The Pittsburgh Steelers have scored 27 or more points in seven of their last eight games and are now one of the NFL’s highest-scoring teams.
It’s also true the Steelers have played just one game during that stretch against a defense as highly rated as that of the Kansas City Chiefs, who will be No. 8 heading into Sunday’s game between the teams in Pittsburgh. That game against the New York Jets, now the sixth-rated defense, saw the Steelers score 13 points lose to an otherwise forlorn opponent.
But it’s equally true the Chiefs have built their lofty defensive numbers against less than mighty offensive teams, and their one recent game against an offensive power from the Denver Broncos didn’t go well. So it’s hard to see the Chiefs shutting down an opponent with a top quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) as well as a premier running back (Le’Veon Bell) and wide receiver (Antonio Brown).
So the question becomes: can the Chiefs outscore the Steelers? They went over 24 points last week for the first time in seven games, but they needed a punt return for a touchdown to put them over.
Since big plays on special teams are impossible to predict, it’s dubious to believe the Chiefs can put up a big number on the Steelers. They might have to rely on their offense, a risky proposition for a team still looking for its first touchdown from a wide receiver.
My prediction: Steelers 27, Chiefs 21.