Week 12: Steelers vs. Chiefs Preview

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 5 things Steelers fans should be thankful for heading into this week’s game against the Chiefs:

5. Kansas City is 30th in the league in total DVOA.

The Chiefs have performed 26.6% worse than an average team this year, worse than a couple of 2-8 teams (MIN and CAR)

4. The bye week and all its advantages

The relatively short injury report is one sign of the help that the bye week gives teams. The fact that Mike Tomlin’s teams have won three straight after bye weeks is another.

3. Advanced NFL Stats really likes the Steelers.

In this week’s team rankings, the Steelers are ranked 5th in both offense and defense. In the article, Brian Burke says:

Assuming the Texans offense will struggle, Pittsburgh appears to be the most well-rounded team in all of football, with a top-5 offense and a top-5 defense. They have a deep threat in Mike Wallace, a power running game, a QB who can extend plays, and an aggressive defense with a knack for getting to the quarterback. Some of the other pieces are questionable, but the Steelers would be my pick to get out of the AFC, at this point. How about you?

I’m still skeptical of their run defense and consistency in pass rushing, but hey, this is about being thankful, and praise is appreciated.

2. The Chiefs are 21st in rushing defense DVOA and 28th in passing DVOA against running backs.

If you like watching Rashard Mendenhall (or have him on your fantasy team) you will like this game. The Chiefs are well below average at defending RBs, so expect a big day.

1. The QB tandem of Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton will not be enough to beat the Steelers defense.

The Chiefs have been a mess at QB all year. Matt Cassel started the season wallowing in mediocrity (6.37 yards per attempt (YPA), 10 TDs, 9 Int) before succumbing to injury. Palko took over and this isn’t Toledo’s defense he’ll be facing. Palko’s NFL stats so far (0 TDs, 3 INTs in 50 attempts) have been uninspiring at best, and while Orton’s career stats (6.53 YPA, 79 TDs, 50 INTs) place him ahead of Palko (and probably Cassel), he hasn’t yet had enough time to learn the offense.