Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers
- QuarterbackThe Chiefs’ season has disintegrated and quarterback Matt Cassel has played a key role in that event. Cassel has completed more than 60 percent of his passes, but he has shown the tendency to turn the ball over on a frequent basis. Cassel has a tough time reading defenses and that shows in his 6-11TD-interception ratio.The Steelers are playing better each week and Ben Roethlisberger continues to make big plays when the game is on the line. Roethlisberger was at his best in the fourth quarter against the Giants in Week Nine when he led the Steelers on two TD drives. Roethlisberger uses his strength to shake off tacklers and then he buys time and makes plays with his feet.
- OffenseDwayne Bowe looks like a big-time playmaker, but he is not. He has size, strength,leaping ability and strong hands. While he is the Chiefs’ leading receiver, he drops passes or fails to get open in key situations. Running back Jamaal Charles has game-breaking ability an Peyton Hillis is also an effective back, but the Chiefs offense is not dependable.The Steelers have had injuries in the running game but that has not stopped head coach Mike Tomlin from attacking on the ground. Isaac Redman was sensational against the Giants, running for a career high 147 yards and scoring a touchdown. The Steelers have a top big-play threat in Mike Wallace. His TD reception against the Giants turned that game around.
- DefenseTamba Hali can turn the corner and get to the quarterback. He gets help from Justin Houston on the pass rush. Despite all the Chiefs problems, linebacker Derrick Johnson does a good job of chasing down plays and making tackles. The Chiefs have the 16th rated defense, but they can’t stop opponents when the game is on the line.The Steelers are always going to come after you with the blitz. While safety Troy Polamalu (calf) has been out most of the season, the Steelers are playing much better defense after a relatively slow start. Larry Foote and Ryan Clark lead the way with 57 and 52 tackles, respectively. Foote also has three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
- Special TeamsThe Chiefs seemed to have an edge on a lot opponents in the return game at the start of the year, but it has not worked out that way. Speedy Javier Arenas has not had a punt or kickoff return longer than 27 yards. Placekicker Ryan Succop has made 16-of-18 field goal attempts.The Steelers are not usually known for their special teams, but Emmanuel Sanders is capable of a long punt return. Placekicker Shaun Suisham has made 17-of-18 FG attempts this season. Punter Drew Butler does not have a strong leg, but he has dropped 13-of-27 punts inside the 20 yard line.
While the NFL likes to think of itself as an unpredictable league, a Kansas City victory would leave everyone in shock. Not only are the Steelers better in all the key areas, they are surging and playing with full confidence. The Chiefs seem to know they are destined to fail. This one should be over by halftime.