The Steelers lost to the Jaguars 30-9 last week at home and look to be in trouble. The offense looked terrible, the defense was bad against the run again, and now they face the undefeated Chiefs in Kansas City. There’s no way they can win, right? Well…let’s look at the match-ups:
Chiefs Offense vs. Steelers Defense
The Chiefs and Steelers met in the playoffs last year in Kansas City and the Steelers won 18-16 in a game where the Chiefs scored 2 touchdowns, but the Steelers had 6 field goals. What’s different about the Chiefs offense from last year? Two things:
1) Kareem Hunt – The 3rd round pick from Toledo leads the league in rushing with 609 yards and 6.3 yards per carry. The Steelers defense has not been good against the run.
2) Alex Smith – For most of his career, Smith has specialized in throwing short passes and having a high completion percentage. This year, he’s throwing deep and is still accurate. He has a completion percentage of almost 77 percent and is 3rd in the league with 1,391 yards. The Steelers pass defense has been good, but they haven’t faced a good quarterback yet.
If the Steelers hope to stop the Chiefs attack, they have to put pressure on Alex Smith and hope they can stop the run. That will be a tall task. If the Chiefs are without tight end Travis Kelce, that will hurt their offense.
Steelers Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
Let’s review what happened in the Steelers last game against Jacksonville:
1) Ben Roethlisberger threw for 5 interceptions in what could be the worst game of his career. After the game, he said “Maybe I don’t have it anymore”. He has looked bad all year, prompting talk that he is ‘washed up’. He is due for a big bounce back game to prove to everyone that he still has it.
2) The running game wasn’t much better. Le’Veon Bell ran for 47 yards on 15 carries. The Steelers have only run well one game this year. We can’t blame Bell being rusty because of missing training camp, so the blame has to go on the offensive line.
The Steelers were supposed to be one of the most explosive offenses in the league and that hasn’t been the case this year. It’s time to put up or shut up. With the Chiefs ranked 27th in defense and the Steelers having something to prove. I’m predicting this will be their breakout game.
The Steelers were embarrassed last week and have been facing criticism and turmoil all season. They’re too good of a team to just fold and will look to prove all the doubters wrong. Will be it enough to beat an undefeated team in one of the toughest stadiums in the league? Sure!
Steelers 26, Chiefs 16
Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.