The Bills have outscored their opponents this year by 56 points. Pittsburgh has been outscored by 16 points.
  • Buffalo's offense is producing 6.0 yards per play. The Steelers offense generates 4.8 yards per play. The Bills give up 4.2 yards per play, compared to 5.1 by Pittsburgh's defense.
  • Although they won 11 regular season games in 2021, the Bills were 6-3 at home, including losing to the Steelers on opening day.
  • Buffalo is throwing for 146.2 more yards per game than it is allowing.
  • The Bills and Steelers have each given the ball away seven times thus far in 2022.
  • Buffalo is converting 55.8 percent of its third down attempts while its opponents have converted just 41.3 percent of the time. The Steelers are converting 37.3 percent on third down tries.
  • Pittsburgh has 97 rushing attempts in 2022. Opponents have run the ball 132 times. The Bills have 210 combined rushes and completions compared to 169 by their opponents.
  • The Steelers' opponents are producing 107.5 more yards per game than Pittsburgh. Buffalo has produced 165.3 more yards per game than their opponents.
  • These offenses are similar in creating explosive plays, which is defined as runs of 10-plus yards and pass plays of 20-plus yards. The Bills have 25 explosives, 13 runs and 12 passes. The Steelers have 23, 11 runs and 12 passes.
  • Excluding overtime, the Steelers are 31st in time of possession, holding the ball on average for 25:42. That's up from 24:15 a week ago. Buffalo, on the other hand, holds the ball on average for 31:19. That ranks ninth.
  • What the Bills have done in the third quarter of their games this year is rather remarkable. Last week they outscored Baltimore 10-0, which brings their total third quarter scoring to 44-0 in the Bills favor.


  • The Steelers produced 5.7 yards per play when Kenny Pickett was at quarterback last week, compared to 4.1 when led by Mitch Trubisky.
  • Pickett's 12.9 average depth of the target was the highest in the NFL in Week 4. 30.8 percent of his targets were 20 yards downfield or longer.
  • Against the Jets, George Pickens' average depth of target was 20 yards downfield. And he was targeted on 31 percent of the Steelers' drop backs. Pickens finished the day catching six of eight targets for 102 yards. Of those, 71 came in the second half with Pickett at quarterback. Pickens averaged an insane 5.92 yards per route run in the second half. Over the first three weeks, Pickens was targeted on 12.9 percent of Pittsburgh's drop backs. He had a target share of 21.9 percent in Week 3 after being below 10 percent in the first two games.
  • Chase Claypool has been on the field for 137 of Pittsburgh's 144 drop backs.
  • Among tight ends, Pat Freiermuth trails only Mark Andrews in target rate per route run, while only Andrews, Travis Kelce and Tyler Higbee have a higher share of their team's targets. Buffalo limited Andrews to just two catches last week for 15 yards.
  • Lamar Jackson only threw for 144 yards last week against the Bills. But the Ravens ran for 162 yards in the game.
  • Buffalo still is only allowing 3.5 yards per carry which is fourth-best in the league. The Bills are third in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.
  • Najee Harris out-snapped Jaylen Warren 48-16 last week against the Jets. But this was Harris' first game of his career in which he was not targeted in the passing game.
  • In his college career, Pickett rushed for over 800 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. Last week, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for two touchdowns in his first career game.
  • Buffalo's defense has already taken the ball away nine times through four games. Safety Jordan Poyer leads the NFL with four interceptions.
  • San Francisco is the only team that has surrendered fewer yards after the catch than the Bills.
  • The Bills defense has been on the field for 20 second half drives. It has given up points on just one of those drives.
  • Few teams rotate their defensive linemen like Buffalo. Last week, the Bills had nine different front-line players on the field between 17 and 49 snaps. For the season, none of the Bills defensive linemen have played more than 157 of a possible 236 snaps and nine linemen have played more than 60.
  • The 49ers are the only defense in the league that create a sack at a higher percentage of opposing drop backs than Buffalo. They are sacking opposing quarterbacks on 10.2 percent of their passing attempts. The Bills have achieved this despite blitzing just 8.8 percent of the time, the lowest blitz percentage in the league. They are only one of two teams under a 12 percent blitz rate.
  • The Bills defense is tied with San Francisco in giving up the fewest yards per game. Both are allowing 234.5 yards per game. Philadelphia is a distant third, allowing 277.3 yards per contest. Buffalo also gives up the fewest passing yards in the NFL at 150.8 per game.
  • The 49ers are the only defense in the league that ranks ahead of Buffalo in EPA per play.


  • The Bills have produced 1,650 yards from scrimmage through four games, which is the third-most in the league. Josh Allen's 1,227 passing yards and 183 rushing yards accounts for 85.5 percent of the Bills' overall offensive production. Allen has accounted for every one of Buffalo's touchdowns via the air or ground in 2022.
  • Only Justin Herbert has more passing yards than Allen. Just three offenses attempt more passes per game than Buffalo.
  • Just 11.5 percent of Allen's targets were 20 yards downfield or more last season. That was 31st in the NFL. This year, it is down all the way to 7.7 percent. Nearly three quarters of Allen's throws this year have been 10 yards or shorter.
  • In terms of EPA per play, Allen only ranks behind Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa.
  • Stefon Diggs is far and away Buffalo's most productive receiver. He has 20 more targets and 14 more receptions than any other pass catcher. Diggs, of course, has the most receiving yards on the team as well with 406. Isaiah McKenzie second at 153.
  • Tyreek Hill is the only player in the league with more receiving yards than Diggs.
  • Diggs and Gabriel Davis each have played 206 of a possible 280 snaps this year. No other Bills wide receiver has played more than 133.
  • Davis only has four catches over his past two games and for the year, he has only been targeted on 9.5 percent of his routes run. Last week, Davis ran a route on every drop back, but only was targeted three times.
  • The Jets' Zach Wilson did much of his damage between the numbers in Week 4. He attempted 10 passes in this area of the field, completing eight of them for 153 yards.
  • Allen only threw for 213 yards last week, his lowest total of the season. Allen averaged 338 passing yards per game before playing the Ravens.
  • After running 90 plays and holding the ball for 40:40 in Miami, the Bills possessed the football last week for just 21:50.
  • Allen is Buffalo's leading rusher with 183 yards, compared to 129 by Devin Singletary, who is second. Allen is gaining 6.1 yards per rushing attempt.
  • Singletary played 55 of a possible 63 snaps last week. Zack Moss and James Cook combined to see the field for a total of eight plays and fullback Reggie Gilliam was used for seven snaps.
  • Singletary has dominated this backfield usage the past two weeks. He has handled 73 percent and 90 percent of the backfield snaps in the most recent two games and 73 percent and 100 percent of the backfield pass routes. Singletary has gone out on a pass route more often than any running back in the NFL. Over the past two games, he has aligned out wide or in the slot on 15 different occasions. Singletary's snap rate has increased three straight games.
  • Of Josh Allen's 70 rushing yards last week, 69 came after first contact.
  • Buffalo's offense creates 24.8 first downs per game, the best in the league.
  • The Bills have used a lot of offensive linemen thus far. In fact, they have asked 10 of their big men on offense to play more than 20 snaps thus far through four games. Dion Dawkins is the Bills only offensive lineman to play every snap.
  • The Steelers defense has taken the ball away eight times in four games, with Minkah Fitzpatrick posting three interceptions.
  • Nick Bosa is the only player in the league with more sacks than Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith's 5.5.
  • Buffalo is running the seventh-most (68.8) plays per game. The Steelers are facing the most plays (74.5) per game.


  • The following four players have not missed one single Steelers special teams snap on the punt team, punt return, kickoff team or kickoff return: Connor Heyward, Jamir Jones, Derek Watt and Miles Killebrew.
  • In terms of gross average punt yards per attempt, Buffalo is only better than the Patriots and Chargers.


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January 6, 1995: AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Steelers 40, Bills 21, Three Rivers Stadium

The Steelers jumped all over Buffalo in this game and had a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter at home. The Steelers held Jim Kelly to just 135 passing yards on 29 attempts and Thurman Thomas bottled up with just 46 rushing yards. Kelly was intercepted three times. Pittsburgh was the fresher team after having a bye in the Wild Card round while the Bills hosted and defeated divisional rival Miami. The Steelers won another home game, this time against Indianapolis in the AFC Championship, before advancing to Super Bowl XXX, a game in which they lost by 10 points to the Cowboys. The Bills had a 10-game postseason winning streak against AFC teams before falling to Pittsburgh in this game.


  • George Pickens has 87.5 PFF grade (2nd among all rookies)
  • Alex Highsmith has 5.5 sacks & 8 QB hits in 2022 (2nd in NFL in sacks)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick has 3 interceptions in 2022 (T-2nd in NFL)
  • Diontae Johnson has 23 rec, 207 rec yds in 2022 (leads PIT in receptions) - Johnson: 51.8 rec YPG in 2022 (career-high 72.6 rec YPG in 2021)
  • George Pickens had career-highs with 6 rec & 102 rec yds in Week 4 vs NYJ - Pickens had 4 rec, 71 rec yds on 4 targets from Pickett in Week 4 - Pickens had 5 rec & 65 rec yds in his first 3 games combined
  • Pat Freiermuth has 223 rec yds in 2022 (leads Steelers, 6th among TE) - Freiermuth had a career-high 85 rec yds in Week 4 - TE Freiermuth & RB Harris are only Steelers players with rec TD


  • Bills QB Josh Allen vs. Steelers LB Myles Jack - Allen is unlike any other quarterback in the NFL. He has rare size for the quarterback position and uses it extremely well in the pocket as well as running the football. Allen might just have the most powerful arm in the league, but also doesn't lack for precision, touch and accuracy. There is a strong case to be made that he is the most difficult player in the entire league to play against. Jack gets singled out here, but slowing down Allen is obviously a team job … and a very difficult one at that. However, when these teams met last to kick off the 2021 season, Pittsburgh held Allen to only 270 passing yards on 51 attempts and 44 yards on the ground off nine carries. Allen accounted for just one touchdown in that game.
  • Steelers Offensive Tackles vs. Bills Edge Rusher Von Miller - The Bills spent big money to acquire Miller, a future Hall of Fame player, to add to their already deep defensive front. Not only is Miller still an exceptional player, but he is a great asset as a leader and mentor to the plethora of young early draft picks on Buffalo's front. Miller lines up on either the right or left side and with all the great young players the Bills have at defensive end, the elder statesman isn't asked to play an overabundance of snaps, keeping him fresh for key situations and deep into the game. He played 43 of a possible 70 snaps last week. Miller has three sacks through four games.