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The Pittsburgh Steelers face the biggest challenge of the season on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City has won seven in a row and has done it with a balance of run and pass on offense as well as an improving defense. What do the Steelers have to do if they want to pull off this huge upset?

Make Patrick Mahomes impatient

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

One big change for the Chiefs during this winning streak has been the lack of mistakes and turnovers by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. When Mahomes is allowed to sit back, be patient and go through his options, no defense can stop him. Pittsburgh needs to speed up that clock and force Mahomes to make quicker decisions which could lead to mistakes.

Win on first down

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On both sides of the football the Steelers must do good things on first down. On offense, creating manageable second-down scenarios will help keep drives moving and hopefully help the Steelers avoid those third and short when the team seems to make really bad decisions.

Defensively, Pittsburgh has to stuff the run on first down. Kansas City is going to come out and attack a questionable run defense to set up big plays in the passing game. Winning on first down means dictating the playcalling which will allow the Steelers to attack Patrick Mahomes on passing downs.

Don’t be patient

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

This sounds counter-intuitive but the Steelers cannot get off to a slow start. The team must take risks, especially on defense in hopes of great reward. We have to assume the Chiefs will score points regardless. The best chance Pittsburgh has on defense is to take chances, go for turnovers and try to keep the football out of the hands of Mahomes and that offense.


(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

I want to believe the Steelers can muster up two games in a row like the one they played last week against the Titans. But truth be told that won’t be enough to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. The Steelers offense doesn’t have a shootout in them and the defense can only do so much. Pittsburgh will still have to division games to try and salvage the season but there’s no Christmas miracle in Kansas City this week. I originally predicted the Chiefs to win 28-24 but the return of the Chiefs top skill players changes things up. Chiefs 38, Steelers 19