The Pittsburgh Steelers will be underdogs for the first time this season as they head to Kansas City to meet the undefeated Chiefs. The Chiefs made the playoffs last season, but their unbeaten streak has still surprised a lot of people. Many are still questioning how real they are. The Chiefs are going to stick around all season, there is no doubt. Still, this team has its flaws, and even with the Steelers being on the road, there are matchups that could give them an edge.
How Pittsburgh Steelers can exploit Kansas City Chiefs defense
The first would be the wide receivers of the Steelers taking on the Chiefs cornerbacks. Do not be mistaken, Marcus Peters is a great asset to have. He forces coverage away from him and eases the stress of the safeties. Still, on the other side of the field, there is a matchup to be exposed in Terrance Mitchell.
Mitchell has seven career starts. Five have come this season. Mitchell has not proven to be relied on quite yet and is one of the weaker links on the team. He has improved with play, but he is not quite ready for the matchups he is about to see.
The Chiefs cornerbacks play sides. They do not follow particular receivers around. They just adjust coverages. This means we will not see a full day of Marcus Peters and Antonio Brown. In fact, it should be the opposite, as Brown and Peters line up on different sides for the majority of their snaps as it is.
This gives the Steelers a tactical advantage. It can be shown in how the Chiefs rank fourth against number four wide receivers in efficiency but rank 22nd against number one receivers and 26th against number three receivers.
We saw this in Week One last season when Washington chose not to follow Brown with Josh Norman. It ended with Brown having eight receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers can do a similar thing in this scenario.
It will be on Todd Haley to expose this matchup, not only with Brown but with Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Expect the Steelers to use Peters as a decoy to open up their passing game in other areas of the field.