Welcome to the second weekend of the NFL playoffs, also known as the Divisional Round! With the Wild Card Round in the books, the field has been narrowed from 12 to eight. All eight teams will be in action this weekend, with two games on Saturday, January 14th, and two more on Sunday, January 15th. The third of those games will be held at 1:05 pm EST on Sunday, and will see the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Kansas City to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers enter the contest as the three seed in the AFC, following a victory at home last week against the Miami Dolphins. Their opponents, the Chiefs, hold the two seed and had the luxury of having last week off.
This game will see big time offense take on big time defense. The Steelers boast the best quarterback, wide receiver, running back trio in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger may be a bit beat up, but when isn’t he. He is still the gutsiest player in the NFL, and has shown he can put up big games under any circumstance. His go-to wide receiver, Antonio Brown, had two touchdown receptions a week ago, and both were 50 yards or more. Then you have Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. All I will say about Bell is he is a special talent. You cannot help but enjoy watching this guy run the ball, as he hesitates, then hits the hole only to break two or three tackles every time. The Steelers are going to need to put up points, as their defense is not exactly the best around.
Then we have the Chiefs, who will get the good fortune of playing at home in Arrowhead Stadium. They have one of the best defenses in the league, and it will need to step up against this Steelers’ offense. As far as their offense, however, it is nice, but nothing great. They have rotated through a handful of talented running backs, and have one of the best tight ends in the NFL in Travis Kelce. But their best weapon is Tyreek Hill. The problem is they do not use him enough on offense. Hill is a game changer in the return game, having a handful of kicks returned for touchdowns this season. But he can also break loose on an end around.
The outcome of this game could very well depend on whether or not the Chiefs effectively use Hill. Or it could be that Bell is just too good and the Chiefs solid defense cannot stop him. Given I do not love the Chiefs offense, I simply cannot see them matching Ben, Brown, and Bell.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Houston Texans vs New England Patriots game. If the Patriots win, they will host that game. The Texans would have to go on the road no matter who wins this game, as they are the lowest remaining seed.
Line: KC -1.5, O/U: 44.5
Prediction: Steelers 21 – Chiefs 17, Steelers and the under