Redemption Sunday for the Steelers

By Kim Dunning

The Pittsburgh Steelers got killed by the Philadelphia Eagles in week 3.  They were embarrassed with only scoring 3 points with a pretty high powered offense.  The Steelers were a favorite going into the season to go to the Super Bowl from the AFC.  Fun fact though for those who like that kind of thing. The last time the Steelers went to the Super Bowl, they were embarrassed by the Eagles.

Going into Week 4, head coach Mike Tomlin told everyone this was redemption weekend.  The Steelers needed to prove they are who people thought they were.

Sunday Night Football rolls around and Pittsburgh at home against the Kansas City Chiefs came out like they needed to prove something.

Turnovers created great field position for the Steelers and a shank punt in the first half set them up for even better field position. By half-time the game was out of hand.  It was 29-0.

The second half was no better for the Chiefs. They couldn’t find offense if it was right in front of them.  They had yet to score any points by the middle of the 3rd quarter.

Le’veon Bell returned for this game after serving his suspension and ran all over the Chiefs defense.

The offense in general was what fans expected to see from the Steelers.  They were clicking on all cylinders and getting everyone involved.  They had touchdowns from Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and even Darrius Heyward-Bey got involved.

On defense, the Steelers looked like the Steel-Curtain of old.  They created havoc by rushing Alex Smith and creating turnovers.  They were disruptive and stacked the box for the run game.  They caused Spencer Ware to fumble which is unusual for him.  He’s not a fumbler.  They looked like a defense to be feared.

The Chiefs took almost 50 minutes to score a touchdown however it was a little too late.  You almost hoped the NFL had a mercy rule.  This was a public shaming for Kansas City.  Thank goodness they have a bye week to regroup!

The Steelers definitely came out for redemption Sunday by scarring the Chiefs for life with a 43-14 whooping and proved that they aren’t a team to be taken lightly.  The poor Chiefs had to be the victims of the Steelers aggression after being embarrassed by the Eagles just a week before.

The Chiefs Have a Golden Opportunity

Andy_Reid_Tried_To_Trade_For_Alex_Smith_49ers_Eagles

By Shawn Buck (@buck4peace)

Andy Reid has been a good coach in the NFL.  While coaching the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2012, he won 120 games.  He won six division titles and went to the NFC Championship game five times.  After being let go by the eagles at the end of the 2012 season, he was hired by the Kansas City Chiefs.  His winning has continued as he has made the playoffs two out of three years with them.   Can he finally get over the hump and hoist the Lombardi trophy?  This year, the Chiefs have as good a chance as anyone to do it.

Last season, the Chiefs started the season 1-5 before winning 10 straight to earn a wild card spot in the playoffs.  They also beat the Houston Texans handily in the first round before losing to the New England Patriots 27-20, the following week.  Quarterback Alex Smith is what many call a “game manager”.  He won’t make a lot of mistakes but he also will not take a lot of chances and throw many long passes down the field.  In 2014, he didn’t throw one touchdown pass to a wide receiver.  The addition of Jeremy Maclin last season helped that as he finished with 8 touchdowns and 1088 yards receiving.  Smith may not be a big game changer a la Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady but he fits in with what Coach Reid wants to do.   Smith is also a good scrambler as he finished with 498 yards rushing.  Teams can win with a quarterback like Smith but the rest of the team components have to be above average.

The Chiefs have a very good running game. That is if star running back Jamaal Charles can come back from the knee injury he suffered in the fifth game last season, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. The running game will be the strong point of the offense.  Even after Charles went down last year, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware held their own as the Chiefs went on their winning streak.  This gives them depth at the running back position.

Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce is back.  He should have another good year.  Smith throws to his tight ends consistently.  Last season Kelce finished with 72 receptions and 875 yards to establish himself as one the best tight end  in the NFL.   It shouldn’t be any different this season.  He may be even better.

The Chiefs defense is a good one.  This season a lot depends on the health of Justin Houston.  He is arguably the Chiefs best player.  He is a dominant pass rusher that opposing offenses can’t ignore.   Unfortunately he had ACL surgery in February and there are questions of when he’ll be back, and if he does come back can he be the same player of last year.

The Chiefs have a great opportunity to win their division this season.  Quarterback concerns in Denver and a young team in Oakland, the AFC West can be theirs for the taking.  That is if they can get some home playoff games or even home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs Chiefs have a legitimate chance at going to the Super Bowl.  Can they do it?

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AFC West preview: Denver Broncos & Kansas City Chiefs 

Written by Ralph Uriarte

DENVER BRONCOS 

The Denver Broncos have had a roller coaster off-season since becoming Superbowl 50 champions, they have seen Peyton Manning retire and Brock Osweiler choose the Houston Texans over the Broncos,  C.J. Anderson almost left to the Miami Dolphins, but Denver matched the deal at the last-minute. Denver has a new starting quarterback and his name is Mark Sanchez,  the Philadelphia Eagles back up quarterback and former New York Jet, the man they call “Butt Fumble”. That is just everything that took place early in the off-season.


Broncos also drafted quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round of the draft to be their back up quarterback. Lynch needs a lot of work and he is nowhere near NFL ready. What does that mean? Well Broncos fans it means Mark Sanchez is indeed the starter for at least one season, he is a very aggressive quarterback that can make big plays, but the biggest knock on him is his tendency to make bonehead plays such as this end zone interception last season versus Miami last season. Losing both of his two starts.

On the other side of the ball the Broncos have a very large contract issue with linebacker Von Miller who has said he will not play 2016 under the franchise tag and refuses to sign his tender. Denver submitted an offer of 114 million over 6 years with only 39.8 million guaranteed. Miller turned the deal down based on guaranteed money. The same week, Philadelphia Eagles give their defensive star Fletcher Cox a 103-million-dollar deal with 63 million guaranteed, that is the type of deal Miller wants and he will get it, if not from Denver, somebody else will pay him. 

Now that brings us to Aqib Talib, who was shot at a Dallas nightclub and was released from the hospital the following day, he suffered a minor leg injury and is expected to make a full recovery. The bullet isn’t Talib’s problem, the gun is, rumor is that he either shot himself or was armed, both do not sit well with neither NFL nor the Broncos. The NFL is currently investigating the incident and the team has yet to announce their course of action, if any against Talib.

I do not see the Broncos repeating as Superbowl champion, I don’t even see them in the playoffs, even IF Miller signs and IF Talib is found innocent, you still have Mark Sanchez as a quarterback, how did Elway ever this that was going to work?

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 

The chiefs finished the year at 11-5 last season coming back from what everyone was sure a death-blow losing Jamaal Charles, but the team fought back and finished strong, unfortunately they lost to the New England Patriots in the playoffs.

The team had a change at offensive coordinator with Doug Pederson leaving to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Brad Childress has stepped into the role. The Chiefs continue to possess a top 10 defense lead by linebacker Justin Houston, the team finished 9th overall in points allowed per game with 17.9. Chiefs defensive end Mike Devito called it quits and retired, but the defense is still explosive, especially with the addition of 1st round pick Chris Jones who will be groomed to take over if Dontari Poe leaves the team next year in free agency. One trouble spot is safety Eric Berry who is currently in a contract hold out and will not attend mandatory mini-camp, he will not be fined though since he has not signed his franchise tender. 

The offense is led by veteran quarterback Alex Smith who threw for nearly 3500 yards with 20 touchdowns against 7 interceptions, the workhorse Jamaal Charles only player 5 games before he was injured handing the reigns over to Charchandrick West who took the bulk of the carries. The real bread and butter duo on this offense is tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with 875 yards and 5 touchdowns and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin who finished with 8 touchdowns and 1088 yards.

The Chiefs expect Jamaal Charles to make a full recovery by the start of the season and make a return to the team, what happens between now and July 15th with Eric Berry will be a large part of how this season shapes up in the end.