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Chiefs vs. Steelers: Preview and Predictions

The Arrowhead Report crew takes a crack at predicting the outcome of Sunday's Chiefs vs. Steelers matchup.

On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers as the two squads jockey for positioning in the AFC playoff picture. If the Chiefs take care of business at home, they can officially clinch a playoff spot. They can also clinch the AFC West title with some help from the Los Angeles Chargers. How will today's game unfold? The Arrowhead Report crew makes their predictions.

Joshua Brisco: In the grand scheme of things, this week could have gone worse for the Chiefs. The defense will be fine without Nick Bolton and Rashad Fenton, thanks to the returns of Chris Jones, Willie Gay Jr., L'Jarius Sneed and Charvarius Ward. The offense still has Patrick Mahomes and four of their five usual starters on the offensive line to pair with Tyreek Hill, who returned on Saturday. The Chiefs are the better team even without Travis Kelce, but the offense will miss Kelce in a major way.

Prediction: Chiefs 20, Steelers 10

Jordan Foote: My original prediction for this game was Chiefs 31, Steelers 21. With the news of Travis Kelce being out, as well as Nick Bolton and Lucas Niang, I think I'll shave some points off of that. The battle in the trenches should make or break this game, so keep an eye on both teams' pass rush units and running games. The Chiefs will do more than enough to secure a win in their final home game at Arrowhead... until the playoffs.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Steelers 17

Mark Van Sickle: No Harrison Butker and no Tommy Townsend due to COVID-19 protocols. Andy Reid still has Patrick Mahomes at his disposal so my theory is this will be a no-kick game, for better or for worse. No punts, no fields goals and only going for two after touchdowns. Let’s get weird! The Chiefs' defense gets Chris Jones back and the Steelers' offense isn’t a juggernaut at this point with “Big” Ben Roethlisberger getting ready to retire. This could be the Mecole Hardman game but with Tyreek Hill back, I anticipate he will likely go off. There's also a chance the Chiefs roll with a significant rushing attack with Clyde Edwards-Helaire on early downs in this one against a bad Pittsburgh run defense. 

Prediction: Chiefs 38, Steelers 13

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Marlow Ferguson Jr.: To survive, the Chiefs have had to get creative about how they’ve won games. Today, without the NFL’s premier tight end and their offensive lynchpin for the last eight seasons in Travis Kelce, another challenge presents itself. Given the circumstances, and the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 31st-ranked run defense has uncharacteristically become a pushover, it’s worth wondering if the Chiefs take further advantage of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the backfield. And, as noted on the Roughing the Kicker podcast, only 75 of Ben Roethlisberger’s 380 pass attempts have come with a lead, so this is a vulnerable team early in games. At Arrowhead, with a playoff spot waiting to be clinched, expect the Chiefs to step up to the challenge and play with a sense of urgency.

Prediction: Chiefs 24, Steelers 25

Conner Christopherson: Thankfully, Tyreek Hill was cleared for this game. The prospect of the Chiefs playing across from T.J. Watt with Andrew Wylie at right tackle is already a bit scary without Hill or Kelce. With the COVID-19 outbreak mostly contained in the latter stages of the week, my confidence in the Chiefs in this game remains high. Chris Jones coming back is huge in order to stop an anemic Steelers offense. The Chiefs should be able to pull this one off, COVID cases and all.

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Steelers 16

Taylor Witt: The Steelers have a habit of starting slow and then panicking in the fourth quarter to make things interesting, while the Chiefs have a habit of scoring easily within their first scripted 15 plays and then falling into a rut offensively. No Travis Kelce (COVID) is a huge concern, but Tyreek Hill's activation from the COVID list should mean that the Chiefs can still push the envelope on offense. And without their kicker or punter, we may see the most aggressive decision-making in the Andy Reid era.

Prediction: Chiefs 26, Steelers 17

Jacob Harris: Easy win, big happy.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Steelers 17

Read More: Chiefs COVID List Tracker