ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Last week Josh Allen faced one of the tougher defenses in the league with the 49ers and shredded them throwing for 375 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
His performance earned him the title of AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season and he’s looking for a similar game against a much more challenging defense, the top defense in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The defense that they’ve got, obviously the pass-rush, the two guys T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward. Obviously they lost [Bud] Dupree which is a really good player too and you never like to see anyone go down and he was a very tough competitor that we played last year. In the back end they’ve got some smart guys, Minkah’s [Fitzpatrick] able to fly around,” Allen said.
It bodes well for Allen that Washington quarterback Alex Smith was able to light up the Steelers defense in the second half on Monday handing Pittsburgh its first loss of the season. Smith had great success against the Steelers zone defense and that’s exactly what Allen did against the 49ers after struggling against zone during the earlier portion of the season in games like against Tennessee and Kansas City.
But this defense is going to be looking to bounce back in a big way and they have the type of play makers to do it. Linebacker T.J. Watt leads the league in sacks with 12 and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick leads the Steelers in interceptions with four. As a whole, the Steelers lead the league with 16 interceptions, 23 takeaways and 44 sacks.
“They’re a really good defense, they’re fun to watch obviously when we’re not playing I like watching them because it looks like they just have a great time playing the game. They have a great time playing for their coach over there” Allen explained.
Pittsburgh’s defense ranks third in yards per game allowed (300.5), first in points allowed (17.6) and second in passing yards per game allowed (199.8).
This should be a great matchup for the Bills explosive offense to give the Steelers a huge challenge as Allen is fifth in the league right now in passing. Not to mention their ability to dial up trick plays and catch opposing defenses off guard as we’ve seen a few times so far this season. Maybe we’ll see more of that come Sunday night.
When talking about the Steelers defense, Allen also had high praise for head coach Mike Tomlin.
“Everything I’ve heard about Coach Tomlin has been nothing but super and fantastic and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and who he is as a person and a coach so I’ve got a lot of respect for the organization over there in Pittsburgh,” Allen said.
And you can’t talk about their organization without mentioning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, now in his 17th season in the NFL who some have compared Allen to.
“Obviously what he’s been able to do in his career, winning a couple Super Bowls, just the consistency that he’s been able to do it on too. I know he missed a few games last year but the way that he plays, the style of the game that he plays, he’s very hard to bring down, obviously he’s got tremendous arm talent and he’s been doing it for a long time,” Allen said.
“He’s had a lot of success, I’d argue to say he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer so obviously I’m very humbled to even be even named in the same conversation as him and be compared to kind of what he was when he was younger.”
“He’s still playing at the top of his game right now and he’s got things rolling.”