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Old 10-10-2006, 02:00 PM  
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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KC Must Play Smart Football to Register Its First Victory in Pittsburgh Since '86

Oct 10, 2006, 3:56:02 AM by Pete Moris

A Good Start Bodes Well for Postseason Possibilities

Recent history indicates that there’s a huge distance between starting the season at 2-2 compared to 1-3, which bodes well for the 2-2 Chiefs. Dating back to 2003, 34 of 36 playoff teams have been 2-2 or better after four games. Since 2003 only two teams began the year at 1-3 and still made the postseason – the 2004 Packers and the 2005 Bears.

Chiefs Must Start Fast, Finish Strong Against Steelers
Starting fast will be key if the Chiefs hope to derail the defending Super Bowl champions at Heinz Field, where the Steelers own a 30-11-1 (.726) regular season record. KC didn’t permit any points in the first quarter of their first three games of the season, but spotted Arizona a 14-point first-quarter advantage last week. KC can’t afford to fall behind early against a Pittsburgh squad that is 9-3 (.750) when scoring first dating back to 2005.

Getting an early lead won’t be easy at Pittsburgh, though. The Steelers are the only team that hasn’t permitted any points in the first quarter this season. Offensively, Pittsburgh has scored 14 points in the first quarter, while KC has posted 13 first-quarter points this season. KC is 8-2 when leading at halftime dating back to 2005, while the Steelers are 113-12-1 (.901) in the regular season under Bill Cowher with a halftime lead. Pittsburgh led 13-7 at the half in last week’s 23-13 loss at SD (10/8).

Prior to Monday Night Football, the Chiefs were one of just three teams (Atlanta, Baltimore) that have not allowed a second-half TD in 2006. In fact, KC has permitted a mere 15 points in the third and fourth quarters combined this season. Only Baltimore (3) and Atlanta (6) have allowed fewer second-half points. Offensively, the Chiefs have scored 42.5% (34 of 60) of their points in the fourth quarter in 2006, giving KC a 25-point fourth-quarter scoring differential, a mark that ranks fifth in the league.

Point Production Will be Critical vs. Pittsburgh
The Chiefs and Steelers are two of the NFL’s toughest teams to beat at home when they allow 21 points or less. In fact, Pittsburgh owns a 25-game home winning streak when holding its foes to 21 points or less, the longest active streak in the NFL. Since Heinz Field opened in 2001, Pittsburgh has outscored its foes at home by an average margin of 24.9 to 17.8. However, the Steelers are just 3-10-1 at Heinz Field when allowing more than 21 points. In the club’s 11 home losses since 2001, Pittsburgh has permitted an average of 27.2 ppg. KC averaged 22.0 ppg on the road in 2005 and has racked up 32.0 ppg the past two weeks.

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Chiefs Need to Win the Turnover Battle Once Again
KC became one of just seven teams to win on the road with a negative turnover differential this season when they went -1 in a 23-20 win at Arizona (10/1). Road teams are 19-4 (.826) when positive and just 7-31 (.184) when negative in the turnover column this season.

Pittsburgh owns a 20-1 (.952) regular season record at Heinz Field with a positive turnover mark. The lone blemish on the Steelers record was a 23-20 loss vs. New England (9/25/05) when Pittsburgh was +2. In Pittsburgh’s 11 home losses at Heinz Field, the Steelers have been negative in the turnover column in nine of those games. Overall, Pittsburgh has lost six consecutive games with a negative turnover margin dating back to a 23-17 setback at Jacksonville (10/16/05).

Since the start of the ‘90 NFL season, the Chiefs and the Steelers are the NFL’s two best teams in terms of turnover differential. KC owns the best turnover differential (+161), the most takeaways (547) and the fewest giveaways (386) in the league over that span. Pittsburgh is a distant second in terms of turnover differential at (+87) and also ranks second in the league over that span in takeaways (542). Here’s a look . . .

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Chiefs Boast a Daily Double on Third Down
The Chiefs are the only team that ranks in the NFL’s top seven in both third-down offense and defense. KC is second defensively on third down at 24.1% (13 of 54) and ranks seventh offensively at 40.4% (23 of 57).

Chiefs Four-Game Defensive Report
The Chiefs defense continues to make steady improvement under defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Kansas City has made significant progress in several key areas compared to a year ago. Most notably, KC is permitting 113.6 fewer total yards per game and 125.5 fewer passing ypg. KC is also giving up 9.7 ppg fewer compared to 2005.

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Chiefs Must Slow Down the Steelers Running Game
Since the start of the 2003 campaign, no team owns more rushing attempts than Pittsburgh (1,721). Denver had 1,714 prior to Monday’s game. Predictably, when Pittsburgh has success pounding the football, the Steelers are tough to beat. Pittsburgh is 35-2 (.946) when producing an individual 100-yard rusher dating back to 2000. Pittsburgh is 32-1-1 (.956) since the start of the 2001 campaign when compiling 150 or more team rushing yards, as well. That lone loss came earlier this year when the Steelers racked up 170 rushing yards in a 28-20 loss vs. Cincinnati (9/24).

The Chiefs defense has permitted just one 100-yard rusher (RB Tiki Barber – N.Y. Giants) in their last 27 games. Over the last two weeks, KC has allowed an average of just 84.5 rushing ypg. Over the past decade, the Chiefs and Steelers have split their list six regular season meetings. In those three wins, KC has allowed just 103.0 rushing ypg. In those three losses, KC has allowed 161.0 rushing ypg.

Kansas City’s Rushing Offense vs. Pittsburgh’s Rushing Defense
KC will face a Pittsburgh rushing defense that currently ranks 10th in the NFL, allowing just 88.5 ypg. KC owns an 11-4 (.733) record when RB Larry Johnson cracks the 100-yard plateau. Pittsburgh is 4-8-1 when allowing a 100-yard rusher dating back to 2000. While teams have been stacking the line of scrimmage to stop Johnson, he still is averaging an NFL-best 149.8 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving) per game.

Putting up big rushing numbers is typically tough at Pittsburgh. The Steelers haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 16 straight contests at home, the third-longest active streak in the league. The last opponent to register a triple-digit rushing performance at Heinz Field was Bengals RB Rudi Johnson, who registered 123 yards at Pittsburgh (10/3/04). KC hasn’t permitted a 100-yard rusher in its last 17 games at Arrowhead, a mark that ranks as the second-longest streak in the NFL.

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Chiefs-Steelers Passing Stats
Only St. Louis QB Marc Bulger (169 atts.) has attempted more passes without an INT than Chiefs QB Damon Huard (104 atts.) this season. Huard’s last INT came with Miami in a contest vs. the N.Y. Jets (11/19/00) … KC owns the league’s third-best passer rating at 101.5, while the Chiefs defense has limited opposing passers to a composite 66.5 rating this season, the seventh-lowest mark in the NFL.

QB Ben Roethlisberger has produced a 22-6 (.786) regular season record, but owns a 41.7 rating in three starts this season. Roethlisberger has thrown 26 TDs and 13 INTs in those 22 wins, but has registered just six TDs and 12 INTs in those six losses. Dating back to a 49-0 win vs. Arizona (12/1/02), the Chiefs are 16-2 (.889) when forcing opponents to throw two or more INTs. Roethlisberger has thrown two or more INTs in five of his six regular season losses as an NFL starter, including all three of the club’s setbacks this season.

Chiefs vs. Defending Super Bowl Champs, KC vs. the AFC North
KC produced a 26-16 win vs. New England (11/27/05) in its last game against a defending Super Bowl champion. KC’s last road win against the incumbant NFL champ was a 16-10 victory at Denver (12/5/99) … KC has won six of its last seven games vs. AFC North foes. Including last year’s win in the AFC Championship Game vs. Denver, the Steelers have won five of their last six games against AFC West foes.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:16 PM   #2
Bob Dole Bob Dole is offline
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This part is so useless for comparison, it isn't even worth printing.

Quote:
KC is 8-2 when leading at halftime dating back to 2005, while the Steelers are 113-12-1 (.901) in the regular season under Bill Cowher with a halftime lead.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:20 PM   #3
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1986? Jeez, that's a long-ass time. The Chiefs need a statement game and beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh would send a message that the Chiefs aren't going to roll over and die. I hope we kick the shit out of the Steelers. We need this game.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigChiefFan
1986? Jeez, that's a long-ass time. The Chiefs need a statement game and beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh would send a message that the Chiefs aren't going to roll over and die. I hope we kick the shit out of the Steelers. We need this game.

IIRC, we've only played in Pittsburgh once in the past 20 years, and that was in 88.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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We should be able to kick their ass if we don't turn the ball over.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:54 PM   #6
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only 1 100 yard rusher in 27 games?

damn, that's impressive given our DTs

I think we can stop Pitts run game and Rothleswhatever isn't going to throw for 300 yards...so, we have to a)not turn it over and b)pray our Tackles play the game of their mostly worthless lives....

13-10....but who wins?
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:42 AM   #7
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I agree with the "must start fast" comment.

If we do, the squeeler fair weather fans will turn on their team quickly.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:40 AM   #8
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Let's look at what happen when the Steelers came to Arrowhead a few years back. They jumped to an early lead against the offense but it didn't hold because that offense was capable of coming back on anyone.

This years Pitt team is just as strong in the first quarter. Just like the Cardinal game you can expect a strong push in the 1st quarter by Pitt. The difference is that the Pitt defense is about the same as Chief's defense and it would be alot harder sleding coming back from a deficit.

It will be the scoring differential in the 1st quarter that will be important. We can't afford not to be competitive from the offset of the game.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spott
IIRC, we've only played in Pittsburgh once in the past 20 years, and that was in 88.
I was wondering about that. I can not remember them playing in Pittsburgh. It seems like it has always been at Arrowhead.

What a misleading, idiotic headline.
KC Must Play Smart Football to Register Its First Victory in Pittsburgh Since '86 So the Chiefs are 0-1 at Pittsburgh since '88? I guess they are 1-1 at Pittsburgh since '86...
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