The Chiefs are 0-6 against the Steelers in games Roethlisberger has both started and finished, counting last season's loss against Pittsburgh in the playoffs. The Chiefs beat the Steelers in a 2009 game Roethlisberger started, but he was gone because of an injury by the time it was over and backup Charlie Batch finished the game at QB for Pittsburgh.
Antonio Brown is Pittsburgh's star, evidenced by his 19 targets Sunday and league-leading 545 yards receiving. He consistently wins against the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and he'll battle elite third-year man-coverage master Marcus Peters on Sunday. Both Brown and Peters play with nuclear emotion and have melted down on the sidelines this season. This is the must-see matchup of the week.
-- The Chiefs are given a 92.5 percent chance to win the AFC West, a huge number five games in considering they have only a 1½-game lead over the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are just one behind in the loss column and have two shots remaining against the Chiefs this year, including one on the season’s final day in Denver. FPI gives the 3-1 Broncos a 6.9 percent chance to win the division.
“The one thing that he’s done — and personally, in my case — is that he allows his assistants to grow within the system, within the offense or defense,” Pederson said Wednesday. “He just allows you to work and to grow and further your career that way. And then, listen, when you get an opportunity — in my case, going from quality control to a quarterbacks coach and eventually his offensive coordinator — much like a player, you make the most of it, and you do what you can to be successful.”
If you look at the play of the Chiefs run defense this season when it comes to successful run play rates against opposing running backs you’ll find they’ve allowed 45 of 106 total rushes (42.5%) to be successful. In order to put that success rate into some sort of perspective for you, while the Steelers defense has allowed opposing running backs to average 5.24 yards per carry against them through five games, only 48 of the 125 total rushes (38.4%) have been successful runs.
“For me, it is hard to put too much stock in one game. I did get to see a little bit of that game because it was one before ours. There are also a lot of plays in that game that he did make in that game. A lot of production. Certainly, the turnovers hurt you. A couple of the picks, one of them falling down. So I know he was frustrated in the moment, I know he said this and it is easy to make too much of it. I think he is still playing at a pretty good level from afar.”
The Chiefs, along with the American Cancer Society will also honor seven local survivors of the disease – each of which battled a different type of cancer. The survivors are: Corina Ramirez (colon cancer), Samantha Hardisty (breast cancer), Kristina Traughber (cervical), Donald Hall (prostate), Bettye Givens (lung), Tim Grimes (melanoma) and Aiden Burkhart (sarcoma).
Worst of all, though, is that the Steelers had at least kept the Jaguars from doing any real damage on offense through three quarters. It was the fourth that did them in, though, allowing the Jaguars to eat minute after minute of clock and force the Steelers to rush things if they wanted to have any hope of getting back into the game. Thanks to two pick-sixes by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, that was already going to be tough enough. Having a rapidly dwindling clock didn’t help.
"With us playing the Chiefs so frequently we know what they like to do, their tendencies in certain situations and they can say the same about us," Moats said. "Whenever teams operate like that you have to operate with a lot more detail."
Take 2016 for instance. The Steelers had just been crushed by the Eagles and faced the Chiefs the following week. Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes, matching the most ever against the Chiefs, in a blowout.
The Chiefs always seem to bring out the best in the Steelers and Roethlisberger. No AFC opponent owns a better all-time winning percentage (.677) against the Chiefs than Pittsburgh.
Other injured Chiefs appear to be making making progress, however, including center Mitch Morse, who has missed the last three games with a foot injury, and receiver Albert Wilson (knee). Both were, like Kelce, expected to be limited in practice on Thursday after missing practice Wednesday.
Since Hill was not listed on the original report on Wednesday, that means this injury occurred this week, which is not a good sign. Linebacker Justin Houston missing a second day in a row is not good either.
“It’s a dream, man. They’re making the Madden guys’ jobs hard,” West said, referring to programmers and designers at EA Sports who are responsible for the signature NFL video game.
“I don’t know how they’re going to get all of this stuff in the game next year,” West said.
If they’re trying to replicate the Chiefs’ playbook, it might push the limits of technology.
“He's built low to the ground and has real good vision,” Butler said Thursday. “He sees the backside of cuts. He really keeps it tight to the offensive linemen's blocking and finds ways to get downhill. He's an impressive runner in those terms. He's going to be a challenge.”
Roethlisberger said he flushed last week's performance when Monday rolled around, then provided a very simple explanation for how he managed it: "Two Super Bowls, 100 some wins, 300-some — I don't even know my own stats," Roethlisberger said. "I've been playing this game longer than you've probably been covering it."
“Well, it’s always good to have James Harrison when you play Kansas City and let their offensive tackle see him,” Butler said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ll just say that. … See him. I’ll leave it at that. You can imagine what might happen.”