1. One Bills rookie makes this impressive list
Around the NFL writer Chris Wesseling looked at all 32 teams to find the best defensive rookies of the season. Ed Oliver was one of four defensive linemen to make the list.
INTERIOR LINEMEN: Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants; Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills
Already the most consistently disruptive force on the Giants' defense, Lawrence has joined second-year Bucs standout Vita Vea in laying waste to the notion that 340-pound behemoths are gridiron dinosaurs no longer worthy of high draft picks. Oliver has been a man possessed since his midseason benching, recording four sacks in the last four games. A reeling Bills defense facing an identity crisis a month ago has surged back into second place in points per game (16.3) and third place in total yards per game (296.8).
Oliver has 29 tackles, five sacks, two passes defended and one forced fumble so far this season.
2. Josh Allen: I feel like we've learned from it
After facing the team that blitzes the most in the NFL and struggling to string plays together in all four quarters, Allen believes his team has grown from the experience after watching the film. The quarterback is expecting similar amounts of pressure on Sunday but understands the Steelers are a different type of defense.
"I feel like we've learned from it, but we won't know until we go out in the field and go out and prove it," Allen said. "But again, this defense like I said, they do a lot of different things. So, we got to be ready for it. Our protections, our answers if we know we're not protected, we have to be on the same page, myself and receivers and tight ends and things like that. Like I said, it's going to be another grinding game and it's a good team we're going to play."
Allen will see the fifth-ranked defense in the Steelers who leads the league in sacks and takeaways. He understands the offense needs to click against a defense that won't give them much room to move.
"It's no secret, we have to go win this game," Allen said. "We have to go win our next couple games that we have, but we're focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers right now. It's going to be, like I said, a four-quarter fight with this team. They're tough, they've been playing very well, so we have to go out there and execute."
The quarterback said the big stage won't have a big impact on the team, they will just have to adjust to playing at a later time.
3. Arthur Moats: The Bills are a team that has been good all season
Former Bills and Steelers player Arthur Moats joined One Bills Live this week to talk about the matchup between his two former teams and the release of his new book. Moats was drafted by the Bills and played for Buffalo from 2010 to 2013. After his final season with the Bills, he played for the Steelers from 2014 to 2017. Moats thinks the Steelers have had to string wins together creatively with their laundry list of injuries.
"Pittsburgh, they've had to get very creative with how they score points on offense," Moats said. "This is technically the fourth quarterback because they started out with Ben Roethlisberger who got hurt six quarters into the season, then they went to Mason Rudolph. Josh Dobbs was the third quarterback going into the season and they traded him away to Jacksonville. They end up releasing Duck Hodges at the end of camp and bring him back, so from then on he takes over midway through the season and has provided a spark for those guys offensively."
Moats says as of late the country is getting to see the best of both teams. One thing that differs, Buffalo hasn't played in a primetime Sunday game since 2007.
"The Bills are a team that has been good all season but hasn't had the type of national respect or hasn't been talked about in that regard up until the Thanksgiving game, which you saw them put on that beautiful display against the Cowboys," Moats said. "Now you're starting to see those two teams that have that history, two teams that have been playing well. Ultimately you're going to see who gets it done in primetime with playoff implications on the line as well."
Since Moats spent time with both teams, he says he won't make a guess on how the game plays out. Recently, Moats released his own book titled M.O.A.T.S Theory of Life. The idea for the book was to steer away from an autobiography to write something that can help others.
"In terms of our personal experiences that we acquire along the way, we can use all those things to help us be more impactful, more inspirational," Moats explained. "The reason why I wanted to make my book more of a self-help and inspirational style book versus an autobiography is that a lot of athletes once they retire they write an autobiography. Once you read it once, you don't need to pick it up again, there's nothing you're going to learn from again. With this self-help style book, this is something you can pick up today and learn something from, you can pick it up in six months and still learn from it."
You can find the book for purchase at moatstheory.com.