Steelers vs Chiefs: Behind enemy lines with Arrowhead Addict
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Week 16. Here’s a preview of what we can expect in this matchup.
Thanks to a stellar defensive performance by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15 that included four takeaways, Mike Tomlin’s team was able to pull off the win against the Tennesee Titans. Now, his hungry squad has their sites set on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Taking down one of the hottest teams in the league won’t be easy this week — especially considering that this game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium. However, an upset by Pittsburgh this week could further elevate Pittsburgh’s playoff chances and give them a real shot at making the tournament down the stretch.
Recently, I caught up with Arrowhead Addict editor Matt Conner to discuss the upcoming Steelers vs Chiefs game. How can Pittsburgh slow down Kansas City’s electrifying offense? What can the Steelers do to give themselves a fighting chance this week? Here’s my Q&A with Conner:
Steelers vs Chiefs Q&A
1. What is the current state of this Chiefs team? With their impressive surge in the second half of the season, how do you feel about their Super Bowl chances this year?
This is the team everyone knew was lurking there all along—except an even better version. The offense still hasn’t turned into the weekly juggernaut they can be, but this defense is even better than anyone predicted—a best-case scenario at literally every position in terms of player development. Special teams round things out as one of the league’s best units and it’s impossible not to be very confident that they can get it done.
2. What is one area that you feel in which the Chiefs could exploit the Steelers in Week 16?
It will be interesting to watch how the Steelers try to handle Tyreek Hill and vice versa. Tyreek has played the Steelers four times in his career but the last time was in the very beginning of the 2018 season. In the years since then, Hill has truly turned the corner into an elite well-rounded receiver—not just a deep threat. He can go up and get the catch, run complicated route combinations, create separation in a number of ways. Keenan Allen had a field day against the Steelers a month ago and I could see similar results here.
3. As a Chiefs fan, is there a matchup you are worried about in this game? Which Steelers player do you think the Chiefs will try to focus on minimizing in this matchup?
A do-it-all back always presents serious issues for the Chiefs so Najee Harris should put some solid stats against K.C. this week. It mostly depends on if linebacker Willie Gay can get healthy in time to play this week (he’s on the COVID list), but Austin Ekeler had a nice game on Thursday and teams with similar backs can cause the Chiefs fits. Chris Jones was also out last week which only made the Chiefs even more vulnerable in the middle.
4. The Chiefs will be heavily favored in the contest, but what would the Steelers have to do well in order to give themselves a fighting chance for the upset this week?
The Chiefs have been vulnerable in weeks past because they shot themselves in the foot. That’s really the only way to beat them at this point, for any team in the AFC at least. Execute a clean game plan, take advantage of K.C.’s mistakes, and play extremely physical for all 60 minutes. Punch them in the mouth and minimize mistakes and there’s always a shot.
5. What is your game prediction for the Steelers vs Chiefs in Week 16?
The Chiefs know they used up their margin early in the season which is why they’re not overlooking a single opponent at this point. It’s hard to believe they’ll relent the top seed knowing it’s now fully in their control. I think Chiefs roll fairly easily in the last game at Arrowhead.