Tha Sports Junkies 101

Steelers and Chiefs Playoff Game Moved to Sunday Night

AFC Divisional freezing Photo via NFL Media


The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs will battle each other and the freezing rain in a primetime Divisional Round matchup.

The freezing rain and possible storm has led the NFL to change the time of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs matchup to primetime on Sunday night. The last Divisional Round game of the 2016 NFL postseason will be a rematch from the regular season between these two teams. Regardless of the weather, one team will punch their ticket to the AFC Championship game.

The last time these two teams met, it was a Steelers blowout in front of a sold out home crowd in primetime on NBC. This matchup will be similar, except the Steelers aren’t within the friendly confines of Heinz Field. The Chiefs were 6-2 this season at home, with their two losses by a combined four points. The weather was similar in their last matchup, and the Steelers offense had no problem scoring as they jumped out to a 36-0 lead. If the Steelers hope to have a similar outcome, they will have to pretend as if that game never happened. Le’Veon Bell commented on the Chiefs and their improvement over the season.

“Obviously over the course of the season, they’ve gotten better at what they do. They got great detail in what they do and their work. They’re playing great football right now, they get a lot of takeaways, I think they’re first in the league. Those guys will be a challenge, we obviously gotta protect the ball we also gotta get some takeaways.”

The Steelers offense is lucky enough to have their health, and the use of their depth has helped them get to this point. Le’Veon Bell has been nearly unstoppable in his last two matchups against the Chiefs. The last time the Steelers traveled to Kansas City, Bell finished with 17 carries for 121 yards. During the Steelers eight game winning streak, Bell has averaged 180.7 yards from scrimmage. In Bell‘s first postseason game of his career, he broke the franchise record for rushing yards. If Bell can break his own record, the Steelers will be able to dominate the time of possession.

The depth at wide receiver will help the Steelers immensely. Antonio Brown had business boomin’ against the Dolphins in their Wild Card matchup, but he won’t be able to do it alone in the freezing rain. Eli Rogers has stepped up in his expanded role as a starter. Sammie Coates was the starter the last time these two teams met, but his injury has opened up the door for guys like Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers. Ben Roethlisberger has never had a problem getting the ball to practice squad guys, and he shouldn’t have a problem in weather that he’s used to.

On the defensive, the Steelers have played a bend but don’t break style of defense. They have yet to allow more than 20 points in a game during their eight game winning streak, and they are going to have to continue this great play if they want to have a chance to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. The defense has forced a turnover in every game during the streak, including an interception in each game. Mike Mitchell, who played for the Oakland Raiders for four seasons, has experience playing against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I’ve played there in games in the regular season where the games were less meaningful, and their fans show up and their fans care. As far as Alex Smith, I think he’s a pro. I know he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, for as good as he is he’s known as a ‘game manager,’ which he is, but he’s a winner at this time of the year. When it comes to not turning the ball over, and staying in the game, I think he is the best in the league right now at doing just that.”

As the Steelers look to face one of the NFL‘s most balanced teams, they know the world will be watching them playing in the freezing rain. Steelers fans usual travel extremely well, but due to the weather and how difficult it will be to get to the game, expect a loud and ruckus crowd at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.

Statistics and quotes referenced via Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide