The Chiefs are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL and they have beat some good football teams. Chiefs fans are rejoicing to the sight of how the Chiefs have won so far this season, with a different feel to their success. Alex Smith has looked like the MVP so far, and Kareem Hunt is in a good position to win AFC Rookie of the Year. But, even at the top of the AFC West, the Chiefs still have a lot to gain with a victory this week at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jameis Winston channels his inner Ric Flair
In the Chiefs’ playoff game last year versus the Steelers, they were feeling good coming off of a first round bye and got the opportunity to play in front of their home crowd. This was a chance at redemption after the Steelers throttled the Chiefs 43-14 earlier on in the season. The Chiefs scored the first touchdown of the game on a convincing drive capped off by a touchdown pass to Albert Wilson. But, it was the Steelers who held off Kansas City 18-16 for the playoff win. The Chiefs were close to tying the game up late after a touchdown run by Spencer Ware. The two point conversion attempt was good, but a holding call was called on Eric Fisher to wipe out the score. The final attempt was batted away by Pittsburgh’s aggressive secondary and that was it. The Chiefs scored the only touchdown in that game and still lost, as Chris Boswell drilled six field goals for eighteen points. This was a close game, but ultimately another home playoff heartbreaker to end the 2016 season for Kansas City.
So far in the Andy Reid/Alex Smith era, Kansas City is 1-3 against Pittsburgh. But Ben Roethlisberger was not under center for that Chiefs victory, as it was Landry Jones instead. Roethlisberger and the Steelers have not had the start to the season that they would have liked, as a lot of people are questioning the psyche of the team. Roethlisberger went into last offseason with retirement on his mind, and he seems to carry himself different this season than in years past. Retirement, off-field antics, and health are all components that is hovering over this team right now. But, what does this mean for the Chiefs?
The Steelers have usually come ready to play for huge games on the schedule in the Mike Tomlin era, but have had a hard time playing at a high caliber against teams portrayed to be worse than them. The tide has almost turned in this sense for this game. It is a big game, but it is the Chiefs who cannot play down to the Steelers come Sunday. Mike Tomlin’s Steelers, and most of Pittsburgh’s history, have generally been driven highly by emotion. Their team culture is not the same as some of the other teams around the league.
The Chiefs have done an amazing job so far this season, but imagine how big a win this could be this week. Looking at what has happened around the league so far, and given the recent history, the Chiefs could be set very well for the number one seed in the AFC. Looking at the schedule, there is still some juicy games on the schedule, but if the Chiefs continue to be successful it could be hard to chase them after this week.
Braden Holecek is a writer for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.