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Can the Pittsburgh Steelers actually pull off a win Sunday Night?

I’ve been thinking of this question ever since the wild ending to the inaugural week 18 finale last Sunday Night. One in which everyone and their mother (besides Yinzers) seemed to be rooting for the improbable tie that would effectively shun the Steelers from the Playoffs.

In short, I do think the Steelers can win this Sunday against the #2 seed Kansas City Chiefs. Saying that isn’t really saying much as everyone knows anything can happen on any given Sunday. What I should say is that I think the Steelers have a much better chance than what everyone else seems to think. There’s a few non-statistical reasons as to why I believe that:

  1. First and foremost, the Steelers have done the opposite of what was supposed to happen almost the entire year. Whether it be shocking Buffalo in week 1, tying the lions, or winning 3 out of their last 4, this team is the definition of expect the unexpected (shout out Julie Chen). With the general sentiment being that they’re supposed to lose, albeit get killed (+12.5 point dogs), it leads me to think they’ll continue their season trend of doing the exact opposite and at least keep this within the number, if not pull off a win.
  2. Secondly, and a little more seriously, the chiefs are not healthy. I would argue every single one of their impact players (outside of Mahomes obviously) are on the Injured List. Hill, Kelce, Matthieu, CEH, Williams, Brown, Wylie all carry injury designations into the game. Granted, CEH is the only one officially announced as out, but these injuries play almost too perfectly into Pittsburgh’s Defensive strengths: Pass Rush and Coverage (kind of). What I’m getting at is a banged up offensive line, no RB1 (Mahomes led the Chiefs in rushing last week…), and an injured receiving core might allow the Steeler’s All-Pro Players (Watt/Heyward) to pin their ears back and make Mahomes uncomfortable (if that’s even possible). Add in JuJu potentially coming back to dance all over arrowhead and you can see that the injury Gods are most definitely in Pittsburgh’s favor (pending Najee being able to play…).
  1. Lastly, Media presence surrounding this game is unanimous. Nobody. And I mean quite literally nobody is giving Pittsburgh a chance to win this game. FS1’s Nick Wright, known Chiefs homer and Colin Cowherd groupie, even stated that playing the Steelers is "Better than a buy" and that they have 0 chance of losing. He may be right…but based on his "take" history I wouldn’t count on that. He also may be underestimating the uncanny ability that Tomlin has to get his guys to fight when everyone else thinks they have the Steelers pinned as losers. That’s something that Tomlin has been doing his entire career. Get his players to buy in when everyone sells them off. Combine this with Big Ben’s last ride and a "let’s just have fun" mentality, and I think it mixes into a dangerous scenario for the Chiefs.

Now, what I’m arguing isn’t really based in stats or football schemes or really anything of that nature (other than the injuries), the beauty of the NFL is that it’s unpredictable. I mean the only reason the Steelers are here is because of a win by the worst team in football, the Jaguars, over arguably a Super Bowl dark horse pick in the Colts which occurred in an extra week of football that has never happened before in the history of the sport. Crazy. Unpredictable. Weird. Wild.

My overall point is that sometimes games are more than the stats that surround them… I think this game Sunday Night could be a perfect example of that and a reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers have a real chance to win.

Blogger’s Note: The points made in this blog definitely have nothing to do with the fact I’ve been a die hard Steeler fan my entire life…

Here We Go and Thanks for reading!

-NJ


The opinions shared here are not those of the editorial staff of Behind the Steel Curtain or SB Nation. These posts are not approved in any way by the editorial staff of this web site.