4 Keys For A Chiefs Victory vs. Steelers


  • This will be the 28th meeting between these AFC teams since they first met with the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970. The Steelers hold a 17-10 edge in the series, but the Chiefs won the last meeting between the teams in 2009, with a 27-24 overtime victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
  • The Chiefs have had trouble beating the Steelers in Kansas City, where Pittsburgh is 9-7 overall and 9-6 in games played at Arrowhead Stadium since it opened in 1972. The home team has won the last two games, however, by 21 points in 2003 and then three points six years later.
  • The Chiefs and Steelers have met once in the AFC playoffs, and that came after the 1993 season when the Chiefs grabbed a 27-24 victory in overtime thanks to the passing of QB Joe Montana. The Chiefs tied that game late in the fourth quarter on a scoring pass from Montana to WR Tim Barnett, and then won in the extra period on a Nick Lowery FG.
  • When the Chiefs play the Steelers it’s almost always in Kansas City. Only once in the last 10 games between the teams has Kansas City traveled to Heinz Field, or before that Three Rivers Stadium. That was in 2006 when they were drubbed 45-7 in a game that’s memorable only for RB Larry Johnson tackling Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu after an interception by grabbing the hair sticking out the back of his helmet.


Limit Pittsburgh’s big plays on offense

The Steelers have become very much a passing offense, although now that the weather is getting colder and weather in the northeast, they may start have QB Ben Roethlisberger handing off more often. But Big Ben and his offensive coordinator Big Bruce Arians love the big passing play. They have a 95-yard Roethlisberger to WR Mike Wallace touchdown pass, one of six scores for Wallace this season. On the ground, they find big yardage as well, as Rashard Mendenall has a 68-yard run and Jonathan Dwyer has a 76-yard run. The Chiefs defense has not allowed any breakout runs this year; the longest has been 35 yards. But they have given up some long pass plays, 67 and 56 and 52-yard TD plays in the last two games.


How about a happy return

As second-round draft choices in 2010, RB Dexter McCluster and CB Javier Arenas were considered potential game-breaking punt and kickoff returners. Arenas came out of Alabama as one of the best punt returners in NCAA history with seven career touchdowns. McCluster never reached the end zone at Ole Miss, but he was a factor in the field position battle each week with returns. And it was McCluster that took back a punt for a score in his first game, the 2010 season opener against San Diego. Since then the Chiefs have played 26 games and the pair has returned 156 punts and kickoffs. None have reached the end zone. None have gone for more than 37 yards. Chiefs need to generate momentum in the kicking game, and it’s time for the return game to make a big contribution.


Don’t help the Steelers turnover ratio

Pittsburgh has one of the league’s best defenses and has had over the last 30 years. For some reason in 2011, they’ve been suffering a takeaway drought; Pittsburgh has generated just six takeaways, four interceptions and two recovered fumbles. That’s a pace to have 10 takeaways on the season. Since 1970, the fewest takeaways they had in a season were 22 (2009 and 1975). On the season, they are minus-10, lowest in the league. The Chiefs are minus-three with 19 giveaways. When they win, they have had six giveaways. Then they lose, they’ve had 13 interceptions and fumbles lost. They need to keep ball possession all buttoned up.


Find the end zone

The Chiefs have 13 offensive TDs, nine of those have come in their four victories. That leaves four TDs for their six defeats. In their last three games, the Chiefs scored just 16 points, with one touchdown. To win, they must find a way to turn their opportunities into six points against a defense that has allowed 19 offensive touchdowns. The Chiefs are 29th among 32 teams in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game. The Steelers are 4th in scoring defense, allowing 17.9 points per game. You’ve got to score to win and the Chiefs need something more than 3, 10 and 3 points they’ve scored the last three weeks.

2 Responses to “4 Keys For A Chiefs Victory vs. Steelers”

  • November 26, 2011  - rufus says:

    5. Play way over your heads (more likely than 1 through 4 heh)

  • November 27, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Iam very surprised the VEGAS only has the Steelers favored by 10. Looks to me that it should have been about 20 or so.

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