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Steelers vs. Chiefs: Why the winner of the red-zone will win the game

The Steelers and Chiefs are evenly matched, but when looking at the red-zone statistics, that is where the winner of this game will likely be decided. I break it down on the latest Steelers Connection.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of talk about the upcoming AFC Divisional game against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Looking at specific one-on-one matchups, you can see advantages, and disadvantages, across the board for both teams.

When some ask me who the ‘X-Factor’ is in this game, most tend to think about a specific player who will rise up and take over the game. Both teams have players who could fit such a bill, like Ryan Shazier and Tyreek Hill, but I went a bit deeper and chose the ‘X-Factor’ to be a specific area.

The Red-Zone.

When looking at the statistics, you can see how evenly matched these two teams are. Both offensively and defensively, they are ranked very close to one another in most areas. With both teams consistently showing the ability to move the ball between the 20s, I decided to look at the red-zone for discrepancies, and I found some.

Statistically, the Steelers red-zone offense is significantly better than the Chiefs’, and the two defenses are about the same when ranking their red-zone efficiency, with a slight edge to Pittsburgh. However, when looking at the home and road splits, you see the Steelers offense takes a slight drop off, but still a stark advantage over Kansas City’s red-zone offense, even at home.

I feel strongly both teams will be able to move the football. However, whichever defense is able to stand up when it matters and force field goal attempts, and likewise the offense which is able to put up 6 points rather than 3, will certainly win this football game.

Splash plays may be at a premium with the weather conditions likely to be less than ideal, but ultimately the team who will win this game, will likely be the team who wins the red-zone battle.

I expound all of this information in the most recent podcast, which you can hear by hitting the play button in the player above. This short podcast will be a great primer to get you ready for the Steelers big game at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday!

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