Steelers best chance against Bills may literally be an act of the football gods

The Pittsburgh Steelers-Buffalo Bills Wild Card Round game could see their offensive game-planning altered due to weather.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks / Conor Courtney/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Steelers once again completed a season with a winning record under head coach Mike Tomlin. If there's one thing that can be applauded, it's for that consistency. This year, the Steelers made it into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the AFC. But the team is set to face the Buffalo Bills, the winners of the AFC East and the holders of the No. 2 seed.

Pittsburgh is at a disadvantage on paper in terms of talent. It certainly doesn't help that star linebacker T.J. Watt was ruled out due to an MCL sprain suffered in Week 18. But it appears the football gods may be doing the Steelers a favor on Sunday afternoon.

WGRZ Buffalo meteorologist Patrick Hammer points out that there could be heavy lake effect snow on Sunday, with temperatures in the mid-20s, 30 mph winds, and 5-10 degree wind chills.

NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe points out that this weather could have a " big impact on style of playoff game the offenses can play if it does hit."

Lake effect snow and heavy winds could alter playstyle for Bills and Steelers

For those unaware of what lake effect snow is, here is the description from the National Weather Service:

"Lake effect snow is common across the Great Lakes region during the late fall and winter. Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more."

Heavy winds and snow? In that case, it may very well mean the offenses will be running the ball a lot in the Wild Card game.

For the Steelers, they have averaged 118.2 rushing yards per game, the 13th-most in the entire NFL. They will face a Bills rushing defense that has allowed an average of 110.6 yards per game, the 15th-fewest in the NFL.

As for the Bills, their rushing offense is among the best in the NFL, averaging the seventh-most yards per game with 130.1. They will face a Steelers rushing defense that surrendered 115.1 yards per game, the 14th-most in the NFL.

This could work in the favor of the Steelers, because if the Bills opt against throwing the football, it would take out the likes of Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dalton Kincaid. The Steelers would then not have to put too much pressure on quarterback Mason Rudolph, as he can lean upon Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. Harris ran for 1,035 yards and eight touchdowns on 255 carries, while Warren picked up 784 yards and four touchdowns on 149 carries.

With the game still being a couple of days away, there is a chance there is a change in weather. But if Orchard Park gets hit hard with heavy wind and lake-effect snow, expect there to be a change in offensive game plans from both Mike Tomlin and Sean McDermott.

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