This is a presentation of the National Football League and CBS Sports.
Your looking at a live picture of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Defending Super Bowl World Champions, Pittsburgh Steelers are playing host to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hello everyone and welcome to our CBS/NFL Studios in Manhattan New York,
On the NFL Today presented by Southwest Airlines, I am a David Saurer aka House of Steel, along with the panel of three stooges, Hall of Famer Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Sooner Eiason. Our Game of the Week on the NFL on CBS:
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-2) against PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-3)
House of Steel aka David Saurer will report the matchup of Week 6 between the Chiefs and the Steelers with the breakdowns, stats, and highlights to watch. Let's turn to our main NFL analysis for the breakdown.
Hello everyone, Kansas City is traveling to Blitzburgh in a sense of urgency game for both squads. However, the Steelers need this game more than ever as their backs have hit the wall with such force in the last three games. Against Jacksonville, the Steelers struggled mighty against the awesome defensive unit the Jaguars exposed. Ben struggled to one of his worse games ever as a quarterback. The passing game was way off as well as Willie Parker's abilities to rush. This game resulted in the first shutout in a long while for the Steelers at 9-0. Going on to Cincinnati, this game was easily should of been a very decisive victory for Pittsburgh, until turnovers showed its ugly face and handed the game to the Bengals on a silver platter. Willie Parker was sensational in this ballgame, but Ben Roethlisberger was his usual turnover self in this ballgame forcing the pass and seeing the receivers drop easy catches. Finally, the Sunday Night game against the Chargers, Ben was magnificent and back to his old self, but what happened was the defense never showed up after halftime and allowed the Chargers to exploit the mistakes and prevailed to victory.
Kansas City with a new head coach in Herman Edwards has been struggling along with the key losses of Willie Roaf to retirement and the injuries piling up high on the list for Coach Edwards. Opening the season against Cincinnati proved to be hostile as the Bengals rolled on to an easy victory and bottled up key running back Larry Johnson. Week 2 was against division rival, Denver Broncos which went into overtime with a offensive struggle for both franchises, the game was won on field goals going to Jason Elam in OT. With Kansas City starting at 0-2, it seems to them, this was going to be a very long season. Now enter Week 3, bye week and some time for their collective thoughts and major practice for all units to get some sort of momentum back into the playbook. Week 4 proved it, as the Chiefs took care of San Francisco in grand fashion as Damon Huard took over from the injuried Trent Green and went on a rampage 41-0 victory. Week 5, brought them another victory against an upcoming Arizona Cardinals squad with a 23-20 battle to put the Chiefs on a 2 game winning momentum coming into Pittsburgh.
This will be the first meeting for the Kansas City Chiefs in Pittsburgh since 1989 at old Three Rivers Stadium. The Chiefs are seeking their first win in the Steel City since December 1986 when the Chiefs won 24-19 that propelled the Chiefs to their first postseason berth since 1971.
Kansas City is 9-16-0 (.360) all time against Pittsburgh in the 25 previous meetings between the two clubs (24 regular season, one postseason). The last eight meetings between the two clubs came at Arrowhead, with the two teams splitting those contests. Kansas City claimed a 41-20 victory in the most recent regular season meeting in 2003. KC also producted a 27-24 OT victory in Pittsburgh in the 1993 AFC Playoffs. Neither team has won back to back games in this series since Pittsburgh ran off four straight wins from 1987-1992.
The Keys to the Game:
KC MUST PLAY SMART FOOTBALL
A Good Start Bodes Well for Postseason Possibilities:
Recent History indicates that there's a huge distance between starting at 2.-2 compared to 1-3, which bodes well for the 2-2 Chiefs. Dating back to 2003, 34 of 36 playoff teams have been 2-2 or better after 4 games. Since 2003 only two teams began the year at 1-3 and still made the postseason- 2004 Packers and the 2005 Bears. Pittsburgh got history on their side and they could very well become the third team to do this easily.
Chiefs Must Start Fast, Finish Strong Against the Steelers:
Starting fast will be the key if the Chiefs hope to derail the defending Super Bowl Champions at Heinz Field, where the Steelers own a 30-11-1 (.726) regular season record. KC didn't permit any points in the first quarter of their first three games of the season, but spotted Arizona a 14-point first quarter advantage last week. KC can't afford to fall behind early against a Pittsburgh squad that is 9-3 (.750) when scoring first dating back to 2005. Getting an early lead won't be easy in Pittsburgh, though. The Steelers are the only team that hasn't permitted any points in the first quarter this season. Offensively, Pittsburgh has scored 14 points in the first quarter, while KC has posted 13 first-quarter points this season. KC is 8-2 when leading at halftime dating back to 2005. While the Steelers are 113-12-1 (.9010 in the regular season under Bill Cowher with a halftime lead. Pittsburgh led 13-7 at the half in the last week's 23-13 lost to SD. Prior to Monday Night Football, the Chiefs were one of just three teams (Atlanta, Baltimore) that have not allowed a second-half TD in 2006. In fact, KC has permitted a mere 15 points in the third and fourth quarters combined this season. Only Baltimore (3) and Atlanta (6) have allowed fewer second half points. Offensively, the Chiefs have score 42.5% (34 of 80) of their points in the fourth quarter in 2006, giving KC a 25-point fourth-quarter scoring differential, a mark that ranks fifth in the NFL. This is a crucial point for both team in this ballgame.
Point Production will be critical vs. Pittsburgh:
The Chiefs and Steelers are two of the NFL's toughest teams to beat at home when they allow 21 points or less. In fact, Pittsburgh owns a 25-game home winning streak when holding its foes to 21 points, or less, the longest active streak in the NFL. Since Heinz Field opened in 2001, Pittsburgh has outscored its foes at home by an average margin of 24.9 to 17.8. However, the Steelers are just 3-10-1 at Heinz Field when allowing more than 21 Points. In the club's 11 home losses since 2001, Pittsburgh has permitted an average of 22.7 ppg. KC averaged 22.0 PPG on the road in 2005 and has racked up 32.0ppg the past two weeks. Pretty significant when you look at both teams up front.
Chiefs Must Slow Down the Steelers Running Game (A BIG KEY!!!)
Since the start of the 2003 campaign, no team owns more rushing attempts than Pittsburgh (1,721). Predictably, when Pittsburgh has success pounding the football smashmouth style, the Steelers are absolutely tough to beat. Pittsburgh is 35-2 (.946) when producing an individual 100 yard rusher dating back to 2000. Incredible stat. Here is another awesome stat, Pittsburgh is 32-1-1 (.956) since the start of the 2001 campaign when compiling 150 or more team rushing yards, as well. Believe it or not, the only lone loss came this season playing Cincinnati at home when the Steelers impressively ran up a total of 170 rushing yards in a 28-20 loss. The Chiefs defense has permitted just one 100 yard rusher (RB- Tiki Barber NY Giants) in their last 27 games. This is a grave concern for coach Bill Cowher and Willie Parker. They must get out of the gate fast, using Najeh Davenport in the mix could break this chain easily. Over the last two weeks, KC has allowed an average of only 84.5 ypg.
Kansas City's Rushing Offense vs. Pittsburgh's Rushing Defense:
KC will face a stifling Pittsburgh rushing defense that currently ranks 10th in the league, allowing only 88.5 ypg. KC owns a 11-4 record when RB Larry Johnson cracks the 100 yard plateau. Pittsburgh is 4-8-1 when allowing a 100 yard rusher dating back to 2000. While teams have been stacking the line of scrimmage to stop LJ, he is still averaging well over 149.8 ypg which is the NFL's best. Putting up a big rushing number is typically very tough accomplishment against Blitzburgh. The Steelers haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher in 16 straight contests at home, the third-longest streak in the league. The last opponent to register a triple digit rushing at Heinz Field was Bengals RB Rudi Johnson in 2004 who had a 123 yards rushing at Pittsburgh. KC hasn't allowed a 100 yard rusher in its last 17 games at Arrowhead, a mark that is second in the league.
Final Word by House of Steel:
This is a game of urgency for the Steelers, no matter what. This is now becoming a one-game season psychologically. Ben Roethlisberger MUST START ON FIRE if he's going to get back his elite status in the QB rankings in the NFL. Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport are going to be key factors for this game. The receivers must get into a rhythm and use the advantage of speed and brillant catching abilities to onset the secondary of KC. This game could go down to the wire, but I believe the Steelers will expose the injuries weakness that KC is exposing and will post victory here. My prediction Steelers 23-17.