Chiefs to Face Steelers without BoweNovember 20th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge
It’s difficult to see how this game will be competitive. The Steelers at 6-3 are among the best in the NFL. Pittsburgh is ranked #2 in total defense, and #1 against the run. Not a good formula for the Chiefs who must find a way to run the ball in order to keep some pressure off of Matt Cassel. Jamaal Charles ran well against the Raiders last week. This will be a much tougher challenge. And the Chiefs will be playing the next four weeks without wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Though personally I doubt it will matter much this week.
Offensively the Steelers are ranked #9. Uncharacteristically, they’ve struggled a bit running the ball this season. But Ben Roethlisberger has become one of the most effective quarterbacks in the league. For a big man he has great pocket awareness, and makes plays on the move. Where the Steelers have slipped the last few years has been along their offensive line. They give up some sacks, and have had trouble run blocking. A lot of their yardage on the ground has come from Willie Parker making plays out of nothing. But Parker has been hurt and ineffective this year. Rookie Rashard Mendenhall, like most rookies, is still inconsistent.
The Chiefs have won two of their last four, which I did predict here! And I think they’ve got a couple wins still in them this year. I haven’t given up on them.
But can the Chiefs beat the Steelers? Sure. When you see the Raiders beat the Eagles, the Redskins beat the Broncos, or the Rams hang tough with the Saints, anything is possible. But this matchup looks bad for Kansas City. To call the Chiefs offensively challenged is polite. It will require a few turnovers from the Steelers and possibly some big plays from special teams to keep the Chiefs in the game. That’s not my expectation.
Prediction: Steelers 34, Chiefs 6