As a defending AFC champion, the Chiefs have the edge, but the Steelers aren’t too likely to upset them this week. The Steelers’ defense has struggled this season, but they can win at home. Despite this, the Chiefs will be tough to beat. The Steelers’ defense has a stout pass rush, with 55 sacks on the season. They also haven’t let rival quarterbacks have a lot of time in the pocket. As a result, they have allowed only 44 plays of 20 yards or longer.
Pittsburgh’s narrow loss to the Chiefs a few weeks ago has them back in the playoffs. Both teams have key players back after missing time because of injury or the COVID-19 list. However, Vegas views this game as one of the worst first-round matchups of the season, and the Steelers are favored by nearly two touchdowns. Those odds are based on the average of multiple sportsbooks.
The Steelers’ offense has a few weapons to exploit. They have the best offensive skill position “triplets” in the NFL, including Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Although both have missed two postseasons due to injury, their respective stats are impressive. Le’Veon Bell has 167 yards rushing, while Antonio Brown had two first-quarter TD catches of 50 and 62 yards. The Steelers’ quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is efficient, throwing for 197 yards but being intercepted twice.
Pittsburgh’s defense has had a tough time stopping the Chiefs this season, but the Chiefs have the top-ranked defense in the NFL. Despite the weak defense, Mahomes should continue to find success under center this season. In addition, the Chiefs’ defense has sneaky upside.