Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs: I’m not trying to make a big deal of this, but Ben Roethlisberger went 2/7 for nine yards and two interceptions after starting eleven for eleven last week. It’s not that it’s such a big deal as much as it is the mojo that Roethlisberger is coming into this game with. He’s an experienced quarterback who had tremendous success against a Chiefs secondary that only allowed a 79.8 passer rating in the regular season. In the Chiefs, Steelers week 5 matchup Roethlisberger dominated, throwing five touchdowns for a fantastic 152.5 passer rating. Plenty can be said about running back Le’Veon Bell and his patience in the backfield and his ability to make crazy cut backs, but he is a very valuable receiver. He is a very good route runner and when you get him in the open field, watch out. Even outside of Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Steelers still have a plethora of talented wideouts. Deep threat Sammie Coates has excellent straight line speed and despite a poor hamstring, is expected to go tonight. Watch out for Coates, he could be the difference against a tough Chiefs secondary. The Steelers have spent the last couple of years drafting defensive players who have a specific strength. Finally, it has started to come together. Ryan Shazier, a converted safety is a talented athlete who is strong in coverage and has improved technique shreading blocks. Second year linebacker Bud Dupree is an absolute freak of nature. A former high school tight end, Dupree is another first rounder that has started to blossom into a dominant edge rusher. Last week he was a nightmare for Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore.
Everyone calls Alex Smith only a game manager, but what’s wrong with that. The guy is as consistent as it gets, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and is accurate when he has good protection. There isn’t anything wrong with that. I would bet that half of the teams in the league wish they could have a quarterback as dependable as Smith. Tyreek Hill is a quick slot guy that happened to have a couple of big returns. Does he have game-changing speed? Absolutely, but the Chiefs cannot rely on Hill to make big plays on a consistent basis. If that is the Chiefs game-plan tonight, I wouldn’t like their chances. It’s a shame that Jamaal Charles is on IR because he was as electric and explosive of a running back as I have seen in years. After his second torn ACL since 2011, I cannot say that Charles will return back to football. I mentioned how good the Chiefs defense is above, but it is not just one specific part of their defense. With Justin Houston returning, already pairing with second year man Dee Ford, be ready to see Ben Roethlisberger under a lot of duress tonight. A lot of people thought Marcus Peters first season was beginners luck, but let me tell you, Peters is a feisty ball-hawking corner. Obviously, his ball skills are as good as it gets, but his ability to keep up with receivers after playing press coverage is rare. He helps complete this Chiefs defense.
This is a tough game to call because earlier the Steelers torched Kansas City. I do have the Chiefs winning this game because they are at home and Ben Roethlisberger has struggled on the road this season. Despite the impressive numbers that big Ben has put up this season, he has been wildly inconsistent on the road. I would expect the ball hawking Chiefs to take advantage of Roethlisberger’s errant throws (20th worst interception rate).