In an exciting AFC battle, the Pittsburgh Steelers head out to Kansas City to take on the NFL’s only undefeated team – the Kansas City Chiefs. This game is a rematch from the playoffs where the Steelers got the victory 18-16. This week, the Steelers are hoping to turn things around on offense and outscore the Chiefs. For KC, they look to remain undefeated and get a measure of revenge against the Steelers for the playoff loss. Kickoff inside Arrowhead Stadium is at 4:25 PM ET.
Over the last 10 head-to-head meetings, the Steelers have owned the Chiefs with a 7-3 record. They have won 5 out of the last 6 games against KC and swept the Chiefs in the two games last year, which includes the playoffs. Pittsburgh outscored Kansas City 61 to 30 in those two games.
This year, things appear to be different. The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) have proven to be the best team in the league with an explosive offense and a solid defense. They also have an impressive resume with victories over Houston, New England, Philadelphia and Washington. The Chiefs look to get revenge against Pittsburgh, send the Steelers to a .500 record, and remain undefeated on the season.
Pittsburgh (3-2) is coming off an embarrassing home loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s not that the Jags are a bad team, it was how the Steelers were defeated. Big Ben threw 5 interceptions and the team could only muster up 9 points. Additionally, the Steelers couldn’t stop the Jaguars running game. This week, Pittsburgh needs to play a near-perfect game to go into Kansas City and defeat the Chiefs. Can they play their best football for four quarters this week?
The spread opened with the Chiefs favored by 3.5 points. It has bounced around from 4 to 5 points since then, depending on which book you look at. The Over/Under opened at 47 and remains unchanged with most online books.
The Steelers defense looks good on paper, but they have played against 4 anemic offenses in Cleveland, Minnesota, Chicago, and Baltimore. So, their stats are hardly convincing when you look at their competition. Plus, last week, that defense was gashed on the ground by the Jaguars as stud running back Leonard Fournette totaled 181 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Kansas City has to be drooling over those numbers as they also have a talented running back in rookie Kareem Hunt who averages 120 rushing yards per game. Hunt is poised for another big day against a Steelers defense that gives up 136 rushing yards per game. And, when Hunt gets rolling, the rest of the Chiefs defense will get going too as quarterback Alex Smith is putting up solid numbers. On the season, Smith already has 1391 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns. Smith is 3rd in the league in passing yards and Hunt is 1st in the league in rushing.
Don’t sleep on Pittsburgh’s running back Le’Veon Bell this week. The Chiefs give up 118 yards on the ground per game and Bell currently sits 5th in the league in rushing. He slept walked through the first two games of the season and still sits 5th overall. Bell will be a big part of the game this week. In addition to running the ball, I see Bell being active in the passing game as well.
Big Ben needs a bounce back game badly. Last week’s 5 interception game was the worst of his career. I see Ben playing well in this one. He will have to limit the turnovers for the Steelers to have a chance in this game.
The Steelers defense has not faced an offense like the Chiefs this season. So, I expect them to struggle as KC will challenge all levels of their defense. I don’t see Pitt’s front 7 being able to stop Hunt this game. Additionally, I think the Pittsburgh secondary is suspect. They have not been as tested like Chiefs receiver Tyreke Hill will test them.
There is one huge concern heading into this AFC battle, which will definitely impact this game. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is in the concussion protocol and might not play this week. If he is out, then you can expect the spread to go closer to Even and for Pittsburgh to have a real chance in this one. Kelce is one of the best tight ends in this game and his absence will cause a huge void.
Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games during Weeks 5 through 9. Kansas City is 5-0 ATS this season and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Steelers.
I expect the Chiefs to win this game with a late touchdown that will cover the spread. I expect Big Ben and Bell to have great games that would normally bring the Steelers a victory. However, the Chiefs continue to find ways to win games in all 3 phases: offense, defense and special teams. I see them making big plays in all 3 phases and pulling out the win 26-21.