NFL Playoffs: Pittsburgh @ Kansas City, Monday 16th January 2017

Pittsburgh 43.5 @ Kansas City -1.5

Monday January 16, 12:30pm AEDT

Kansas City (12-4)

KC is an average team on both sides of the ball averaging 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl and allowing 5.6yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl. KC has tremendous special teams and a very positive turnover ratio which is why they allow just 19 points per game against teams averaging 24 points per game despite being an average team from the line of scrimmage.

Pittsburgh (11-5)

Pittsburgh dominated Miami last week (a common theme this week) in their 30-12 victory. Pittsburgh ran the ball for 179 yards to 52 for Miami and 5.1ypr to 2.5ypr. They also out passed Miami 9.9yps to 6.2yps. Overall they out gained Miami 6.8yppl to 4.9yppl. Again, those numbers are also skewed as Pittsburgh ran the ball 14 more times and Miami threw the ball 22 more times.

Pittsburgh averages 6.9yps against 6.4yps and 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl. Their defence is about average, allowing 5.5yppl against 5.5yppl. In games where Roethlisberger has been healthy and they have played their key offensive players, Pittsburgh averages 7.6yps against teams allowing 6.4yps.

Key Stats

PittsburghPFPAOFRYPROFPYPSYPPLDFRDYPRDFPDYPSDYPPL
Offence25201144.42586.95.9974.22436.25.5
Defence22221144.32446.45.51124.32376.35.5
Kansas CityPFPAOFRYPROFPYPSYPPLDFRDYPRDFPDYPSDYPPL
Offence24191094.22356.55.61214.42486.35.6
Defence24241074.12426.45.51094.12476.55.5

OFR – Offensive yards rushing
OFP – Offensive yards passing
DFR – Defensive yards rushing allowed
DFP – Defensive yards passing allowed
YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play

 

The Verdict

KC is coming off a couple of high scoring games and that typically doesn’t bode well in the playoffs. They qualify in a negative situation, which is 44-20-1 and plays against them in this game. That situation is 16-2 the last five years. My numbers favour Pittsburgh by one point and project about 44 points. Since Andy Reid arrived in KC his Chiefs are just 12-17 ats as a home favourite and his team has gone under the total in 21 of 29 games as a home favourite.

KC has gotten better as the year has progressed with Tyreek Hill being implemented into the offense more as well as the special teams. Justin Houston has returned on defence as well. But, for Pittsburgh, when they have had Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell playing, Pittsburgh has lost just one game. That game was a 35-30 loss at home to Dallas where they lost in the last few seconds of the game. So, Pittsburgh has been very difficult to defeat when they have had their offensive superstars. They are better on offense, better on defence and getting points in this game. They don’t have better special teams so that has to be a concern but outside of the special teams Pittsburgh is the better team.

Since Roethlisberger came back healthy Pittsburgh has scored at least 24 points in every game. Pittsburgh has allowed more than 20 points just twice in their last eight games. That time frame syncs up well with the return of OLB Bud Dupree. The last game of the regular season where they sat starters they allowed Cleveland to score 24 points and they allowed Baltimore 27 points, which was the result of two bad Ben interceptions deep in Pittsburgh territory. They also were missing their key DT Stephon Tuitt in those two games. Better offense, better defence and getting points are usually the recipe for success in the NFL.

Forecast

Pittsburgh 24 Kansas City 20


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