clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs need to be ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers pressure

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs offense has not been great against pressure so far this season, whether that's due to the play call, Alex Smith or the offensive line. They will face another test this week against defensive coordinator Keith Butler and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are tied for sixth in the NFL in sacks this year.

"Yeah, Keith is doing a nice job of mixing them up with different pressures," Andy Reid said, via quotes from the Chiefs. "Similar to what (former defensive coordinator) Dick (LeBeau) was doing and he's probably added more volume as far as more times doing it during the game than what was going on before."

Our Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain, reviewed the Steelers pressure for the first month of the season and noted that Butler was being selective with the games he brought the heat. But Andy Reid says in the past few weeks the Steelers have notched it up.

"It's over the last three games that he's increased that," Reid said. "So the guys - he's got good players and he's bringing them from different areas."

Alex Smith was asked his impressions of the Steelers defense and mentioned the pressure.

"I think two things (about the Steelers defense)," Alex said. "One, just the style. It's going to be physical, it's going to be four quarters, that's always the nature of the game.

"Then I think, from my perspective, always having played there, be ready for the pressure. The zone pressure, they invented it and still do it and do a lot of it and throw a lot at you. From a quarterback's perspective, it was always a lot to deal with."

A couple of problems with the Chiefs and blitzes. First, per PFF, Alex Smith is being pressured on 37.5 percent of his drop backs and sacked on 24 percent of those. Only Marcus Mariota has a higher percentage (which is kind of ironic given the pre-draft comparisons between the two). Second, the Chiefs don't have Jamaal Charles, who was good at picking up blitzes. The Chiefs will turn to Charcandrick West and Knile Davis in the backfield for this game. I also wonder how the Chiefs feel about Spencer Ware and his ability to pick up the pressure.

The Chiefs will need to figure out how to beat the blitz or else they're in for a long day in the passing game.

Thanksgiving deal: Save 20% on APP!

Use promo code GOCHIEFS20 to save 20% on your first year of Arrowhead Pride Premier. Sign up today for exclusive game analysis, subscriber-only videos, and much more on the Chiefs journey to back-to-back.