The annual Chiefs-Steelers game is this Sunday. Yeah, yeah. The teams don’t play every season, but it just seems that way, right?
When the Chiefs travel to Pittsburgh for Sunday’s game (noon on KCTV Ch. 5), it will mark the sixth time the teams will have faced each other since the start of the 2014 season.
The Steelers are 4-1 in the previous five games against Kansas City, including the 18-16 win at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Divisional playoff game on Jan. 15, 2017.
I’m providing a quick overview of the next Chiefs’ opponent early in each week, and here are a few things to know about the Steelers.
Pittsburgh enters the game winless. And unbeaten. Yep, the Steelers tied 21-21 at Cleveland on Sunday, and avoided leaving Ohio with a loss when the Browns missed a 43-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play.
The tie may give the Steelers a bit more motivation against the Chiefs.
“Hell yeah, it feels like a loss,” the Steelers’ Cam Heyward told TribLive.com. “Sorry for using that language, but if we settle for those, we’re going to be an awfully (ticked) off bunch. We didn’t get the job done.”
2. Where’s Le’Veon?
Running back Le’Veon Bell is still holding out for a new contract and he skipped the season opener. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bell missed out on an $853,000 paycheck by sitting out the first game.
“Honestly it’s a little selfish,” center Maurkice Pouncey told reporters last Wednesday. “I’m kinda (upset) right now. It sucks that he’s not here. We’ll move on as a team. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the game plan at this point. (James) Conner looks great. We’ll worry about (Bell) in week two.”
However, CBS Sports reported that Steelers officials believe Bell could sit for up to six weeks.
By the way, Conner had a great game Sunday, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Sloppy play
It was raining Sunday in Cleveland, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the six turnovers the Steelers had in the game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and Pittsburgh lost all three fumbles.
Additionally, the Steelers committed 12 penalties for 116 yards.
Despite the picks, Roethlisberger threw for 335 yards against the Browns.
In seven career games against the Chiefs, Roethlisberger has completed 135 of 187 passes for 1,685 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.
4. Receivers start strong
The Steelers had 313 net passing yards against the Browns, and two receivers had big games.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had five catches for 119 yards, including a 67-yard reception. Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. He made a great catch on the score.
5. T.J. Watt
Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt was a beast against the Browns. He had four sacks and a team-high eight tackles. Watt also preserved the tie by blocking the potential game-winning field goal by Cleveland in overtime.
According to TribLive.com, Watt had the second-most sacks in Steelers history since the stat became official in 1982. Chad Brown had 4 1⁄2 for Pittsburgh against Cincinnati in a 1996 game.