Kickin It Back, Watching The Steelers.

Intriguing Game- Week Two

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Chiefs: Remember when everyone questioned Andy Reid for trading up in the 2017 NFL Draft for a quarterback from Texas Tech named Patrick Mahomes? “Why do that”? You still have Alex Smith!! Alex has been in the league since 2005 and as a franchise, the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had that quarterback they could build around. Let’s now fast forward to week one of the new season when the Chiefs face the Los Angeles Chargers and if you saw that game or the highlights, you’ll now understand why the Chiefs did what they did by trading Alex Smith. I was beyond impressed with Mahomes and with the speed he has from his skill players on the outside, he’s the perfect asset to compliment them. After the Chiefs signed Sammy Watkins, I said to myself that it was a nice move for them and on paper, the offensive core of Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins (if healthy) and Tyreek Hill, they have the best speed of any offense in the league. Many doubted Mahomes as a passer, but he made a believer out of many people. He’s a pure passer and made some very nice throws in Los Angeles because he hit the receivers in stride. The best player on the field in that game was Tyreek Hill and he’s hands down the fastest player in the league. The defense can also be one of the best as well, especially with Eric Berry back and they missed his presence after he got hurt. They’ll look for their second 2-0 start in the ketchup bottle in Pittsburgh.

Steelers: I’m concerned for them in two ways. Let’s break this down. First, they play down to their competition a little too much for my liking and what I mean by that is they allow teams to stay in games with them when we all know they are more than capable of blowing teams out left and right. They had many opportunities to put the Cleveland Browns away, but Cleveland kept fighting and sent the game into overtime. Secondly, they are worried about a football player who isn’t even in the locker room with them or traveling with the team. You know who I’m talking about, Le’Veon Bell. When the report came out that he wouldn’t make the trip with the team for their week one opener, his offensive linemen came out and voiced their frustrations. I get it, you’re mad, but some things have to be kept internally in the locker room and not to the media. This isn’t just the players’ fault either, I also fault the head coach. Mike Tomlin has been around long enough to not let distractions come up, but he’s even mentioned Le’Veon and as the coach, he needs to get his team focused on what to do so they can win games and not about a guy not there. When I looked at the tape of their game last week, James Conner had a big game and that’s Steeler football for you. A few seasons back, Le’Veon was injured and DeAngelo Williams was running the ball for them at a consistent pace. Here’s another million dollar question: Is Roethlisberger done? Not necessarily and I can explain why. Remember the game against the Jaguars last year when he threw five picks in the game? Many, himself included said maybe he just doesn’t have it anymore and after that, look what he did after that so let’s not throw the towel in on him just yet. What will determine the team’s success this year is the defense and they have to play better and make stops. They’ll look for their first win of the season after a tie in Cleveland.

Chiefs Player To Watch: Spencer Ware- He’s the hidden gem for this Chiefs offense because he can run it and pass it and with all the weapons they have, he can really throw a defense off because they won’t expect him.

Steelers Player To Watch: Jon Bostic– How can you replace the presence of Ryan Shazier? You really can’t, but you can plug a guy in that can bring some physicality and some toughness to your defense and he’s the guy that can bring both. One thing the Steelers struggled to do after Ryan went down was stop the run and he happens to be good in run coverage. He’ll be needed all over to try and neutralize a speedy Chiefs offense.

Final Analysis: There’s always been an interesting chain of events atop the AFC and here’s what I mean. The Steelers struggle with both Jacksonville and New England and the Chiefs have always given the Patriots a difficult matchup. However, the Chiefs have always struggled against the Steelers and they’ve lost each of the last four meetings. The Chiefs defense needs to try and shut down Juju and put Berry on James. For the Steelers, pressure Mahomes as often as you can. Don’t be like the Chargers and allow him to get into a rhythm.

Prediction: Chiefs 27 Steelers 24