Kansas City (2-1) at Pittsburgh (2-1)
When: Sunday, October 2nd 2016
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The Pittsburgh Steelers will welcome back their star running back Le’Veon Bell this week as they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Bell, who was suspended for the first three games this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, is expected to see a heavy workload despite the strong play of back up D’Angelo Williams. The Steelers looked impressive in their first two games as Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdown passes, and Williams ran for 237 yards, but they ran into a hot Philadelphia Eagles team last week and were trounced 34-3. It was Pittsburgh’s worst defeat since 1989. “It starts with me. They out-coached us. They outplayed us. They were better fundamentally,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. Roethlisberger has at least three touchdown passes in his last four home games and will look to continue his good rapport with Antonio Brown, who had 12 catches for 140 yards last week. The Steelers have recorded one sack so far this season, its lowest total through three games since it became an official stat in 1982.
While the Steelers are coming off one of their worst performances in recent memory, the Chiefs are coming off a total domination of the New York Jets. Kansas City forced eight turnovers and intercepted six passes in a 24-3 rout of the Jets last Sunday. The Chiefs ended a three-game losing streak in the series with a 23-13 home win over Pittsburgh last October. Cornerback Marcus Peters leads the league in interceptions with four after picking off two passes for the second straight week, but his status is questionable after he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday while dealing with the flu. Fellow starting cornerback Phillip Gaines also sat out practice Thursday due to a sore knee while running back Jamaal Charles, who has yet to play while recovering from a torn ACL in his knee sustained last season, was listed as a limited participant. Spencer Ware has filled Charles’ shoes by averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Alex Smith is completing 66.9 percent of his passes and is 12-1 in his last 13 starts. The Chiefs rank 6th in the NFL in points allowed at 16.3.
I think the Chiefs defense can slow down the Steelers enough to keep this one close. Kansas City should be able to control the ball and keep Big Ben off the field as much as possible. This spread is a little to big, I think.
Pick: Chiefs +5.5