Chiefs to host Steelers in AFC Divisional Round next Sunday
KANSAS CITY - The Chiefs will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday, January 15 in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. The contest will be broadcast on KOMU 8 in local markets.
Pittsburgh beat the Miami Dolphins 30-12 in the Wild Card Round to advance to face Kansas City.
Last year marked Kansas City's first playoff win since 1993. They trounced the Houston Texans, 30-0 before falling to the Patriots in a tight 27-20 contest. The last time the Chiefs played the Steelers in the playoffs, they defeated them in the 1993 AFC Wild Card Round 27-20 in overtime.
This will be the first time since the 2003 season the Chiefs host a divisional playoff game.
In the regular season, the Chiefs went 12-4 while the Steelers went 11-5. Both teams won their respective divisions.
Statistically, the Steelers hold an advantage over Kansas City in the passing game. Pittsburgh has the fifth-ranked passing offense in the league, but the teams are evenly matched in the running game on both sides of the ball.
An x-factor for the Chiefs could be the return game. Keyed by a breakout season from return man Tyreke Hill, Kansas City's special teams unit has been the best in football. Hill was a first-team All-Pro and had more punt return yards by himself than every other team in the NFL.
The Steelers have more experience in games like this. Where the quarterbacks are concerned, Pittsburgh's signal caller, Ben Roethlisberger, has played in 18 playoff games, going 12-6 while reaching three Super Bowls and winning two.
Meanwhile, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith has played in just five playoff games. However, he has performed well in the winter months. In those five games, he has thrown for 11 touchdowns and just one interception to go with an above-average 99.1 passer rating.
Whoever wins will take on the winner of the Texans-Patriots game on Sunday, January 22. If the Chiefs and Texans win, Kansas City would host the AFC Championship Game. If the Chiefs and Patriots win, Kansas City would travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs are just two wins from reaching the Super Bowl. They haven't played in the big game since 1970 when they beat the Vikings 23-7 to win Super Bowl IV.