Over the course of the past few weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten the opportunity to get some revenge on a couple of their previous opponents during the regular season. Back in Week 16, they avenged a midseason loss to the Ravens with a crushing victory that won them the division and knocked Baltimore out of the playoffs. On Sunday, they made up for a 30-15 embarrassment in Miami by taking down the Dolphins by an even wider margin at Heinz Field in the playoffs.
This time around, however, the roles are reversed. On both previous occasions, it was the Steelers coming back in an attempt to avenge a bad loss on the road. Now Pittsburgh is the team who won big at home, and in the crosshairs of a team that they previously embarrassed.
On Sunday, the Steelers will be traveling south and west to Kansas City, where the Chiefs will be awaiting them fresh off a bye week. Pittsburgh took down the Chiefs big time at Heinz Field early in the season, embarrassing them by a score of 43-14. Kansas City’s two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter to make the final score look just a touch more respectable.
It is interesting—though only interesting, and not substantial in any way—to note that the last time the Chiefs won a home playoff game, it came against the Steelers. In overtime. In 1994. That is, in fact, the only time prior to this Sunday’s game that the two storied franchises have met in the postseason.
Over the course of the past two years, however, they have split even in the regular season, with the Chiefs beating them in 2015 to start a run of wins that didn’t end until the postseason, and Pittsburgh making up for that this year—though Kansas City still ended up with the second seed.
In that game earlier this year, the Chiefs turned the ball over twice early in the game, which helped the Steelers quickly jump out to a 22-0 lead, and Kansas City does not have an offense that does its best work when playing from behind.
It might be worth noting that, while Pittsburgh may have only gone 5-3 on the road, they have won their last four games away from Heinz Field, though Ben Roethlisberger’s performance in those games still often left much to be desired.
The Steelers have done an excellent job in recent weeks of exorcising some demons of the past, toppling the Ravens and the Dolphins to avenge key losses from earlier in the season, both of which came during a potentially season-derailing four-game losing streak.
This time they will be the ones looking to maintain the status quo and to prevent their opponent from avenging a bad loss of their own, and doing so in their own stadium, which will be easier said than done. Still, they have the talent to win anywhere against anybody—provided that they manage to put it all together in time.