The Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills will face off in one of the first games of the day on the first official Sunday of the 2021 NFL season. In a rematch of the Week 14 game between the two teams, the Steelers will once again travel to Orchard Park, New York, but this time face a packed stadium of the "Bills Mafia."
There are differences in personnel on both sides, especially for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills, though, will continue to field a dominant passing game like they did last season, which led them to a deep postseason run. For the Steelers, there has been an overhaul in the running game and a return from key players on defense.
When the two teams met in 2020, the Bills built on their dominance as the Steelers started to lose hold of their strong 11-0 start.
Here is a preview of this much anticipated AFC battle in Week 1.
Week 1 - Steelers vs. Bills Preview
This is sure to be a true battle between two AFC greats and one that could set the tone for the season. The Steelers and Bills have faced each other the last two seasons, both being close games down to the end. Expect the 2021 edition to go the same way.
Steelers and Bills have both made changes to their offenses
The Pittsburgh Steelers' late-season struggles in 2020 were laid at the doorstep of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. The Steelers parted ways with Fichtner and promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Canada this offseason.
The Steelers were last in rushing in 2020, which caused them to throw the ball more than any team in the NFL. To fix that, the Steelers drafted running back Najee Harris in the first round, a move that was off the organization's beaten draft path.
The Steelers' offensive line also has a new look and some concerns as well, with the team hoping that a line made up of mostly first and second-year players will be able to stop opposing defenses.
For the Bills, their ground game wasn't much better last season. It wasn't necessarily the lack of running back depth, but more so an offensive line that couldn't stay healthy. The Bills will return their entire offensive line and have added Matt Breida for added depth behind Devin Singletary and Zack Moss at running back.
Bills' new defensive players could prove to be key
The Buffalo Bills used their first two draft picks on defensive ends who are pass-rush specialists. Miami's Gregory Rousseau and Wake Forest's Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. will now elevate one of the Bills' weakest positions on the roster and one proved to be their downfall throughout the 2020 season.
This could mean trouble for the Steelers' offensive plan and could be where the Bills have the advantage.
Steelers vs Bills prediction
When both teams met in 2019, the Bills won a close game 17-10. The Bills won again in 2020 but, this time, Buffalo got a little more leverage with a 26-15 win over the Steelers.
This is sure to be another close game as both defenses have a lot to prove. The key will be which offense is able to get something going. The Bills could get a third consecutive win over the Steelers in Week 1.