Why the Chiefs will win
12-4 is better than 11-5.
Chiefs have beaten better teams, Steelers have padded their schedule against weak teams.
The Chiefs went undefeated in the AFC West, generally considered to be the toughest division in the NFL this year.
Alex Smith has a playoff mode that takes the offense to a new level.
Chiefs beat Oakland in Oakland, Denver in Denver, and Atlanta in Atlanta.
Chiefs faced top scoring offenses like the Raiders (twice), the Falcons, the Colts, the Saints, and the Chargers (all better than Pitt) and held them all below their season average (exception: Game 1 vs Chargers).
Chiefs have the bye week to get healthy and take a mental break, and for Andy Reid to game plan like the wind.
Home playoff game.
Andy Reid’s record after a bye week: 19-2
Steelers’ biggest weakness is one of Chiefs’ strengths: Special teams, returns and coverage.
Tyreek Hill (high five!):
And Chris Jones, y’all:
When you get owned twice in one play by Chris Jones. This is my new favorite gif of the year. pic.twitter.com/1kO4CLuCzV— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) December 15, 2016
Marcus Peters vs. Antonio Brown
Marcus Peters faced 7 of the Top 10 receivers this year (by receiving yds), including Antonio Brown. He did not allow a TD to any.#PITvsKC— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 12, 2017
Steelers on the road:
Big Ben at home this yr: 71%, 320 YPG, 20 TD, 5 INT, 102.8 QB RTG— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) January 1, 2017
Big Ben on the road: 59%, 238 YPG, 9 TD, 8 INT, 78.4 QB RTG
This injury list is extensive. Most will play, if not all.
The Chiefs have 13 Pro Bowlers and alternates.
Why the Steelers will win
Their Killer B’s (Ben, Brown, and Bell) are all amazing talents, and very difficult to stop.
The Pittsburgh defense has improved since earlier in the season.
The Steelers are on an eight-game winning streak.
The Steelers relatively healthy.
Todd Haley is clever, aggressive, and has additional motivation to humiliate the Chiefs.
Experience: Big Ben has been to three Super Bowls, and won two.
Ben Roethlisberger is 34, and seems to get dinged up several times each season. He twisted an ankle in the playoff win over the Dolphins. Reports say he’s okay now, but that seems ripe for re-injury.
Is Justin Houston actually healthy? If he is, and is even just half as disruptive as he was in Denver, the Chiefs will win. If not ...
Weather. It looks like an ice storm will hit Kansas City the day before the game. By game time, it should just be a cold, miserable rain. Who will that hurt the most? I have no idea. (Random note: Marcus Peters factored in the weather in baiting Derek Carr into an interception in Oakland.)