Week 6 By The Numbers: Steelers Vs Chiefs

For the first time since January the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. And while the Steelers failed to score a touchdown last time around, the team was still able to escape Kansas City victorious, though the odds of that happening again are slim to none. That’s because the Chiefs, powered by an electric offense, are off to an NFL best 5-0. For the Steelers, Sunday’s matchup is shaping up to be a David versus Goliath showdown. With a high marquee matchup looming, here are each fighter’s tale of the tape.


In their last 15 regular season matchups as home favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs are an impressive 13-2. With the Chiefs currently favored anywhere from 3.5-4 points, the Steelers will face an uphill battle should they hope to defeat the NFL’s goliath. Under Andy Reid, the Chiefs rarely struggle against lesser competition at home as even their two losses have both been by two-point margins (19-17 defeat vs Tennessee Titans and another 19-17 defeat vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both occurring last season).


Le’Veon Bell is currently averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on first down. While Bell is currently fifth in the NFL with 371 rushing yards, his measly 2.8 yards per carry on first down ranks last out of the top ten rushing leaders in the NFL. On the contrary, the NFL’s leading rusher and Chiefs’ very own Kareem Hunt is averaging 7.5 yards per carry on first down. Fortunately for the Steelers and Bell, it seems that reinforcements are on the way as right tackle Marcus Gilbert looks to make his return after missing the last three games due a hamstring injury.


Dating back to last season, the Chiefs have rushed for over 100 yards in eight consecutive regular season games. During this eight-game span the Chiefs have racked up 1279 rushing yards, which equals to just under 160 rushing yards per game (159.9). With the Steelers susceptible to the run, allowing an average of 136.6 rushing yards per game this season, the Chiefs run game could be the fatal knockout punch during Sunday’s matchup. To combat this, the Steelers have called on a familiar face – outside linebacker James Harrison. The veteran linebacker known for his strength against the run is due to play in some capacity Sunday after being inactive the last two weeks.


Consider this – no Steelers’ receiver has a higher catch percentage than Antonio Brown’s 62.5 catch percentage. Now consider that if Brown played for the Chiefs, his catch percentage would rank fourth among their receivers. In fact, no Chiefs receiver has a catch percentage under 68 percent. Below are the current catch percentage numbers for the Steelers’ receivers.

Antonio Brown – 62.5%

JuJu Smith-Schuster – 60.0%

Eli Rogers – 54.5%

Martavis Bryant – 48.4%

Many of the Steelers’ struggles and Chiefs’ strengths lead to one common root – quarterback play. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is completing just 61.5 percent of his passes, currently his lowest total since 2008 while Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is leading the NFL with a 76.6 completion percentage.

While Roethlisberger has had a disappointing start to his season, Sunday could be the perfect opportunity to regroup with his receivers as the Chiefs are allowing 248 passing yards per game, the eighth highest total in the NFL.

About the Author

Daniel Valente

Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    You convinced me Daniel; Steelers win this going away – 19-17.

  • Daniel Valente

    Well history does repeat itself , book it !

  • Chris92021

    Steelers are 15-14 when underdogs on the road since 2007.

    Ben Roethlisberger is 3-0 against Andy Reid since Reid arrived from Philly (was 2-1 against Reid in Philly, with victories in 2004 and 2012 and a loss in 2008). So 5-1 overall against Reid (with a win in last season’s divisional round).

    Steelers are 27-5 when Bell gets at least 19 carries a game, including 2-0 this season. Steelers 11-4 when Brown gets at least 10 catches in a game, 0-2 this season.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Harrison plays run downs for the most part. Subs off in obvious pass situations. I can’t believe I just wrote that! Yet it could very well happen.

    3 weeks in a row of everyone guessing wrong. Easy wins should have happened in Chicago and against the Jags, but the Steelers always lose in Baltimore. Everything is upside down.

    Now the Steelers should lose to the hotter than hot Chiefs. But they seem to always find a way against them. Nothing would surprise me. I have no clue about Sunday. I am always hopeful that the run to the playoffs begins soon and they practically win out. Let’s see what they do.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Why? because TJ Watt has a few gimme sacks? No thanks, either play James Harrison most of the game or not at all. As Harrison said in training camp rotating OLBs doesnt work very well.

    If TJ WAtt cant play the run then Eff him and his dumb sack dance when we are getting our asses kicked during the game, not impressed by that crap or his pass rush.

  • pittfan

    I saw on NFL channel Steelers are 18-4 against .500 and above teams. Rise to the occasion??? For some reason, 3.4-4.5 pt spread says someone doesn’t think this will be a blow out….

  • Chris92021

    18-4. And I guarantee you 2 of those losses were to the Patriots. Why can’t we beat up on the bad teams too? That costs us a 1st round bye every time and this team isn’t good enough to win 3 straight playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. It needs a bye week to do it. (New England is in the same boat too, y’all. Belichick has never been to the Super Bowl when he does not have the 1st round bye).

    I am still predicting the Chiefs do whatever they want against us. Dave Toub is light years better than Danny Smith, Keith Butler is clueless, and Todd Haley is flat out stupid. Those three are the reasons why I don’t have faith in this season beyond an early playoff exit.