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Steelers Opponents

Bills Defense Historically Strong Against Rookie Quarterbacks

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Steelers QB Duck Hodges Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett will be making his first NFL start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and while optimism abounds regarding the Steelers offensive outlook moving forward with Pickett at the helm, there likely is not a worse team historically for him to be debuting against than Buffalo.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier have faced rookie quarterbacks eleven times since the start of the 2017 season.

Those rookie passers have struggled, to say the least, posting just a 59.5 passer rating. They have also thrown 17 interceptions compared to just seven touchdowns.

New England Patriots quarterback Max Jones specifically struggled against the Bills as a rookie first-round selection last year.

Jones completed just 45.7% of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a pair of games against Buffalo in 2021. His quarterback rating was just 35.9 over the two contests.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson posted a 35% completion percentage against the Bills as a rookie.

They intercepted Houston Texans passer Davis Mills four times in last year’s Week 4 meeting. He was sacked on three occasions as well.

Buffalo briefly faced rookie Malik Willis this season in their Week 2 blowout victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Willis completed just one of four passes for six yards in relief duty. He also lost a fumble in the defeat.

This year’s Bills defense currently ranks first in the league in yards allowed (234.5), second in points surrendered (14.5) and third in total takeaways (9).

Pickett, who is still seeking his first career touchdown pass, was intercepted three times by the Jets last week.

He did score a pair of rushing touchdowns, the first quarterback in NFL history to do so in his professional debut.

Pickett will also be making his first start in front of a hostile crowd in Bills Mafia, as the teams will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo.

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