The Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to the Divisional round of the playoffs after a dominating performance against the beat up Miami Dolphins. The game was never close as the Steelers jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back. Despite the relatively easy victory, the Steelers played great, but they will need to continue this high level of play once again if they plan to advance against a tough Kansas City Chiefs team.
The Chiefs have had a great year so far and will look to keep it going at home where they were 6-2 during the regular season. The Chiefs have a ton of different ways to win games and for the Steelers to beat them, they will need to do these five key things:
- Stay away from turnovers
This is a common key for most games, but it has never been more important than against a team like the Chiefs. This season alone the Chiefs defense forced 33 turnovers and returned five for touchdowns. In week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons, Eric Berry single handily beat them with an interception on a 2 point conversion to win the game 29-28. Roethlisberger will need to be careful with his reads this week.
- Don’t let Tyreek Hill get loose
The Chiefs do not have a ton of explosive players on offense, but one guy they do have is Hill. He has been a menace all season and has scored a total of 12 touchdowns on a combination of runs, receptions, and returns. He has been exceptionally explosive of late scoring seven of those touchdowns in the past four games. He’s a game changer and will need to be contained.
- Stop the run
Make Alex Smith beat you. The Steelers defense was great against the run in their first playoff win against the Dolphins and they will need to do that again this week. If Smith is forced into long third downs, the Steelers defense will get off the field more often than not.
- Give Bell the ball
When Le’veon Bell gets 20 or more carries, the Steelers are 8-1 on the season. Of late, he has been getting the ball a ton (last seven games he’s averaged 27 carries per game) and for the Steelers to continue to be successful, this will need to continue.
- Protect Roethlisberger
Big Ben is a little banged up right now. The Chiefs will look to test him early and often with different blitz packages. It will be extremely important for the Steelers offensive line to do a good job and at the very least give Ben enough time to get out of harm’s way. If Ben goes down, the season goes up in flames.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Pittsburgh Steelers article is published, fill out our email notification form.