Preview: Pittsburgh at Kansas City

When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, January 15, 2017
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri


The Pittsburgh Steelers flashed their offensive might last week in a drubbing of Miami in their wild-card game, but their best offensive performance of the season came in a 29-point thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. The Chiefs get a chance to exact some revenge - this time on their home field - when they host Pittsburgh in the AFC Divisional Round on Sunday.

Kansas City fell into a 22-point hole after one quarter in the 43-14 loss at Pittsburgh, but it recovered to win 10 of its final 12 games to claim the AFC West title and No. 2 seed. “This team understands how far we’ve come from that game," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who acknowledged the Steelers will be "a big challenge," told reporters. Pittsburgh was in a similar position to Kansas City a week ago, avenging a lopsided loss at Miami during the regular season with a resounding 30-12 victory. "We have to understand that the same passion and dedication that we put in to beat Miami, that's how Kansas City is going to try to beat us," Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell told reporters. 

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Chiefs -1.5. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE STEELERS: Pittsburgh has ripped off eight straight victories, scoring at least 24 points in each, and showed how explosive it can be in the first postseason game with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Bell all on the field. Roethlisberger burned Kansas City with five touchdown passes and last week tossed a pair of scoring strikes to Brown, who became the first player with two TD receptions of at least 50 yards in the first quarter of a playoff game. Bell set a franchise playoff record with 167 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns last week and shredded the Chiefs for 144 yards on 18 carries in Week 4. Pittsburgh's defense feasted on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, sacking him five times and forcing three turnovers.

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (12-4): While the home-field edge obviously should make a huge difference from the first meeting, both of Kansas City's losses since the rout at Pittsburgh game at Arrowhead Stadium - a pair of 19-17 setbacks to Tampa Bay and Tennessee. Quarterback Alex Smith long has carried the tag of "game manager," but he takes care of the ball in the postseason, throwing for 11 touchdowns against only one interception in five playoff games. Smith's favorite target is tight end Travis Kelce, who made 85 catches for 1,125 yards and four TDs, while rookie Tyreek Hill is an emerging weapon in the return game, as well as at wide receiver and in the backfield. The bye week allowed running back Spencer Ware (rib) and linebacker Justin Houston (knee) to heal.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Three of Roethlisberger's five TD passes in Week 4 went for at least 30 yards.

2. Hill is the only player in history with at least three receiving, rushing and return (punt/kick) touchdowns in one season.

3. Pittsburgh has 35 playoff victories, the most of any team.

PREDICTION: Steelers 23, Chiefs 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Pittsburgh 12-5 W8 25.2 19.9 7-2 5-3 9-4 3-1 1-0 5-1 10-3
Kansas City 12-4 W2 24.3 19.4 6-2 6-2 10-4 2-0 2-0 6-0 9-3

Last Meeting

Pittsburgh Kansas City
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/2/16 KC 14 PIT 43 436 149 287 357 87 270

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PIT B. Roethlisberger 81.5 300 5 0
KC A. Smith 60.0 287 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PIT L. Bell 18 144 8.0 0
KC S. Ware 13 82 6.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PIT S. Coates 6 79 13.2 0
KC J. Maclin 5 78 15.6 0
TDs Player TD
PIT A. Brown 2
KC T. Hill 1
Season (Regular Season and Playoffs)
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PIT B. Roethlisberger 64.7 4016 31 15
KC A. Smith 67.1 3502 15 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PIT L. Bell 290 1435 4.9 9
KC S. Ware 214 921 4.3 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PIT A. Brown 111 1408 12.7 14
KC T. Kelce 85 1125 13.2 4
TDs Player TD
PIT A. Brown 14
KC T. Hill 12

Quickchart Matchup

Pittsburgh Off vs  Kansas City Def
372.3 yards
368.5 yards
4.4 yards/rush
4.4 yards/rush
7.1 yards/attempt
6.6 yards/attempt
Kansas City Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
343 yards
340.4 yards
4.2 yards/rush
4.2 yards/rush
6.8 yards/attempt
6.6 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Pittsburgh Overall Kansas City
12-5 W/L 12-4
10-6-1 ATS 9-7-0
6-11-0 O/U 6-10-0
25.2 Pts For 24.3
19.9 Pts Against 19.4
Pittsburgh A/H Kansas City
5-3 W/L 6-2
5-3-0 ATS 3-5-0
2-6-0 O/U 2-6-0
21.6 Pts For 23.9
19.6 Pts Against 15.8