Fresh off of a disgusting Sunday home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Pittsburgh Steelers now must prepare for what initially many thought would be the toughest part of their first half schedule. That string of three regular season games begins this coming Sunday with a road game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Not surprisingly, the Steelers were initially installed as a 3-point road underdog to the Chiefs, according to vegasinsider.com.
The 5-0 Chiefs have been impressive so far this season and they haven’t scored less than 24-points in a single one of their games. Their 5-0 start also included wins over the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
In their Week 5 Sunday night road win over the Houston Texans, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 29 of his 37 total pass attempts for 324 yards and three touchdowns. He was also sacked just once in that contest. For the season, the revitalized Smith is 121 of 158 passing for 1,391 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has, however, been sacked 17 times in total through five games.
The Chiefs also have quite a find in rookie running back Kareem Hunt. The Toledo product has rushed for 609 yards and four touchdowns on 97 total carries entering Week 6 and has also caught 16 passes for another 166 yards and two scores.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has also played extremely well to start the season as he currently leads Kansas City in receiving with 29 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns. If that’s not enough, undersized wide receiver Tyreek Hill has caught 25 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns this season in addition to returning 8 punts for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs defense is led once again by outside linebacker Justin Houston. He enters Week 6 with 5.5 sacks on the season and the Kansas City defense has registered 14 sacks in total.
The Steelers won both meetings against the Chiefs last season with their second one coming in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. However, in that Steelers win the Pittsburgh offense only managed 18 points in total and they all came via the foot of kicker Chris Boswell thanks to the offense going 0-4 in the red zone in that contest.
The Steelers will need struggling quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to rebound this coming weekend if they want to have any chance of beating the Chiefs a third consecutive game in three attempts. Roethlisberger is now coming off of one of his worst games of his career that included him throwing a career-high 5 interceptions against the Jaguars.
The Steelers defense will also have their hands full with Hunt on Sunday. That unit is now coming off of a game that included the giving up 231 net yards rushing to the Jaguars.
A win by the Steelers over the Chiefs could potentially set the stage for a strong first half finish. A loss, however, could result in an already bad start to the 2017 regular season ultimately getting even worse as their next two games before their bye will be against the Cincinatti Bengals and Detroit Lions.