A few weeks ago, the Steelers flopped in their matchup with the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
But after Pittsburgh made a successful playoff push, the Chiefs figure they’re going to see a better version of their opponent in the Wild Card round.
Kansas City safety Tyrann Mathieu had a pair of tackles and a fumble recovery in the first contest against the Steelers. Upon studying the tape for Sunday’s contest, Mathieu said this week he thinks there are some different wrinkles the Chiefs have to be prepared for. But Mathieu also knows Pittsburgh benefits from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s extensive experience.
“Obviously, a couple weeks ago the game didn’t go the way that they wanted to I think. As a team, we were able to get off to a fast start. I don’t think we’re necessarily expecting it to be that kind of a ball game,” Mathieu said in his Thursday press conference. “Just watching these guys the last couple weeks, even before we played them a couple weeks ago, this was a big fourth quarter, second-half team. So, for us, coming into this game, we understand it’s going to be a four-quarter game, possibly could be more.
“And then you’re dealing with a quarterback that really has all the experience in the world. He’s won two championships, he’s been to the playoffs a bunch, and then he has some great talent around him as well. So, we’ve got our work cut out for us. I think for us, it’s all about how we start the game and then how we finish Sunday.”
The Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since 2016. But as a double-digit underdog, the club seems loose and ready to play as if there’s nothing to lose. Mathieu’s right that the Chiefs should expect a challenge. But if Kansas City’s defense is at its best, the club should be moving on to the Divisional round.