The Buffalo Bills offense has struggled through two preseason games and they’re going to want to produce a better showing in their third exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers if they want to gather some momentum before the regular season. As you might recall, the Bills offense nose-dived last season as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit a wall after signing his $59 million contract extension and injuries to running back Fred Jackson and numerous wide receivers crippled the team.
So far through preseason action, the Bills have totaled just 20 points with the first-string offense producing just one touchdown. Fitzpatrick and the starters are expected to play into the third quarter against Pittsburgh, so they’ll hope for better results.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Betting Line: Steelers -1
It’s worth reiterating that it’s merely preseason action but even so, the Bills have plenty to prove in Week 3. They were outgained 421-317 by the Minnesota Vikings last week and collected just 68 rushing yards on 20 attempts. C.J. Spiller finished with negative three rushing yards. The Bills were just five-of-17 on third and fourth down conversions. They’ve also collected nearly 200 penalty yards through two preseason games.
People making their NFL picks and Super Bowl predictions know that for the Bills to be a power player this season, they need their offense to wake up.
Meanwhile, the Bills remodeled defense will also hope for a good outing against Pittsburgh, who has been a perennial Super Bowl contender for almost the last decade. The Vikings averaged 5.9 yards per play against the Bills last week and Christian Ponder finished 10-of-13 for 136 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo is facing a much better unit this week with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and a Steelers team that has been very explosive dating back to last season.
There’s plenty of work to do for the Bills in their third preseason game. They hope to be a sleeper team in 2012 and possibly end their playoff drought but they have plenty of impressing to do before they can convince everyone that that’s truly a possibility.