Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) @ Kanas City Chiefs (4-6)
Time: 8:20 p.m. | Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
TV: NBC, Al Michaels play by play, Chris Collinsworth Analyst
Odds: Pittsburgh 10.5
What’s on the Line: Pittsburgh looks to keep pace with the 8-3 Baltimore Ravens at the top of the AFC North division, and the Houston Texans and New England Patriots for the best conference record
Inactives:No surprise scratches for the Steelers tonight. LaMarr Woodley, Stevenson Sylvester, and Arnaz Battle are all out. Chris Hoke, as expected, is a healthy scratch again. He has been surpassed by Steve McLendon. Emmanuel Sanders makes his return to the lineup.
Game Day Tidbits
— Dick LeBeau getting two weeks to prepare for Tyler Palko should be fun to watch tonight. Ricky Stanzi not Kyle Orton is officially listed as tonight’s backup for KC. Orton is inactive..
— You can bet Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has reminded his ballclub of what happened in KansasÂ during 2009 season when the Steelers suffered a devastating overtime loss against a bad Chiefs team at the time. A lot of things will have to go wrong for the Steelers to be upset this time around.
— Word throughout the week around the Steelers is that the team wants to put on a show tonight offensively in primetime. Ben Roethlisberger who’s dealing with a fractured thumb will have his full group of dynamic wide receivers available, with Emmanuel Sanders returning to game action.
Roethlisberger threw the ball with a lot of zip all week and his injury won’t deter the Steelers from looking for big plays in the passing game. The Steelers also believe they can exploit the Chiefs on the ground. Kansas City is giving up 136.3 rushing yards on the season, 28th in the NFL.
What could deter a big game for the offense is the weather. It’s in the 20’s and very windy.
— The return of Sanders will have a lot of eyes on Hines Ward who only took 9 snaps against the Bengals. Ward has been demoted but don’t be surprised if the Steelersmake a nice gesture and start him tonight like they did against Cincinnati. Most of his packages tonight are expected to be centered around 3rd down and redzone. Ward is 19 catches away from 1,000.
— Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians told the team this week to forget about personal goals and keep their mind on the prize which is winning a Super Bowl. That message wasn’t just directed at Ward. It was to a lot of players including Mike Wallace.
— Speaking of Wallace, he conducted an interview with NBC that also included Antonio Brown and Wallace said that Hines Ward knows his benching is for the better of the team.
Wallace is among those who is thrilled to have Antonio Brown on the opposite side. Wallace mentioned this week teams will soon have to start double teaming Brown, which will open a lot of space for Wallace, the games best deep threat.
— LaMarr Woodley traveled with the team to KC but, as expected, Woodley will miss his 3rd straight game. Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester also won’t play due to a knee injury. Jason Worilds will make his 3rd straight start at LOLB. He is looking for his first sack.
By The Numbers
21.3: The average points the Steelers have won by in their last three games coming out of a bye, since 2008.
4-4: The Steelers record vs the Chiefs in their last 8 games at Arrowhead.
3,000: QB Ben Roethlisberger (16TD – 9INT – 2,877 Yds) is a good bet to hit the 3,000 yard passing mark tonight. Roethlisberger needs just 123 passing yards tonight to surpass 3,000 yards.
1,000: It could be a milstone night for Mike Wallace. Wallace is just 78 receiving yards from 1,000.
22: Combined receptions of 20+ yards for Mike Wallace (13) and Antonio Brown (9)
153.0: The Chiefs have allowed an average of 153.0 yards rushing in their past five games, the fourth-worst mark in the NFL during that span.
12: The amount of sacks the Kansas City Chiefs have through 10 games. The worst mark in the NFL.
6: The amount of takeaways the Steelers have through 10 games, the worst mark in the NFL.
28-10:The Steelers record since 2008 when they surrender 3 sacks or less in a game.