Chiefs-Steelers Preview

AP - Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers played well in a pair of wins to finish October but seemed to genuinely announce their arrival as contenders with a victory on the Super Bowl champions' home turf.

All it seems they need to do in the first of back-to-back primetime games at Heinz Field is avoid a letdown.

The Steelers haven't lost a home Monday night game in more than two decades, a streak that seems unlikely to end against a floundering Kansas City Chiefs team that's yet to hold a regulation lead this season.

Pittsburgh (5-3) stumbled to a 2-3 start, blowing fourth-quarter leads in its three road losses, before ending October by beating Cincinnati and Washington. That brief run of success looked like it might end last Sunday against the Giants, but this time it was the Steelers who rallied, coming from 10 down in the fourth to win 24-20.

"We're finishing the game now," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said after the NFL's No. 1 defense (262.6 yards per game) allowed negative-9 yards in the final 15 minutes. "I mean, that's the biggest thing ... we went to Oakland, we didn't finish and when we went to Tennessee, we didn't finish, but (Sunday) we finished."

The Steelers have allowed 15 points after halftime during their winning streak after surrendering 68 in their first five contests. They're right behind Baltimore in the AFC North and host the Ravens for a Sunday night showdown in Week 11.

"The only person that can beat the Steelers is the Steelers," running back Isaac Redman said.

If Pittsburgh can keep running the ball like it has the past three weeks, Redman may be right. The Steelers were 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.

Dwyer missed the win over the Giants with a strained right quad, but both he and starter Rashard Mendenhall could play Monday night - leaving coach Mike Tomlin with a good problem to have. Dwyer (3.0) and Redman (2.43) are in the league's top 10 in yards after contact.

"Whoever's being productive when healthy is going to get the totes," Tomlin said. "I really think it's that simple. I'm not going to make it any more complex than it has to be. At times this season we've had a running-back-by-committee approach because none of them had been overly effective at that time.

"When someone's effective, they'll get the ball."

The Steelers have been quite effective on Monday nights at home in a streak that dates to Bill Cowher's first season on the sidelines. They've won 14 in a row in such situations by an average of more than two touchdowns, though this will be their first since September 2008.

It's difficult to imagine that run ending this week. Already the first team since 1929 to fail to lead at any point in regulation through seven games, the Chiefs (1-7) again never led in falling 31-13 at San Diego on Nov. 1.

Coach Romeo Crennel had apparently seen enough after the team's fifth straight loss, so he decided to fire himself. Crennel removed himself as defensive coordinator, leaving Gary Gibbs to take over a unit that's allowing 30.0 points per game and a staggering 8.90 yards per pass attempt - worst in the NFL.

"Romeo has to do what he has to do to save the team, and if somehow that's a spark for us, we don't know. We won't know until Monday night," linebacker Derrick Johnson said.

Kansas City's current struggles make its 2011 season seem like a grand success, but a 5-8 start one year after a 10-6 wild-card season still got Todd Haley fired and gave Crennel the chance to earn the full-time job. Haley is now the Steelers' offensive coordinator, guiding a unit that's the NFL's best converting third downs (51.3 percent).

Haley's offense isn't throwing downfield as much as predecessor Bruce Arians', but it may take some shots Monday. The Chiefs showed Stanford Routt the door this week, ending the cornerback's career in Kansas City just eight games after signing him to a three-year, $18 million deal.

Javier Arenas will move into the starting lineup opposite Brandon Flowers.

It appears Kansas City's secondary will catch a break with Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown doubtful after spraining his ankle against the Giants. Emmanuel Sanders will start if Brown can't go, 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 Kansas City a chance. He's thrown 11 interceptions and fumbled eight times, losing seven.

The Chiefs have 29 turnovers - 21 more than the Steelers and 10 more than anyone else in the league.

Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the Steelers' 13-9 win at Arrowhead Stadium last season, has 31 TDs, six INTs and a 104.6 passer rating in his last 16 regular-season home games.

View Comments
  • Cardinals player gets probation for assault plea

    Cardinals player gets probation for assault plea

    A judge on Wednesday sentenced Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington to a year of supervised probation for assaulting a former girlfriend who is the mother of his daughter. The 27-year-old pleaded guilty nearly a month ago in Maricopa … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Buffalo Bills pay about $3 million to settle lawsuit over text messages

    Buffalo Bills pay about $3 million to settle lawsuit over text messages

    The problem started when the Bills started sending text alerts in 2012. It was an opt-in service that provided updates on the team. Jerry Wojcik, a Bills fan living in Florida, said the team violated the terms of the service by sending 13 texts in … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 9 minutes ago
  • Jackson seeking a coach, says it won't be him

    Jackson seeking a coach, says it won't be him

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated. … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Hamm on Baseball and His "Million Dollar Arm"

    Hamm on Baseball and His "Million Dollar Arm"

    Actor Jon Hamm talks about growing up with baseball and being recognized in India for his infamous character Don Draper whilst filming for Disney's upcoming drama "Million Dollar Arm." (April 23) … More »

    AP Canada Videos - 12 minutes ago
  • Suns' Dragic voted league's most improved player

    Suns' Dragic voted league's most improved player

    (Reuters) - Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, whose breakout campaign helped his team to a 23-win improvement, was named the National Basketball Association's most improved player, the league said on Wednesday. Dragic received 408 of a possible … More »

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago
  • NBA-Suns' Dragic voted league's most improved player

    Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, whose breakout campaign helped his team to a 23-win improvement, was named the National Basketball Association's most improved player, the league said on Wednesday. Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

    FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

    GENEVA - FIFA's reputation depends on resolving allegations about Qatar's selection as the 2022 World Cup host, according to the governing body's anti-corruption advisers. The expert panel chaired by Swiss law professor Mark Pieth gave its full … More »

    The Canadian Press - 19 minutes ago
  • Robert Griffin III will drive the pace car at Richmond thanks to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s tweet

    Robert Griffin III will drive the pace car at Richmond thanks to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s tweet

    When you're Dale Jr. and RGIII, you can make things happen in a hurry. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 20 minutes ago
  • 4 WNBA teams to play 2-game preseason tourney

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Four WNBA teams will take part in a preseason tournament in Orlando over Mother's Day weekend. … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Dragic wins NBA's Most Improved Player

    Dragic wins NBA's Most Improved Player

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Goran Dragic has been honored as the NBA's Most Improved Player after his career year helped lead the Suns to 23 more wins this season. … More »

    AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago
  • Grey Cup-champion Roughriders lone CFL team to exceed $4.4-million salary cap

    TORONTO - The Grey Cup-champion Saskatchewan Roughriders were the only team to surpass the CFL's 4.4-million salary cap in 2013, the league announced Wednesday. According to the CFL, the Roughriders' spent $4,417,975 in salaries last year. As per … More »

    The Canadian Press - 24 minutes ago
  • Manziel, Clowney to be among 30 at draft

    Manziel, Clowney to be among 30 at draft

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL says 30 top prospects, including Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, will attend the draft next month in New York. … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Nadal wins, Ferrer loses in Barcelona

    Nadal wins, Ferrer loses in Barcelona

    Second-seeded David Ferrer was ousted from the Barcelona Open by a Russian opponent for the second straight year and defending champion Rafael Nadal labored to victory on Wednesday. Ferrer was unable to find his rhythm in losing 6-4, 6-2 to … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
  • Calder Trophy Finalists: Nathan MacKinnon vs. Tyler Johnson vs. Ondrej Palat

    Calder Trophy Finalists: Nathan MacKinnon vs. Tyler Johnson vs. Ondrej Palat

    Forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Calder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his … More »

    Puck Daddy - 30 minutes ago
  • Another gut-check for the Blues, another determined defending champion standing in the way of the Stanley Cup

    Another gut-check for the Blues, another determined defending champion standing in the way of the Stanley Cup

    The St. Louis Blues have been down this road before, with an early series lead on a defending Stanley Cup champion. This time, the Blues believe they're ready to knock off the Chicago Blackhawks and take a run at the Cup themselves. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 44 minutes ago
  • Ethiopia appoint Portugal's Barreto as coach

    Ethiopia appoint Portugal's Barreto as coach

    By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia have named Portugal's Mariano Barreto as coach, the head of the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) said on Wednesday. Barreto, a former Ghana coach and assistant manager of Dynamo Moscow, was given … More »

    Reuters - 49 minutes ago
  • NFL Draft Needs: A lot of questions at quarterback, not enough answers

    NFL Draft Needs: A lot of questions at quarterback, not enough answers

    In our "Draft Needs" series we will also examine which teams will be in the market at each position, looking to fill their remaining roster holes. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 49 minutes ago
  • Peng, Peer reach Morocco quarterfinals

    MARRAKESH, Morocco (AP) -- Peng Shuai of China beat Ukrainian qualifier Maryna Zanevska 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix SAR. … More »

    AP - Sports - 54 minutes ago
  • Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue

    Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue

    Violence erupted late Tuesday in a main tourist area of Rio de Janeiro following the killing of a popular local figure near where 2016 Olympic swimming events are expected to take place. (April 23) … More »

    AP Canada Videos - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • Europe split by financial iron curtain, says Champagne

    Europe split by financial iron curtain, says Champagne

    By Brian Homewood BERNE (Reuters) - European football is more divided today than it was during the Cold War because of the unequal distribution of wealth among its clubs, FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne said. "During the Cold War, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 10 minutes ago
  • Lightning teammates, MacKinnon named finalists for Calder Trophy as top rookie

    Lightning teammates, MacKinnon named finalists for Calder Trophy as top rookie

    NEW YORK, - The Calder Trophy voting for the NHL's top rookie will have a Tampa Bay Lightning flavour to it. Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were named as finalists for the trophy along with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • Regina Pats’ sale imminent, Battalion shoot for sweep: the coast-to-coast

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ... WHL Edmonton will need a "short memory" about its Game 3 loss, where it outshot the Medicine Hat Tigers 44-21. (Edmonton Sun, Medicine Hat News) … Continue … More »

    Buzzing The Net - 1 hour 20 minutes ago
  • Valverde wins Walloon Arrow Classic for 2nd time

    Valverde wins Walloon Arrow Classic for 2nd time

    Alejandro Valverde of Spain timed his climb on the closing Wall of Huy to perfection to win the Walloon Arrow classic ahead of Daniel Martin of Ireland and Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland on Wednesday. Pre-race favorite Philippe Gilbert, who won the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • Rosol beats Nieminen to reach quarters

    BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Defending champion Lukas Rosol reached the Nastase Tiriac Trophy quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland on Wednesday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 43 minutes ago
  • Ron MacLean makes awkward apology after French-Canadian ref conspiracy theory

    Ron MacLean makes awkward apology after French-Canadian ref conspiracy theory

    Again, for the record: MacLean was worried about the perception of assigning a French-Canadian referee for the game immediately following one in which a French-Canadian referee made a controversial call. He’s TOTALLY cool with a French-Canadian … More »

    Puck Daddy - 1 hour 47 minutes ago
  • Ferrer suffers early defeat in Barcelona

    Ferrer suffers early defeat in Barcelona

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Four-time finalist David Ferrer crashed out in the second round of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, producing a rusty performance to lose 6-4 6-2 to Georgia's Teymuraz Gabashvili. The world number five, who beat … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 54 minutes ago
  • Jefferson in walking boot, plans to play

    Jefferson in walking boot, plans to play

    Al Jefferson was still in his walking boot when the Charlotte Bobcats arrived for their shootaround hours before facing the Miami Heat in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series. Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says the team was planning to … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 54 minutes ago
  • Bulls suffer blow as Van der Merwe picks up ban

    Bulls suffer blow as Van der Merwe picks up ban

    Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe was suspended for three weeks on Wednesday after being found guilty of striking Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan, further deepening the crisis the South African franchise is facing among its second rowers. The Springbok … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 20 minutes ago
  • Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater raising concern over basic skills

    Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater raising concern over basic skills

    What are the yellow and red flags over QB prospects Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles? It comes down to delivering the football. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 2 hours 25 minutes ago
  • Yamanaka defends WBC bantamweight title with TKO

    Yamanaka defends WBC bantamweight title with TKO

    Shinsuke Yamanaka of Japan successfully defended his WBC bantamweight crown for the sixth time with a technical knockout of Stephane Jamoye of Belgium on Wednesday. Yamanaka sent Jamoye to the canvas with a powerful blow to the abdomen and the … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 30 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Ferrer suffers early defeat in Barcelona

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA, April 23 (Reuters) - Four-time finalist David Ferrer crashed out in the second round of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, producing a rusty performance to lose 6-4 6-2 to Georgia's Teymuraz Gabashvili. The world number … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 36 minutes ago
  • Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

    The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation fees from ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) events. The players had demanded 20 percent of … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 42 minutes ago
  • Singaporean fixer arrested in Helsinki

    Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, convicted in 2011 for fixing football matches, has been arrested in Helsinki, according to Finland's National Bureau of Investigation. "Wilson Raj Perumal was arrested last week in Helsinki, and we are studying the … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 43 minutes ago
  • A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    The Oakland A's have rejected a deal to play at its ballpark for the foreseeable future, saying the 10-year lease extension offer doesn't meet all their requirements. The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1notDIE ) the team's rejection came … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 47 minutes ago
  • Jimmy Fallon presents NHL Playoff Awards, basically ruins Matt Niskanen for us

    Jimmy Fallon presents NHL Playoff Awards, basically ruins Matt Niskanen for us

    Last May, Fallon attempted an “NHL Awards” bit on his late night show and basically tripped over the pronunciation of every name. And while we’re still not sure how a guy who nails the Boston sports stereotype like Fallon has in the past … More »

    Puck Daddy - 2 hours 47 minutes ago
  • Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes thanked his predecessor Alex Ferguson on Wednesday for having given him the opportunity to lead the Premier League club. In a statement issued through the League Manager's Association (LMA), the Scot … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 51 minutes ago
  • Popovich wins NBA Coach of Year award

    Popovich wins NBA Coach of Year award

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Gregg … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 51 minutes ago
  • Pujols becomes 26th to reach 500 homers

    Pujols becomes 26th to reach 500 homers

    Albert Pujols smiled as he explained why he felt the need to apologize to his wife for hitting homer No. 500 so quickly after No. 499. Pujols became the first major leaguer to get his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, connecting twice … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 54 minutes ago
  • Course changes to Hoylake for British

    Course changes to Hoylake for British

    There will be a horseshoe grandstand around the 18th green for the first time at a British Open as part of a number of course changes for this year's tournament at Hoylake. Organizers say the Royal Liverpool course will be extended by 54 yards … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 54 minutes ago
  • Bills cheerleaders file suit against team over pay, harassment

    Bills cheerleaders file suit against team over pay, harassment

    The Buffalo Jills are not happy with their working conditions. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 2 hours 55 minutes ago