Pittsburgh (6-3) @ Kansas City (2-7)
*This afternoon’s game is a must-win for the Steelers after falling a game behind the Bengals for the AFC North lead. A loss today, would be damaging to the Steelers just from the standpoint that it would be another conference loss.
Pittsburgh’s schedule is regarded as favorable the rest of the way but they still have two games remaining against Baltimore along with games against Green Bay and Miami.
The Steelers will be without starting safety Troy Polamalu. The rest of the Steelers inactives are Shaun McDonald, Tony Hills, Travis Kirschke, Carey Davis, Sunny Harris and Kraig Urbik. Davis practiced on Thursday and Friday but will be held out another week with a hamstring injury.
What to Watch For
What Pittsburgh needs to do is put this game away early. They need to jump on the Chiefs and not let them stay around.
The Steelers will look to run the ball against the Chiefs 27th ranked run defense. A big game could be in the works for Rashard Mendenhall. The offensive line has talked all week about putting on a better performance than last week.
How much time Willie Parker gets remains to be seen. Parker is on pace for 3 snaps today, if we go by the Denver and Cincinnati game.
The Chiefs will be without a number of key members including Dwayne Bowe and Mike Vrabel who was a late scratch.
The Steelers kick coverage unit will be closely watched today along with their return game. The heat is on both units including Stefan Logan. Mike Wallace took some reps with the first team kick return unit and could return some kicks this afternoon.