Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kansas City is mired in a five-game losing streak and has not held a
lead in regulation this season. The Chiefs committed four turnovers in
their most recent loss to San Diego to boost their league-worst total to
29. Matt Cassel will make his second
straight start at QB since reclaiming his job when Brady Quinn suffered a
concussion. Kansas City had the league's best running game at one point
this season, but Jamaal Charles has rushed for only 83 yards in his last
Steelers WR Antonio Brown has officially been ruled out for Monday night’s contest with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 9’s win over the Giants. Running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) is questionable, so Isaac Redman, who rushed for a career-high 147 yards last week, would potentially start in his place. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 16 touchdowns against four interceptions and is one of six QBs with a passer rating above 100.
Kansas City, which is allowing 30.0 points per game, cut CB Stanford Routt this week. He was signed to a three-year, $18 million contract in the offseason. The Chiefs' stop unit is allowing 126 yards on the ground per game and will be in tough against the Steelers’ versatile running attack.
Pittsburgh's defense ranks first in the league in total yards (262.6)
and against the pass (174.0). The Steelers limited the Giants to a
season-low 182 yards of total offense despite the absence of Pro Bowl S Troy Polamalu, who will miss his fifth straight game with a calf
injury. The Steelers will also be without T Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and
LB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring).
Kansas City averages 22.2 yards per kick return (22nd) and 10.7 yards per punt return (9th), but has yet to return a kick or punt for a TD this season.
Pittsburgh averages 28 yards per kick return (4th) and 10.2 yards per punt return (11th), but will be without primary return specialist Antonio Brown for this one. The Steelers also have one of the most reliable kickers in the league, Shaun Suisham, who has converted 17 of his 18 FG attempts this season.
Word on the street
"I have to impart on them the importance of protecting the ball for this team and sometimes to get that done, you basically have to threaten them. If you fumble it, I'm going to take you out of the game. And they will get the message." --Romeo Crennel on his plan to bench anyone who fumbles or throws a pick Monday night.
"Whoever's being productive when healthy is going to get the totes. I really think it's that simple. I'm not going to make it any more complex than it has to be." --Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on his depth in the backfield.