Do injuries catalyze the Chiefs?

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Oct 18, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) smiles while on the field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it should be noted that the Steelers were by no means at 100 percent either. Look at their injury report and you will notice that it is not short. It has several notable names, including William Gay and Maurkice Pouncey. The biggest though would be star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And he is one of three, yes three, different quarterbacks on that list.

But despite all of the player who weren’t on the field, and the fact that Roethlisberger has been out since Week 3, Sunday was only the third loss for the Steelers. And it was also their worst lost (the previous two being by seven points at undefeated New England, and by three in overtime to divisional rival Baltimore). Pittsburgh has racked up wins against the 49ers, Rams, Chargers, and Cardinals.

So even injured, the Steelers have some talent. And they would likely be favored against the Bears on a neutral field. Bleacher Report has the Steelers at 13 in the power rankings and the Bears at 24. ESPN and each have similar rankings, but have the Steelers in the top 10.

After the way that Kansas City quickly turned last season round after a horrible opener that saw DeVito and Derrick Johnson lost for the season, and Charles going down early in Week 2, it really feels like the Chiefs seem to be catalyzed by injuries. And that is troubling.

Are the Chiefs a better team now some of their star power is gone? No. But without their stars, the rest of the team seems a bit more willing to show up and give it their all. Lacking the two most productive players on the offense, Kansas City played an overall better game against the Steelers. There was no reason to lose against Chicago, but they did. Nobody would have been too surprised to see them fall to Pittsburgh, and yet they prevailed.

Perhaps it is because the absences are giving guys on the back end of the roster an opportunity to make their mark, and they are seizing it. Both touchdowns on Sunday came from players who had previously been used more sparingly in West and Chris Conley.

Next: Players stepping up?