Preview: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, October 2, 2016
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Coming off one of their worst losses in recent memory, the Pittsburgh Steelers hope the return of running back Le'Veon Bell will be enough to get back on track when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Pittsburgh looked every bit the Super Bowl contender it was expected to be in a pair of impressive wins to open the season before getting steamrolled by rookie Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles 34-3.

"We lost just about every aspect of that one. It was a poor performance by us, and I mean all of us," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after his team absorbed its worst defeat since a 31-point drubbing in 1989. "It starts with me. They outcoached us. They outplayed us. They were better fundamentally." Bell, suspended for the first three games for violating the league's policy on substance abuse, is expected to see a heavy workload despite the success of backup DeAngelo Williams through the first two games. Kansas City is coming off its best performance of the young season, forcing eight turnovers and intercepting six passes in a 24-3 rout of the New York Jets. The Chiefs halted a three-game losing streak in the series with a 23-13 home win over Pittsburgh in October 2015.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Steelers -5. O/U: 47

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (2-1): Cornerback Marcus Peters leads the league in interceptions with four after picking off two passes for the second straight week, but his status is in question after he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday while dealing with the flu. Fellow starting cornerback Phillip Gaines also sat out practice Thursday due to a sore knee while running back Jamaal Charles, who has yet to see the field while recovering from a torn ACL in his knee sustained last season, was listed as a limited participant. Spencer Ware has filled in capably as the lead back, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, while quarterback Alex Smith is completing 66.9 percent of his passes. Kansas City's defense is permitting an average of 16.3 points.

ABOUT THE STEELERS (2-1): With Williams rushing for 237 yards over the first two games, there was the notion that Bell would be worked into a rotation in the backfield, but Tomlin doused that idea. "We'll see how sharp he is physically once we get him out on the practice field and kind of go from there but rest assured, you're going to see Le'Veon Bell and probably a lot of him on Sunday," Tomlin said. Ben Roethlisberger threw a season-high six touchdown passes through the first two weeks but was held without one in last week's loss, although he did connect with Antonio Brown on 12 catches for 140 yards. Pittsburgh has registered one sack, its lowest total through three games since it became an official stat in 1982.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Smith is 12-1 in his last 13 starts.

2. Roethlisberger has at least three touchdown passes in his last four home games.

3. Peters is bidding to become the third player since 1970 to record multiple picks in three straight games.

PREDICTION: Steelers 26, Chiefs 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Kansas City 2-1 W1 23.0 16.3 2-0 0-1 2-1 0-0 1-0 1-0 2-1
Pittsburgh 2-1 L1 21.7 22.0 1-0 1-1 2-1 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-0

Last Meeting

Kansas City Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/25/15 PIT 13 KC 23 377 138 239 339 147 192

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KC A. Smith 65.6 251 1 0
PIT L. Jones 55.2 209 1 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KC C. West 22 110 5.0 1
PIT L. Bell 17 121 7.1 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KC T. Kelce 5 73 14.6 0
PIT A. Brown 6 124 20.7 0
TDs Player TD
KC C. Conley 1
PIT M. Bryant 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KC A. Smith 66.9 786 3 1
PIT B. Roethlisberger 59.3 816 6 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KC S. Ware 41 202 4.9 1
PIT D. Williams 66 258 3.9 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KC T. Kelce 17 197 11.6 1
PIT A. Brown 24 305 12.7 2
TDs Player TD
KC D. Harris 1
PIT D. Williams 3

Quickchart Matchup

Kansas City Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
332.3 yards
407.3 yards
4.2 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
6.1 yards/attempt
7.8 yards/attempt
Pittsburgh Off vs  Kansas City Def
354 yards
348 yards
3.9 yards/rush
4.2 yards/rush
6.5 yards/attempt
6 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Kansas City Overall Pittsburgh
2-1 W/L 2-1
1-2-0 ATS 2-1-0
1-2-0 O/U 1-2-0
23.0 Pts For 21.7
16.3 Pts Against 22.0
Kansas City A/H Pittsburgh
0-1 W/L 1-0
0-1-0 ATS 1-0-0
0-1-0 O/U 0-1-0
12.0 Pts For 24.0
19.0 Pts Against 16.0