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Chiefs-Steelers preview: Pittsburgh’s defense gives up a ton of yards

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Thanks to Jeff over at SB Nation’s Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain, for answering these Chiefs-Steelers questions for us. You can see my answers to Jeff’s questions here.

How did the Eagles stop the Steelers last week?

BTSC: The Eagles deserve a lot of credit for the victory in Week 3, but the Steelers did their share to help aid them in their victory efforts. The Eagles put tremendous pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, mainly from the interior, forcing him to throw the ball high and off target. They sacked him 4 times, and had 8 quarterback pressures in the game. The Steelers abandoned the run too early, and it made them one dimensional. Defensively it was the team's inability to tackle the catch, and injuries, which ultimately did them in.

Long story short, the Eagles had a tremendous plan entering the game, while the Steelers got a big slice of humble pie.

What are the Steelers notable injuries and how will it affect the game?

BTSC: There are several key injuries to keep your eye on as the game approaches Sunday night. ILB Ryan Shazier could miss a week with a knee injury, Safety Robert Golden suffered a hamstring injury, rookie S/CB Sean Davis has a back injury and OG Ramon Foster has a chest injury. That isn't the extent of the injury report, but all listed above are starters. The defense is going to have to be creative in their sub packages and ways to maximize the ability of the players who will be in the lineup. The secondary especially will be impacted, and it could equate to rookie Artie Burns and recently acquired Justin Gilbert seeing the field with regularity.

Do you expect Le'Veon Bell to jump right back in without much issue?

BTSC: I do, and that isn't just because I see the world through black and gold tinted glasses, but because he has done it before. Last year when he returned from another 3-game suspension, and another knee injury, he hit the ground running (figuratively and literally) and was every bit the dual threat as a runner and receiver as most expected.

The Chiefs don't have much of a pass rush right now. Is Big Ben salivating?

BTSC: After Week 3 I don't think Ben Roethlisberger will be salivating at much. He has been "off" for the second straight week, and Bell returning should be the perfect elixir to get him back on track. The Chiefs could follow the same template of the Eagles last week to generate pressure on Roethlisberger, and it could be effective. Foster potentially missing the game will be a huge loss on the left side of the line, where Alejandro Villanueva is far from a steady force at left tackle. Roethlisberger plays well at Heinz Field, and normally puts up big numbers in prime time. I wouldn't be shocked to see him have a big game.

The Steelers have given up a ton of passing yards. What's going on there?

BTSC: More of the same from 2015. Last year the Steelers had the 30th ranked pass defense in the league, and that trend continues in 2016. The main difference was last year they were creating turnovers and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They ended up 2015 with 48 sacks (3rd in the NFL) and have mustered only 1 sack in their first three games. This plan was to protect the secondary, when it has almost had a reverse effect. Instead of protecting them, they were exposed in Week 3. I expect Keith Butler to start dialing up more pressures in Week 4, all in hopes to stop the bleeding. With all that said, in the first two weeks of the season the Steelers chose to give up yardage to prevent points. It was an easy trade off, but after Week 3 Chiefs fans might expect a change in pace on Sunday Night Football.