This Wild Card matchup has the potential of being the blowout of the weekend. In this matchup we have the seventh seed Pittsburgh Steelers going up against the second seed Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City started off slow this season, but they picked it up and clinched the two seed in the AFC. Pittsburgh needed a lot of help to clinch a playoff berth and after avoiding a tie from the Charger and Raiders on Sunday Night Football they managed to make it to the post season for Big Ben’s last ride. We already saw this matchup a few weeks ago, but anything can happen in the playoffs. With that being said here is my preview for this AFC Wild Card matchup.
The Pittsburgh Steelers offensively rely on guys like Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson. We also could be witnessing Big Ben’s last ever playoff game as well in this one. Big Ben needs to be big time in this one in order to take down the Chiefs. This offense averages just over 20 points per game, but they will need to score a bunch more in order to win this matchup against Kansas City. Could Big Ben get the job done tonight? Absolutely, but he is going to have to turn back the clock in order to do so. If he has a game like he did a few weeks ago, his career will be over on Sunday night.
Defensively, they are led by T.J. Watt who is tied for the most career sacks in a single season. This defense is top ten against the pass, but they are the worst team in the NFL against the run. Kansas City ran the ball effectively against Pittsburgh last time. The Steelers will need to contain their running game and of course their fantastic quarterback Patrick Mahomes in order to move on.
The Chiefs offense is still as good as it has been in year’s past. Mahomes was sloppy at the beginning of the year, but he has picked it up in the second half of the season. His weapons are still fantastic in Kelce and Tyreek Hill. They need the running game to continue to improve like it has been in order to succeed. The Chiefs are 3rd in total yards of offense, 4th in passing yards per game, 4th in points per game and they are the best offense in the league in converting on third down as they complete 52.2 percent of third downs. Mahomes had a career high in interceptions this season, but he still put up monster numbers. He threw for 4,839 passing yards and added 37 passing touchdowns as well. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each have over 1,100 receiving yards as well. These three will be key in this matchup with Pittsburgh.
Defensively, the Chiefs defense has been fantastic since the acquisition of Melvin Ingram. They give up a little over 21 points per game and the yards they allow per game has gone down significantly since adding Ingram. Their front seven is the backbone of this defense. They effective get to the quarterback and their front seven is led by Chris Jones who leads the team with nine sacks on the season. In order for the Chiefs to dominate like they would want to in this matchup. They will need to get consistent pressure on Big Ben and that is something that this front seven will do play after play.
The Chiefs are 12.5 point favorites with the over/under set at 46. I am worried about giving up all those points with Kansas City, because I think Big Ben gives it his absolute all in this wild card matchup. So my official play in this one is over 46. The Chiefs will easily put up 30 plus points and I think this over hits with ease. Ride the over in this one and root for all the points to be scored on Sunday Night Football.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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