The Kansas City Chiefs and Pat Mahomes look to keep it rolling in the Steel City after they won in impressive fashion last week. They handed the Los Angeles Chargers a 38-28 loss, as the Mahomes era arrived with a bang for the Chiefs. Alex Smith is with the Redskins, so it’s all up to Mahomes now, and he commanded the offense well in his first ever Week 1 start of his career.
Mahomes made a start in Week 17 last year against the Broncos, which made for the first rookie quarterback to start for the Chiefs in 38 years. Mahomes got the start to give Smith and some starters a chance to rest heading into the playoffs. It also became an opportunity for Mahomes to get a taste of regular season action before becoming the full-time starter in 2018.
All he did was toss 4 touchdowns with no interceptions last week against the Chargers. He connected with Tyreek Hill early and often, linking up with Hill for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was targeted 8 times by Mahomes and reeled in 7 balls. The Chiefs will head on the road for the second consecutive week, with a stop in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.
The Steelers, on the other hand, blew a late lead and had to settle for a tie in Cleveland. Le’Veon Bell’s replacement, James Conner, had a costly fumble to set up a Browns’ touchdown and overtime. The Browns had a chance to knock in the game-winning field goal with time expiring, but it came up amiss in the rain and wind.
Given the tie against a team like the Browns and the Bell news, people will already be singing the demise of the Steelers. However, the Steelers did the same thing last year against the Browns in Week 1. They survived, but barely with a 21-18 win. And then in the final week of the season, they beat the Browns, 28-24, at Heinz Field.
The Browns’ roster was much worse last year as well, and the Steelers were a play away from beating the Patriots in the playoffs. So, let’s not overreact to what happened last week in Cleveland. The Steelers may not end up going to the Super Bowl, but judging them by Week 1 is just a case of recency bias. Get our free Chiefs vs. Steelers pick in Week 2 of the NFL below.
K.C. Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Week 2 Betting Odds:
vs. Steelers -4.5(-120)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Chiefs vs. Steelers Pick:
The Chiefs came out firing last week, but they can’t let up against the Steelers. It could be easy to take them lightly after they struggled against the Browns a week ago. However, like I just noted, they did the same against the Browns last year as well. Despite beating the Chargers, they were actually outgained by 179 yards. Philip Rivers had more than 162 yards passing on Mahomes, and the ground game outgained the Chiefs by 17 yards. The difference was turnovers, while Mahomes protected the ball and didn’t make a mistake, Rivers had an interception. Conversely, the Steelers outgained the Browns by 145 yards.
It’s not rocket science what the Steelers have to do on defense in this one. It will be interesting to see how Mahomes reacts once teams start seeing tape on him. He made no secrets about where he wants to go with the ball. Tyreek Hill is quite the athlete, so it’s not much of a surprise he’s looking his way. The Chiefs also brought in Sammy Watkins in the offseason as a compliment to Hill, while Travis Kelce is one of the better tight ends in the NFL.
The Steelers’ defense was at its best against the pass last season. They ranked 5th with an average of 150 with just 150 passing yards per game. Mike Mitchell is gone in the secondary, but the defense still returns some talented guys on the defensive side of the ball, including T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward up-front. Watt led all linebackers in the league with 7.5 sacks. Back at home with something to prove after a tie last week, I expect Mahomes and Hill to have it tougher at Heinz Field. The defense allowed an average of 18.1 points per game at home in 2017.
What I think we have here is a case of overreacting after one week. Recency bias is in full effect. I like Patrick Mahomes, I’ve liked him since his days at Texas Tech. You can go back and find Texas Tech articles from back then on what I thought of him. Nevertheless, the Steelers aren’t as bad as they presented last week. They had the game in the bag and then let it slip away. I don’t think they do it again in Pittsburgh this week. People are seemingly ignoring that the Chiefs allowed 541 yards to an average Chargers’ offense. The Chiefs are playing on back-to-back road games and going to play a team that they’ve lost six of the last seven games against. The last time the Chiefs and Steelers met in Heinz Field it resulted in a 43-14 blowout. I don’t see it being anywhere near that bad, but the Steelers should be able to pull out about a 33-23 win on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.