Andy Reid will have Chiefs ready for Pittsburgh
By Andrew Jones
It was only Week 4 of this season when the Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday night.
The Chiefs had come off a confidence building win against the Jets. The Steelers, on the other hand, suffered one of the worst road losses with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger. They were angry and they were getting Le’Veon Bell back for the first time. It was an ugly game for the Chiefs from the first pass to Antonio Brown. In the end the Chiefs gave up 43 points in a rain soaked Heinz Field.
That was October, this is January. The Chiefs have found a stronger offensive identity and they return Justin Houston. They also have a much more proven and tougher secondary. Poor DJ White hasn’t played much since that game as the Steelers’ receivers showed what they could do to unproven rookies. The Steelers provide a massive challenge for the Chiefs in the divisional round but here’s why Reid and the Chiefs will be the victors on Sunday.
The Chiefs will show more discipline in run defense
Le’Veon Bell is the most patient runner in all of football. A quick review of Sunday’s highlights will show just how patient he is. He simply lets the Dolphins over-pursue and open up massive holes in the defense. He did the same thing against the Chiefs and just about every other team he has played against. There have been few teams that have been able to limit Bell, but those that have play with true discipline.
The defensive line will have to maintain their position in gaps. This means that even though you think you can get into the backfield by firing off in a predetermined direction, you are playing right into the Steelers’ hands. They will take overly ambitious defensive linemen wherever they want to go and Bell will sit and watch them fly by then hit the gas and run right around inside linebackers. When defensive linemen sit strong in gaps it forces Bell to pick a hole more quickly where hopefully a smart linebacker is waiting.
Ramik Wilson is a solid run stopper who may be tasked with limiting Bell to three yards each time he runs. He is decisive and hard hitting which may open some crossing routes over the middle. However, getting the Steelers to become one-dimensional, even if they are so good at that one dimension, is a win for defenses. Besides with a strong secondary and creative ways to get pressure the Chiefs could limit a one-dimensional Steelers team.