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City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2-7 SU, 4-5 ATS), NFL Week 11, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 22, 2009, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Steelers -10/Chiefs +10
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The defending Superbowl champs were finally playing back to form, winning five games in a row, but that win streak came to a screeching halt in an 18-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, their second loss this season to the Bengals. Now, the Steelers will try to start a new winning streak against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the Steelers’ five-game winning streak that ended on Sunday, four of the five wins were by double digits and three of the five wins were against teams with winning records, all three of which came by double digits. Offensively, they scored at least 27 points in each of those five games.
But against the Bengals, they scored just 12 points on four field goals. The Bengals lost star running back Cedric Benson to a hip injury early in the game and they were still able to win the game. The Steelers gained just 80 rushing yards in the game, leaving it up to Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game. But Roethlisberger only completed 50 percent of his pass attempts and totaled 174 yards on 40 pass attempts for a 4.4 yards-per-attempt average. He was also sacked four times and threw an interception.
For the season, Roethlisberger has competed 67.9 percent of his passes for 2,469 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rashard Mendenhall took over the starting running back duties from Willie Parker after the third game of the season and has a total of 609 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Ironically, the Steelers are 5-1 since Mendenhall took over as the starting running back. Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward have both been solid at wide receiver. Holmes has 43 receptions for 678 yards and just one touchdown. Ward has 53 receptions for 670 yards and four touchdowns. Much of Roethlisberger’s success can be attributed to the emergence of rookie Mike Wallace and tight end Heath Miller. The two of them have combined for 73 receptions, 850 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Chiefs have struggled mightily this season but they picked up their second win of the season on Sunday, a 16-10 win over the Chiefs. Their two close wins over the Raiders and Redskins aren’t much to brag about but they certainly have been playing better in their last four games, which includes two wins, a three-point loss to the Jaguars and a loss to the Chargers. The Chiefs ended the Larry Johnson era by cutting him, and Jamaal Charles has done a decent job taking over as the starting running back. He has a total of 255 rushing yards and a touchdown this season, as well as 153 receiving yards. Kolby Smith has also been a contributor in the backfield. The Chiefs got bad news this week when they found out wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been suspended for four games for taking an illegal diuretic. Luckily, they acquired Chris Chambers two weeks ago, so Matt Cassel at least has him to throw to. Chambers stepped in right away in his first game and scored two touchdowns. Cassel hasn’t had a bad year for what he’s working with, totaling 1,472 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has thrown for more than 200 yards in each of the last two games.
The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games, but 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The Steelers are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
Ryno’s Pick: The Chiefs have only lost by more than 11 points once in their last five games, so they have been fairly competitive, even against the Giants, Chargers and Cowboys. The Chiefs don’t have a strong offense at all, and it’s unlikely to do much against the Steelers, so the key for the Chiefs is to play solid defense and limit the Steelers offense. The Chiefs’ two wins this season are the two games in which they’ve allowed the fewest points of any of their games this season. The Steelers are 1-3 this season when scoring 20 or less points, but 5-0 when scoring more than 20 points. Their offense has been solid with Mendenhall out there, so it’s likely they will score more than 20 points against the Chiefs. The Chiefs are not very good against the pass, and Roethlisberger will take advantage of that. Take the Steelers -10.