AFC WILD CARD GAME 3: PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY

BY ADAM GREENE

Our Wild Card Sunday nightcap closes us out with the marquee match up of the AFC bracket, at least on paper, when Ben Roethlisbeger brings the Pittsburgh Steelers into Arrowhead stadium for the final time, win or lose, to face the Kansas City Chiefs.

This is new territory for the Chiefs, who have never played in a Wild Card round since Patrick Mahomes took over at quarterback

The Steelers have been in every conceivable playoff game with Roethlisberger as QB, and thanks to knocking off the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts soiling themselves in Jacksonville, they get one more chance to make some history.

This is the 37th all time meeting between the two franchises with Pittsburgh holding a 23-13 overall advantage. The Chiefs have won the last two meetings, including a 36-10 win just a few weeks ago the day after Christmas. Mahomes finished 23 of 30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Darrell Williams had 55 rushing yards and Byron Pringle had six catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Roethlisberger threw for 159 yards, one TD and a pick. Najee Harris rushed 19 times for 93 yards and caught five passes for 17 yards.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-12.5, O/U: 46)

Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

Broadcast: NBC

Kickoff: Jan. 16, 8:15 p.m.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-7-1)

The Steelers didn’t know they’d made the playoffs until the Las Vegas Raiders kicked the winning field goal in their game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but they did all they could to make it happen earlier in the day, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 16-13. Reothlisberger threw for 244 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Chase Claypool had five catches for 37 yards and a touchdown and rushed three times for 33 yards. Pat Freiermuth caught six passes for 53 yards. Pittsburgh’s defense sacked Tyler Huntley three times (with TJ Watt tying the all time sack record at 22.5 for the season in the process) and picked him off twice.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-5)

Thanks to the NFL schedulers moving their game to Saturday, the Chiefs had to load up and really play against the Denver Broncos, holding them off 28-24. Mahomes finished 27 of 44 for 279 yards and two touchdowns and led the team with 54 rushing yards. Mecole Hardman caught eight passes for 103 yards. Kansas City’s defense sacked Drew Lock once.

THE PICK

Tyreek Hill is a little hobbled, but not much has changed on these teams since KC blew out the Steelers a few weeks ago. It’s good for the league, and his legacy, that Roethlisberger gets one more shot in the postseason, but Pittsburgh is overmatched here. Chiefs 34, Steelers 20

Last Week

Straight up: 11-5

Against the spread: 10-6

Season

Straight up: 170-101-1

Against the spread: 143-129

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.

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