The Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1) qualified for the post-season in perhaps the most incredible way in NFL history. Daniel Carlson’s field goal for the Las Vegas Raiders as the final seconds of overtime expired handed the Los Angeles Charges defeat. A tie in that game, the final game of the regular season, would have eliminated the five-time Super Bowl champions.
Their reward is a trip to back-to-back defending AFC champions the Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) in what is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger’s final NFL game.
The Steelers haven’t been at their best season and whilst they got lucky in the end to make the playoffs, they did beat Tennessee, Cleveland and Baltimore in three of their final four games. The one exception: a 10-36 loss at Kansas City in week 16.
Kansas City made a slow start at 3-4 before an eight-game winning streak put them into the Number 1 seed, only for them to let it slip in a week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. They still head into the playoffs as the favourites to win the AFC Championship for a third successive season.
Many see this as essentially a bye for Patrick Mahomes and co. Pittsburgh’s defence has been relatively poor this season and their offence haven’t always been a great deal better.
The Chiefs are capable of building up a significant lead and resting some key players in the fourth quarter ahead of the Divisional round, such is their expected dominance of this game.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -13 is 10/11