Steelers vs Chiefs: Breakdown, Matchups, and Predictions

Oct 25, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) drops back top pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) drops back top pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking to rebound from a horrific loss in week three, the Pittsburgh Steelers return to Heinz Field for a prime-time matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.


The Steelers’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles is still fresh in the hearts and minds of Steelers’ Nation. The 34-3 thrashing handed to the Steelers may go down as the worst defeat of the Mike Tomlin era. No matter how devastating the loss, the Steelers must bounce back in week four.

Along with their first loss of the season, the Steelers were without many of their starters in Philadelphia. Ryan Shazier, Ramon Foster, Robert Golden, and a host of others were sidelined due to injuries in the contest. Many of those lost in Philly will be unavailable against Kansas City this weekend.

The return of Le’Veon Bell will add a substantial boost to the Steelers’ offense, but their nonexistent pass rush has been the topic of constant debate.  Rookie quarterback, Carson Wentz, looked calm and collected in the pocket last weekend, throwing a career high 301 yards with a 74.2 completion percentage. A change must be made against Alex Smith and the Chiefs’ offense.

The Chiefs are hot off a 24-3 beat down of the New York Jets. Six interceptions off of Jets’ quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, helped seal a defensive onslaught that helped drive the Chiefs to victory. Led by sophomore cornerback, Marcus Peters, Kansas City’s defense looks to repeat their accolades against Pittsburgh’s high-velocity offense.


BJ Finney vs. Allen Bailey/Chris Jones

Sidelined due to a chest injury, Foster will miss his first game since the 2014 season. In his place, undrafted free agent, BJ Finney, will make his first professional start. Cody Wallace normally serves as the replacement for interior offensive linemen, but an undisclosed knee injury has kept him inactive all year.

Finney will certainly have his hands full against the depth of Kansas City’s defensive line. While Allen Bailey serves as the start defensive end on the right side, the Chiefs have plugged in rookie Chris Jones on both the right and left sides. Bailey may not be a household name to some, but his near ten sacks in two seasons are enough to warrant him as a threat to Finney.

The young offensive lineman has help as his disposal to ensure his first start is successful as possible. With knowledge from Foster and tutelage from offensive line coach, Mike Munchak, it will all come down to how well Finney performs on the field. He held his own against the Eagles’ tremendous pass rush, and will be expected to do so against the Chiefs on Sunday night.

Antonio Brown vs. Marcus Peters

In Antonio Brown‘s last meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs, the All-Pro receiver recorded 124 yards off of six receptions. Impressive numbers for the likes of Landry Jones under center at the time. Brown matched up with cornerback Marcus Peters on more than one occasion, and it can anticipated that he will do so again.

The sophomore defensive back has recorded four interceptions over his last two games. His maturation to the game at a professional level is alarming for offensive coordinators, but must be a Godsend for the Chiefs, who had supposedly taken a risk on his character concerns when they drafted him.

If Ben Roethlisberger’s offensive line is able to buy him time in the pocket, and Brown is able to create separation from Peters, Brown has the speed to beat the defensive back on the outside. This slugfest between two of the best at their position should be one of the more exciting matchups of week four.

The Steelers’ defense vs. Jamaal Charles/Spencer Ware

Fifteen receptions, 228 yards, and two touchdowns. These are the numbers given up by the Steelers’ defense to running backs over the past two weeks. Unfortunately for the Steelers, they face another offense with a pedigree for targeting running backs in the passing game. Jamaal Charles, who tallied 70 passes for 693 yards in 2013,  and Spencer Ware, who caught seven passes for 129 yards in week one, will both be on the field come Sunday.

Charles makes his 2016 debut after a torn ACL ended his season in 2015. The Steelers must get some sort of pass rush generated if they wish to stop the bleeding of the gaping wound that has been their defense. Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt have been existent in name only, and may be the Steelers’ best bet at putting any kind of pressure on Alex Smith.

Smith will get passes off to Ware or Charles, but the Steelers’ secondary must be ready for them when the time comes. They allowed a 73 yard touchdown to a running back last week that could have been stopped if not for poor tackling. If they are able to limit the use of Kansas City’s running backs, it will be the first step in a long mile of becoming relevant on defense again.

Next: Steelers vs. Chiefs: Five questions with the enemy


Ben Roethlisberger will throw multiple touchdowns on Sunday night, but Marcus Peters will get the best of him on at least one interception. 

Tyler Matakevich will see time in the Steelers’ red zone packages, making a touchdown saving tackle against a running back.

Markus Wheaton atones for his dropped passes last weekend, scoring a touchdown in the absence of Eli Rogers.

The Steelers send Kansas City back to the mid-west with a loss, winning 30-21