AFC Divisional round Playoffs – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs


Weather was the headliner in the build up to this game with the kick off being delayed because they were expecting an “ice-storm” but as it turned out the weather may have also delayed it’s kick off and the expected precipitation might not appear until the game has started (oopsie).  All the other chatter surrounding this game has surrounded the 3 B’s from the Steelers; Ben, Bell and Brown but that rather forgets the one man who could be the best B in KC tonight, Berry.  Eric Berry’s comeback from Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been nothing short of miraculous and if Super Bowl’s were won by the most deserving candidate then the Chiefs would be guaranteed to win all of them while Berry’s continues.
This season Berry has made 75 total tackles, defended 9 passes, forced a fumble and scored 2 touchdowns from the 4 interceptions he’s made.  So he’s pretty ubiquitous around the field, the only thing he hasn’t done this season is make a sack but with Dee Ford and Justin Houston combining for 14 between them Berry is just fine patrolling the backfield and acting as the eraser as John Lynch would say, just rubbing out any mistakes the 10 players in front of him make (not they make many).

Kansas City have their own 3 danger men on Offence in Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, they’ve been responsible for 15 touchdowns so far this season (which is not far off the whopping 22 the 3 B’s have notched up) and when your team has the best give/take ratio in the league with 16, 10 more than the Steelers (the Chiefs lead the league in both interceptions and fumble recoveries) you don’t need to be putting up the points that the Steelers do (24.9 points per game), but the Chiefs aren’t far away with an average of 24.3.

The Steelers have done well pass protecting this season with just 21 sacks allowed in the regular season but the last time the teams played back in October the Chiefs sacked Big Ben twice and hit him a further 3 times so Justin Houston and co. will feel like they could have some success on their home turf.  Back in October The Steelers ran out 43-14 winners as Roethlisberger unloaded 5 touchdown passes on a Chiefs team who had a record of 2-1, that game was a bit of watershed for the Chiefs coming the week before their bye and since then they have only lost 2 more games. Immediately following the loss in Pittsburgh the Chiefs went on a 5 game winning streak and in the 2 games they have lost the aggregate score was 38-34, losing as they did 19-17 to both Tampa Bay and Tennessee (but since Pittsburgh doesn’t start with a “T” I don’t think the curse will be in effect this week)!

The Steelers are the meanest Defence in football right now, as illustrated by Dupree’s hit on Matt Moore last weekend so the Chiefs have to be aware that there will be some big hits (legal or illegal, Dupree was fined $18,000 for laying out the Dolphins QB) flying about and it will imperative they keep their starters, especially Tyreek Hill in one piece and also on Offence the Steelers won’t hesitate to lay out anyone who looks they might be about make a big play so Berry, Peters and the injury prone Justin Houston must avoid any big hits.  If the Chiefs can avoid any unfortunate injuries and keep their turnover record up this should be their game, but it could be close and the if it becomes a shoot out then the Steelers will like their chances, Big Ben loves a 2 minute drill so if they get the chance to tie or win the game late on then it could be the killer B’s paying a visit to Foxboro next week.

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