Ravens Rooting Interests: Will Their Rivals Fall In Divisional Playoffs?
Sadly the Baltimore Ravens must watch their rivals participate in the NFL playoffs. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New England Patriots fall in the divisional playoffs?
First, let me say, that there is no way the Houston Texans are going to knock off the New England Patriots. The Texans lost in embarrassing fashion, earlier this season, to a Patriots team without Tom Brady. We can hope for the Patriots to stumble but it would be like ice cream melting in the freezer. The Steelers have the much tougher task.
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The first meeting between the Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs is an invalid barometer of how this playoff battle will play out. The Steelers dominated the Chief in Heinz Field by the score of 43-14, in week four. Ben Roethlisberger threw for five touchdowns and Le’Veon Bell had 144 yards on the ground. It was not a good day for Andy Reid’s team, but the Steelers will face a different version of the Chiefs on Sunday night.
The Chiefs started the season 2-2. They ended the regular season 12-4. They had two impressive wins over the Oakland Raiders, they swept the Denver Broncos and they beat the Atlanta Falcons. The Chiefs are very good at home and they have played incredible football on their hot streak. The Chiefs are the number two seed in the playoffs, and they won the NFL’s toughest division.
Keys For The Chiefs:
If Alex Smith and company can dominate time of possession, and put points on the scoreboard, Pittsburgh will be in trouble. When Ben Roethlisberger gets into a rhythm early, he only heats up from there. The Chiefs must keep their offense on the field for lengthy drives to prevent the Steelers offense from finding its groove.
The Chiefs rely on a quick passing game. Tyreek Hill and Jeremy Maclin provide a deep threat for the offense, but Smith loves to lean on Travis Kelce. The Steelers will have trouble covering Kelce. The Steelers have trouble covering the tight end. They gave up 93 yards and a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski. They also struggled to stop Dennis Pitta who had eight receptions for 75 yards in the Christmas showdown. If Kelce has a big day, the Chiefs will win this game.
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The Chiefs defense may not be able to stop Le’Veon Bell but they can slow him down. If the Chiefs can get up on the Steelers and control the football, they can make the Steelers one dimensional. The Chiefs pass rush is strong. Dee Ford has 10 sacks this season. Kansas City also has a ball hawking secondary. The Chiefs have 18 interceptions this season, and they have run four of them back for touchdowns.
Give me the Chiefs 24-17. I think the Chiefs defense will come up with a few plays, Kelce will have a monster game and the Chiefs will enjoy home field advantage. This outcome would please Ravens fans every where.