The key to beating the Kansas City Chiefs is really pretty clear…….run Le’Veon Bell til the tires fall off. The Chiefs had one of the worst rushing defenses in the league this season, ranking 26th overall against the run. The last time these two teams met, Pittsburgh put up some impressive passing numbers. Ben Roethlisberger had 5 touchdowns and 300 yards passing in a 43-7 rout. This time around things should be much different. First off, this game will be in Arrowhead Stadium. It’s one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL in the regular season, never mind for a play off game. Big Ben just isn’t the same quarterback on the road this season, all the more reason to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. The weather will also be a factor in the game on Sunday. The forecast is for an icy mix for most of the afternoon in Kansas City. Throwing the ball will be tough, and turnovers will be a factor. The best course of action for the Steelers is to pound the ball with Le’veon Bell, and get an early lead. That will take the crowd out of the game, and force the Chiefs to throw the ball more then they want to.
On defense, it’s all about containing Tyreek Hill. Hill has become one of the most dangerous offensive players in football. If they can keep him from making big plays, it should be a long day for the Chiefs 20th ranked offense. That includes keeping the ball away from him on special teams as well. Kicking the ball to Hill under any circumstances is a huge mistake. He is a special player who can change the game in just one play.
Last time these two teams met, Pittsburgh’s defensive line totally dominated the game. Cam Heyward had 3 sacks, and Stephon Tuitt gave Kansas City fits all game long. Keep in mind that Pittsburgh jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the first quarter ended. That forced the Chiefs out of their game plan, and made them one dimensional. Another player to watch is All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. Tight ends traditionally give the Steelers trouble, let alone one of the best in football. Kelce was held in check with only 5 catches for 23 yards and one touchdown in the first meeting. Quarterback Alex Smith isn’t much of a threat to throw the ball deep down field. he much prefers shorter passes and check downs. He is a threat to run with the ball, that’s something the Steelers defense will have to account for.
This should be a game the Steelers win comfortably. If they keep Hill from making big plays, and don’t turn the ball over it’s tough to see Kansas City winning. Prediction: Pittsburgh 24 – Kansas City 7.