When the Chiefs traveled to Heinz Field to take on the Steelers in Week 4, the results weren’t pretty for Kansas City.
Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes, Le’Veon Bell ran for 144 yards on 18 carries in his first game back from a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and Pittsburgh rolled to a 43-14 win.
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Yet with these two teams set to square off on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs, NFL Hall of Famer and FOX NFL insider Cris Carter issued the following warning on the “Make Me Smarter” football podcast:
Do not read anythinginto the Steelers’ blowout win earlier this season. In fact, according to Carter, there’s one simple reason the Chiefs will walk away with a win this weekend.
CARTER: This has to do with the coaches, in particular. And Andy Reid — the number one thing you have to look at going into this game is what is Andy Reid’s record coming out of bye weeks? And it is astonishing, Nick: 19-2.
WRIGHT: Say that again. His record after byes, regular season or playoffs, is 19-2?
CARTER: Not including the Super Bowl, the one trip in Philadelphia, he’s 19-2. So that lets you know he’s a great coach, but he’s also, he’s a great self-scout. Because it has less to do with the other team and more to do with his team. So what Andy Reid does, is he scouts his own team, figure out what we can’t do, then coming out of the bye week, they don’t do that.
They play to their strengths and let their weaknesses go. They scout themselves, they scout their formations, they scout their tendencies, and coming out of the bye week, they do things against their tendencies to throw the [other] team off. That’s why he’s so successful after the bye.
Of course, that’s before we get to Kansas City’s defensive strengths against Pittsburgh’s skill players — and the fact the Steelers have to play in Arrowhead Stadium this weekend, one of the loudest, most hostile playoff venues in the entire league.
For what it’s worth, Las Vegas agrees with Carter, although oddsmakers are expecting a close game. As of the time of this writing, the Chiefs are one-point favorites.