Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tip-off: Monday, November 12, 2012 – 8:30 PM ET
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
The Pittsburgh Steelers managed to do a great job in a pair of victories to cap off last month but appeared to truly announce their arrival as contenders with a win versus the New York Giants.
Now, all the team needs do in the first of back-to-back prime-time games at Heinz Field is avoid a letdown. Pittsburgh hasn’t lost a home Monday night game in more than 20 years, and YouWager experts believe things aren’t going to change tonight against a floundering Kansas City Chiefs team that’s yet to hold a regulation lead this season.
The Steelers (5-3) ran into a 2/3 start, blowing fourth-quarter leads in its three road losses, before ending October by beating the Cincinnati Bengals and the Washington Redskins. Many bettors considered things were going to go the other way last Sunday against New York, but this time it was Pittsburgh who rallied, coming from 10 down in the fourth to victory 24-20.
Pittsburgh has allowed 15 points after halftime during their winning streak after surrendering 68 in their first five contests. They’re right behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North and host this team for a Sunday night showdown in Week 11.
Oddsmakers consider that if the Steelers can keep running the ball like it has the past three weeks, Redman may be right. This team was 31st in the NFL in rushing (74.8 ypg) through Week 6, an average they’ve more than doubled (155.0) during their winning streak despite a revolving backfield of Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.
The Chiefs’ current difficulties make their 2011 NFL season look like a good thing, but a 5-8 start one year after a 10-6 wild-card season still got Todd Haley fired and gave Crennel the opportunity to earn the full-time job. Haley is now Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator, guiding a unit that’s the league’s best converting third downs (51.3 percent).
It looks like the Chiefs’ secondary will catch a break with Steelers’ receiver Antonio Brown doubtful after spraining his ankle against the Giants. Emmanuel Sanders will start if Brown is unable to do so, and he’ll also likely be returning punts — normally Brown’s job — and kicks if Chris Rainey (ribs) is out.
Matt Cassel will start under center for the Chiefs with Brady Quinn out with a concussion, and Cassel likely needs to cut down on the turnovers to give the Chiefs a better opportunity. He’s thrown 11 interceptions and fumbled eight times, losing seven.