Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Matchup Preview (1/16/22): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Matchup Preview (1/16/22)
It’s officially the best time of the year. The playoffs are here. This week’s Sunday Night Football game is a wild card showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. So Big Ben lives to see another day. Quite frankly, he’s really just lucky that the Colts have a glaringly bad history of losing at Jacksonville, but nonetheless, they snuck into the playoffs against all odds – literally. He and the Steelers took down the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens last week with a game-winning field goal as time expired in overtime. They are 9-7-1 overall and 3-5 on the road heading into the first round of the playoffs which certainly looks even less impressive against a Chiefs team that is 12-5 overall and 7-2 at Arrowhead Stadium. They locked down the AFC West weeks ago and are certainly contenders to make their third-straight appearance at a Super Bowl. They beat the Broncos last week by a narrow 4-point margin, thanks to Nick Bolton’s 86-yard fumble return late in the fourth quarter.
There was a point in both of these team’s seasons where spectators feared that neither would make the playoffs, so it’s cool to see both teams overcome those feats. While the Chiefs are the more talented team, the Steelers have proven over the season that they can hang on, even if it’s not pretty, beating the Bills in week 1 and the Titans in week 15.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Betting Odds
The Chiefs are a steep 12.5-point favorite in this game, by far the biggest spread of any wild card games going down this week. The Chiefs average eight more points per game than the Steelers do on average, which is part of the steep spread, along with their lethal offense compared to the Steelers’ lack thereof. When these teams faced off in week 16, the 10-point favored Chiefs beat an unorganized Steelers team 36-10, and their defense surprisingly showed up to shut down an already struggling offense. That game contributed to these teams’ underwhelming 8-9 record ATS. However in the last two games as the underdog, the Steelers have covered (and won), while the Chiefs have been the favorite in their last two games and failed to cover both times. The over/under for this game is 46.5, which seems fitting given their last meeting. The Steelers have struggled to hit the over this year in general (6-10-1 overall) and have a 2-3 record on the over in their last five games, one of the two coming from their game against the Chiefs. The Chiefs on the other hand have been outstanding for over betters, especially lately where they’ve hit the over on five straight games. Can they make it six?
The Chiefs should win this game. Their defense showed up last time they played the Steelers, which is rare, so you can’t count on it again this time. But this offense still put up 36 points against a very good Steelers defense, which is enough to win. And quite frankly, it’s hard to count on this Steelers offense to pull off anything even against a mediocre defense like the Chiefs have.
My predictions: Chiefs win 35-13, Chiefs cover, over 46.5
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You can bet on this NFL game legally. Sports betting has been legalized in the US. You must be located in a legalized state in order to bet online.
Date: Sunday, January 16
Time: 8:15 PM ET
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
TV Coverage: NBC
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Live Stream
Where can you watch Steelers vs. Chiefs online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Steelers vs. Chiefs Free Online Now.
Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis
This team rang in 2022 with luck on their side, clearly. After sneaking into the playoffs, they’ll certainly have their work cut out for themselves in the first round of postseason play. Ben Roethlisberger is certainly counting his blessings as this is likely his last season and very well could be his last game.
Even though this team came away with a win last week, it certainly wasn’t easy for them. Despite the fact that Baltimore has one of the most struggling pass defenses in the league, this Steelers offense had a touchdown-less first three quarters and scored just 16 points total. There were moments of brilliance however, and the defense carried them to victory, per usual. T.J. Watt tied Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record with 22.5 after last week’s game. This 22.5 includes two against Patrick Mahomes in their week 16 loss to the Chiefs. Alongside Cameron Hayward who has 10 sacks this season, they terrorize offensive lines. Their pass defense allows just 233.9 yards per game which is big thanks to Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of the best free safeties in the league. He’s tallied 124 tackles this season. Their run defense however, is among the worst, and allows the most rushing yards per game (146.1). Last week against the Ravens, they allowed 249 yards on the ground and 150 rushing yards to Latavius Murray alone. This Steelers defense allowed 23 points in the first half against the Chiefs in week 16 that went unanswered by the Steelers offense.
Inconsistency and disorganization on offense is what has plagued this team this year – they average 93.1 rushing yards per game (29th in the league) and 236.3 passing yards per game (15th). They have solid options in Chase Claypool as well as in Diontae Johnson, who had 51 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs last time they played. Big Ben threw for 159 yards in a touchdown-less first three quarters, a fumble and an interception, against a weak Chiefs defense, which doesn’t necessarily give me much hope for them entering this game. Najee Harris had 93 yards on the ground in that game and recently tallied his 1200th yard of the season which is promising and recently ran for a season-high 188 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland in week 17.
Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart
QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: Najee Harris
RB2: Benny Snell Jr
WR1: Diontae Johnson
WR2: Chase Claypool
WR3: James Washington
TE1: Pat Freiermuth
Kansas City Chiefs Analysis
This offense terrorized the Steelers when they last played, and they didn’t even have Travis Kelce that game. It helped that Mahomes was on fire – he had a 76.7% completion percentage for 258 yards and three touchdowns last time he played this solid Steelers defense. They’ve proved to be too much for the Steelers to handle once before, and they’ll likely do it again this week with the nine-touchdown Kelce back in the mix.
Tyreek Hill has been quiet lately with just 61 total yards and no touchdowns over his last three games. He has been battling a heel injury that has limited his snap count, but he is expected to be healthier for this week’s game. Mecole Hardman has emerged in Hill’s absence and last week had 103 yards over eight catches in Denver, where he looked prepared for the job. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been out since their last game against Pittsburgh but Andy Reid indicated that there is possibility for a return this week, which would be even worse for the Steelers’ struggling run defense. Even if Edwards-Helaire doesn’t return, they still have Darrel Williams which is nothing to complain about. This offense averages the fourth highest scoring average with 28.2 points per game, against a defense that allows 23.4. The Chiefs defense isn’t much to show for in comparison, but does hold teams to fewer points per game (21.4). In fact, since their week 12 bye, the Chiefs have allowed just 19 points per game, the sixth-lowest scoring average in the league.
This defense is mediocre. They allow 368.9 yards per game, the sixth-most in the league. If they weren’t playing a struggling offense, whom they did well shutting down last time, I’d say they have big problems. They may not this round, however they will likely run into these problems later on against teams that can better exploit their weaknesses.
Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart
QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
RB2: Darrel Williams
WR1: Tyreek Hill
WR2: Mecole Hardman
WR3: Byron Pringle
TE1: Travis Kelce