Bills vs. Steelers: 5 things to watch for during Wild-Card game

The Buffalo Bills begin their playoff journey with a matchup at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium.

All week, topics and storylines have been discussed ahead of these two familiar AFC opponents facing off.

In the end, regardless of what is said by players, coaches, media outlets and fans, it always comes down to what unfolds on the field in the NFL.

And once the battle arrives, there will be a few particular things to keep in mind to look out for.

With that, are five things to watch for during Sunday’s Bills (11-6) and Steelers (10-7) AFC Wild-Card matchup:

The weather

Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The radar looks ugly for Sunday. A 50 percent chance of snow during the game and winds could reach up to 20 miles per hour.

The temperature will be around 20 degrees.

But… it’s Buffalo hosting Pittsburgh. Not Miami. Two winter teams do battle in their local conditions.

Undoubtedly, game plans will see changes because of the forecast as well. Get ready to hear the names of running backs James Cook and Najee Harris a lot.

Streaking teams

 Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills are double-digit favorites ahead of this game. The Steelers will not care what the sportsbooks think.

Both Buffalo and Pittsburgh will head into the postseason confident. These teams are on five and three-game winning streaks, respectively.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott has to have his team ready from the get go. In recent weeks, Buffalo has mostly played teams that wouldn’t be nearly as confident as Pittsburgh.

How injuries will change the game

Injuries have added up for both the Bills and Steelers over the past week. Starting receiver Gabe Davis (knee) and rotational defensive back Taylor Rapp (calf) have been ruled out by the Bills. It’s also unclear if linebacker Tyrel Dodson (shoulder) and cornerback Rasul Douglas (knee) just yet.

On the flip side, the one major injury for the Steelers is TJ Watt (knee). He led the NFL in sacks and has been ruled out.

Between Davis and Douglas, and certainly Watt, there are impactful players who will miss this game. How do the two sides deal with these?

Experience factor

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Steelers have a bit of a new-look offense over their current win streak. Mason Rudolph has taken over at quarterback and will play against the Bills.

In comparison, not just Josh Allen, but plenty of Buffalo’s roster can be considered a lot more experienced in the postseason than Pittsburgh’s. Does that factor into the way Wild-Card weekend plays out?

Home field

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Under McDermott’s watch, the Bills have played a lot better at home during the playoffs. They are 4-1 in Orchard Park.

That could be the simple difference between a win and loss.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire