The summer walk-through of the Kansas City Chiefs schedule for 2012 gets to Week 10 and a November 12 Monday night date on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Links to the previous nine weeks of previews are below.
Kansas City fans will see a familiar face as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaching staff, as former Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley is now running the offense in the Steel City. Haley is just one prominent newcomer on the offensive side of the ball, as Pittsburgh is putting its offensive line through a much-needed re-tooling. The Steelers were becoming too reliant on the passing of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in recent seasons as age and injuries took a toll on the front five. They drafted two elite young linemen in Ohio State’s Mike Adams and Stanford’s David DeCastro, both of whom are already at the top of the depth chart in early July.
Therefore the big question surrounding this game is whether Kansas City is going to face an offensive line that’s starting to come together. If that’s the case, it’s going to be awfully tough to get a Monday night road win. If Pittsburgh runs the ball well, Chiefs safety Eric Berry has to focus on run support and can’t roam the field looking to make big plays, and outside linebacker Tamba Hali has to stay honest rather than being turned loose on the edge. But if the re-tooled Steeler line is still going through growing pains—and let’s be frank, with two rookies, even ones as good as Adams and DeCastro it’s very reasonable to think it will take a full season before they’ll really reach their potential—then the Kansas City defense can contain Roethlisberger and the passing game.
This game is in the midst of a tough schedule stretch for Kansas City, coming off a road trip to San Diego, but at least the calendar works in their favor. Because the Week 9 game at San Diego was on a Thursday, the Chiefs have 11 days to prepare. And on the other side, Pittsburgh played the New York Giants the previous Sunday and six days after this Monday night game with the Chiefs, the Steelers start a two games-in-three weeks run against the archrival Baltimore Ravens. If it were ever possible to catch a team in a letdown spot on a Monday night at home, Kansas City might be able to do it.
Overall though, this is going to be a tough game to win and it’s important the Chiefs situate themselves so this is not a must-win spot for their playoff chances.
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PREVIOUS SUMMER WALK-THROUGHS
Week 1: vs Atlanta
Week 2: at Buffalo
Week 3: at New Orleans
Week 4: vs San Diego
Week 5: vs Baltimore
Week 6: at Tampa Bay
Week 7: Bye Week Evaluation Points
Week 8: vs. Oakland
Week 9: at San Diego