November 27, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) returns a kick off as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Cameron Sheffield (55) attempts the tackle in the second half. Pittsburgh won 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Everyone is talking about how the Steelers match up against the Chiefs could be a trap game. Well, I think the offensive line needs to be ready for a challenge. The Chiefs linebackers account for nearly all of their sacks this year and they could give the Steelers offensive line an unexpected battle. If you think: “Oh, the Steelers offensive line is really doing great over the last few games, so don’t worry about it” maybe you should give the Chiefs a little more credit. These guys might just be playing for pride. It could be a strong motivational tool to play against your former head coach. Even better if you plant his quarterback on the ground a few times. No one expects anything from the Chiefs. They can choose to keep playing the way they are, or they can choose to prove everyone wrong. What better time than to beat the Steelers. Ummm, heellooooo – remember the game against the Raiders? The Steelers are saying all the right things as if they aren’t going to let themselves get caught up in the hype. But they said all that before they played the Raiders.
Here’s the match up as I see it:
On the Steelers offensive line, Starks and Colon are on the left while Foster and Adams line up on the other side of Pouncey. Gilbert may be back in this week, but I would expect the Steelers to be very cautious with using him. Here’s my concern. If you look at the 14 sacks for the Steelers, they are spread out among eight players in both front line and secondary positions. If you look at the 14 sacks for the Chiefs, 12 of them come from their front line: Justin Houston has six and he’s a left outside linebacker. On the right, Tamba Hali is on the outside and has five sacks and Derrick Johnson is on the inside and has one sack. The Steelers offensive line this year is far more capable of handling the Chief’s defense than the Steeler’s offensive line from last year, but don’t kid yourself. The game against the Giants was a tough one and an emotional one. This offensive line could have their work cut out for them.
Willie Colon is playing out of his mind this year and he might be the inspirational key to the rest of the offensive line. He has battled back from two straight years of injury and it’s great to see him having an awesome year. Who didn’t love the block against the Bengals when he kept the defender on the ground? Max Starks has been great too and I’m glad to see that Adams, even being a rookie, is showing more capability than he did in training camp. Heath Miller has thrown a few blocks too.
The Steelers offensive line should get a lot of credit for the job they have done in this win streak – we can call it a streak now I think. I’m glad to see that Roethlisberger continues to give them credit every time reporters ask him what he thinks is working for them now. I hope they are prepared for a potentially tough Chief’s front line. This game should not be a trap game for the Steelers. After such a rough start to the season, no game is a “throw-away.”