Ahead of the Chiefs’ AFC Divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday at noon on Ch. 41), The Kansas City Star and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are sharing stories.
Here are some of the stories from the Post-Gazette that may interest Chiefs fans.
▪ Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he kept quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday’s win over Miami because he thought it would help Pittsburgh close out the game. Tomlin did admit he shouldn’t have called the third-down play that resulted in a hard tackle of Roethlisberger, who injured his foot.
“I take responsibility for throwing it on third down,” Tomlin said. “I got a little over-aggressive there. I made the call, so don’t ask Todd (Haley), I take responsibility for it.”
▪ Historically, the Steelers have had success in the playoffs against teams they met in the regular season. In this century, the Steelers are 11-5 in playoff rematches, but the players do not find comfort in that history.
▪ Columnist Ron Cook said the Roethlisberger injury and arrest of assistant coach Joey Porter are an unnecessary distraction for the team.
Cook writes: “They have been a resilient team all season and have reached the NFL’s final eight with a legitimate chance to win Super Bowl LI. Their Big Three of Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown are playing their best football. Their defense, led by a couple of old guys — James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons — who have seemed to turn back the clock, has been outstanding. Their young players — Eli Rogers and Demarcus Ayers on offense and Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Javon Hargrave on defense — have stepped up to make major contributions. The team is ultra-confident, not just because of the ease of the Miami win but also because of late-season comebacks from double-digit deficits against Cincinnati and Baltimore.”