MNF: Hapless Chiefs in for Nightmare Against Steelers

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t in any shape to play a nationally televised game on Monday Night Football.  Especially when their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, have been hitting their stride in the early half of the season.

The Chiefs (1-7) will stumble into Monday as the week’s biggest underdogs.  And if you’ve been keeping up with Kansas City, you’ll understand why.

Through eight games, their offense is wildly inefficient, their play-calling suspect, and their defense meager.  And while there’s tons of blame to go around, the one Chiefs fans are pointing their finger at is quarterback Matt Cassel, who hasn’t done much with the ball in his hands.  In fact, that’s when he does worst, compiling a league-worst 11 turnovers on the year, seven of which have been for fumbles.  Though he is not all to blame.  As a team, the Chiefs have committed 29 turnovers, which bests the next worst team (Dallas Cowboys) by 10.  The stat is a direct result of how Kansas City has not led a game in the regular season.

Wow, that’s bad.

The Chiefs do have one shining light, and it sits in the team’s backfield.  Running back Jamaal Charles has re-emerged as one of the best runners in the game.  After healing from an ACL-tear which put him out of service last year, Charles is ninth in the league in rushing yards.  In the Chiefs sole win (in overtime mind you), the 24-year-old back accumulated 233 yards — second highest total of the season — and will most likely be the only factor the Steelers have to prepare for.

“You just can’t let the guy get daylight because he’s gone,” Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said, per ESPN.com.  “New Orleans was doing a great job and had a pretty good lead.  Then, in two snaps he erased it.  He went 90 yards with one and 50 yards with the next.”

Meanwhile, it looks like the inspired Steelers are readying for another win.  Pittsburgh has won three straight (3-0 vs. non-division teams) and are racking up points with ease.  And they’re doing it with a number of different running back’s at their disposal.  The Steelers have used Rashard Mendenhall (out with an Achilles injury), Jonathan Dwyer (leads the team in rushing) and Isaac Redman (ran for a career-high 147 yards vs. New York Giants last week).  It looks like Redman will get the start behind Ben Roethlisberger.

Monday’s night’s AFC matchup is an easy battle to call.  As 13 point favorites, the Steelers will win just by showing up.

Look for Pittsburgh to pile on the points early and often in a run-away 38-10 victory.

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