Steelers vs. Chiefs, 01/15/17 - Prediction
Written by: Alex Alarcon
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
Game Time: Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 8:20 pm (Arrowhead Stadium)
Line: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs meet Sunday in the NFL AFC divisional playoffs at Arrowhead Stadium on NBC. On Oct. 2, Pittsburgh ripped apart the Chiefs at home, 43-14.
Big Ben Hurt?
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this game on an eight-game winning streak after waxing the Miami Dolphins last Saturday, 30-12. The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t made the AFC conference championship since the 2010 NFL season. In the win over the Dolphins, Le’Veon Bell set a Steelers postseason record with 167 rushing yards and two touchdowns, simply gashing a Miami defense that entered the game banged up.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 72.2 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Antonio Brown had 124 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Even though Big Ben walked into the press conferences with a walking boot on, he will be the quarterback for the Steelers come Sunday. In the win over the Chiefs in October, Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns.
The Steelers offense is clearly the driving force of this Pittsburgh team, and they’ve won 21 of their last 23 games when scoring 24 or more points. Defensively, the Steelers have allowed 20 or less points in six of their last eight games.
Welcome To Arrowhead
The Kansas City Chiefs have won five of their last six games and had an extra week to prepare after winning the AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs have not made the AFC conference championship since the 1993 NFL season. Alex Smith is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 3,502 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Smith has one or less touchdown pass in 10 of his last 13 games. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill have combined for 1,718 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns while Jeremy Maclin has 44 receptions. The Kansas City Chiefs ground game is averaging 109.3 yards per contest, and Spencer Ware leads the way with 921 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Kansas City is allowing 19.4 points and 368.5 yards per game. Derrick Johnson leads the Kansas City Chiefs with 90 tackles, Dee Ford has 10 sacks and Marcus Peters has six interceptions.
- Steelers are 1-3-2 ATS in their last 6 playoff games.
- Steelers are 0-3-2 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Home team is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
- Chiefs are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Chiefs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
The same way the Steelers were a different team after the Dolphins beat them in the regular season, the same can be said for the Chiefs, who have won 10 of their last 12 games since losing to Pittsburgh 43-14 back in early October. The Kansas City Chiefs have allowed 21 or less points in nine of their last 12 games and have the secondary to give this Pittsburgh offense problems.
Speaking of the Pittsburgh offense, Roethlisberger left the Miami game in a walking boot, which can’t be good for his practice schedule this week. Also, coach Andy Reid is 16-2 when having an extra week to prepare. Add the fact Kansas City is never an easy place to win, and you have to give a considerable edge to the Chiefs to win this game.
PICK: Kansas City Chiefs
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