Steelers open as 3.5-point favorites over Broncos in Week 12

Pittsburgh are just over a field goal favorites for a tough matchup with the Broncos in Denver next Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are doing whatever it takes to win in 2018, be it blow out victories or last second comebacks and they will face another strong challenge in Week 12. At 4-6, the Denver Broncos might not be the toughest team the Steelers’ have left on their schedule, but they can be hard to beat at Mile High Stadium.

Coming off their own last minute win over an impressive Chargers team in Los Angeles on Sunday, the Broncos proved they are not a team to be taken lightly. They may only have won twice in their last eight outings, but it would appear the bookmakers are all too aware of the challenge the Broncos represent.

Pittsburgh has opened as 3.5-point favorites for the matchup in Denver, a venue they have not won at since 2009. Losers of their last three at Mile High, the Broncos currently enjoy a 19-11-1 record over the Steelers dating back to 1970. As of Tuesday this spread had fallen to 3-points with most online bookmakers, but was still at its opening position with most of the Las Vegas sportsbooks.

An early totals position of 47.5-points looks like a reasonable starting point for this contest, while an initial money line price of -192 has fallen somewhat since Sunday, with -170 now the more common offering from most online providers. Pittsburgh is 6-3-1 against the spread on the season and Denver is 4-5-1.

Podcast: Did Jaguars give away the game, or did the Steelers take it?

Time to check in on all things black-and-gold after the Steelers late win over the Jags on the podcast ‘Steelers Hangover’.

Once again, the Steelers won a game on the road. But they looked far from dominant doing it. Was the 20-16 win over Jacksonville proof that Pittsburgh can win while playing subpar football most of the game or will it eventually catch up? BTSC’s Bryan Anthony Davis and Anthony Defeo took a day to recover and asked your opinion of the terrain ahead in the latest edition of Steelers Hangover.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the call-in extravaganza. On this show, the fellas discussed the good, the bad and the ugly, plus the path ahead.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Reactions
  • Grades/Valedictorian/Honor Roll
  • Calls
  • Did Jacksonville give away the game or did the Steelers take it?
  • Closing Time/Looking forward to Denver
  • and MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Black and Gold Links: Steelers learned some very valuable lessons in the narrow win over the Jaguars

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have now won six straight games and continue to “stack wins.” After their 20-16 come from behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, the team now has to turn the page quickly before they travel again, this time to Denver to play the Broncos in Week 12.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article, we talk about how despite the win in Week 11, the Pittsburgh Steelers should have learned some very valuable lessons throughout the 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

These lessons are more than the typical “don’t play down to your opponents” type talk, but a focus on details which turned the tide against a very good defense, and stopped a very good running game, when it mattered the most.

Let’s get to the news:

Kevin Gorman: Steelers should learn lessons from Jaguars game

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mike Tomlin talked about the lessons to be learned for the Pittsburgh Steelers, not just from their comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars but the failures that required the fourth-quarter rally.

Where Tomlin couldn’t overlook the deep hole the Steelers dug for themselves, he also was impressed with the character his team showed in the 20-16 victory over the Jaguars Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.

“That’s football, man. That’s team,” Tomlin said. “We weren’t perfect today but we did the job, rising up to support their brother. There was a lot of that because there was a lot of failure. But that failure has got something to do with the execution of the Jacksonville Jaguars and their plan and their coaching and their play. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that.”

These weren’t the Jaguars that beat the Steelers twice at Heinz Field last season, ending their season in the AFC divisional playoff round. This was a Jacksonville team that had lost five consecutive games, and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was trying not to lose his locker room.

The Steelers were riding a five-game winning streak, coming off an impressive 52-21 Thursday night victory over Carolina. Tomlin gave his players a five-day break as a reward for their short-week success. It was as if the Steelers went into a time warp, reverting back to the way they played through the first four games of the season.

What should have served the Steelers well proved instead to be disruptive to their rhythm. The offense had none in the first half, accounting for 66 yards total offense and two turnovers. Ben Roethlisberger had a 10.1 passer rating at halftime, and that was only after completing 5 of 6 passes in a late second-quarter drive.

The Jaguars were surprised to see the Steelers abandon the run game so quickly, as James Conner had five carries for 13 yards in the first half and Roethlisberger came up short on a quarterback sneak.

But the Steelers defense didn’t allow the Jaguars to turn Roethlisberger’s two first-half interceptions into touchdowns, a key after he had a pair of pick-sixes against the Jaguars in the 30-9 regular season loss last year and two turnovers that led to touchdowns in the 45-42 playoff loss. Instead, Jacksonville settled for three field goals and a 9-0 halftime lead.

When the Jaguars did just that in the third quarter, answering Jalen Ramsey’s end-zone interception with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended with Leonard Fournette’s 2-yard touchdown dive, the Steelers could have fallen apart. Instead, they showed character.

“I think we always play better when we’re behind,” Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said. “We stuck together. There was nobody doubting each other. We’re one team, one unity and we kept that faith.”

Steelers wide receivers win war of words with Jaguars corners

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Jacksonville Jaguars boasted the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense, and they let the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers hear about it all game.

“There was a lot of talking with them, in my ear talking a lot of stuff,” Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said, self-censoring their comments by making a beeping sound. “But that’s what they do. I give it up to them. They played really great.”

Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown played even better in the Steelers’ 20-16 victory Sunday over the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, as both eclipsed the 100-yard mark and made catches that propelled a comeback.

Brown finished with five receptions for 117 yards, none bigger than his 78-yard touchdown catch on a broken play late in the third quarter to put the Steelers on the scoreboard. Ben Roethlisberger’s pass appeared to be intended for Smith-Schuster, who drew a pass-interference penalty on free safety Jarrod Wilson, but Brown was all alone and ran under it.

Brown wouldn’t divulge what happened on the play.

“I’ve got to go back,” Brown said, smiling. “It’s a long day. I kind of don’t remember.”

Smith-Schuster had a game-high eight catches for 104 yards, and made some memorable plays to spark the second scoring drive. He caught three consecutive passes, for gains of 9, 21 and 9 yards, to set up tight end Vance McDonald’s touchdown catch that cut it to 16-13.

Smith-Schuster’s first two catches came against Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye; the next two came on back-shoulder throws against All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey, who had two interceptions.

Bouye warned Ramsey not to take the fourth-quarter letdown personally despite their sixth consecutive loss.

“I told him it’s more of a mental thing,” Bouye said. “We threw our egos to the side and we knew that we weren’t doing what we needed to do as a defense, especially in the back end where we’re the No. 1 pass defense. But we’re busting plays, but we play as a group. We did a lot of good things out there but we can’t just let that last drive hurt our confidence.”

‘We can use this’: Steelers get ultimate win-win in Jax

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

A voice boomed through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ postgame locker room scene, letting everyone know his team was supposed to get buried Sunday.

”But not us,” coach Mike Tomlin said after the 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Not only does a six-game win streak stay alive, but the Steelers also got the ultimate win-win by playing poorly enough to learn from an ugly victory.

The Steelers showed that they can find creative ways to win amid a collapsing game plan by exhausting every second of the 60-minute game clock, being the more physical team on defense and believing that their bevy of playmakers will prevail most weeks.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger used the words “terrible” and “horrible” to describe the offense and his three-interception performance, but he almost wore those words proudly because of what the win represents.

While the fourth-quarter offense racked up 179 yards and two touchdowns, the Steelers’ defense held Jacksonville to minus-3 yards.

Through it all, defensive players were encouraging Roethlisberger from the sideline, telling him, “All right, Ben, you’ve got this.”

”They never stopped believing in us. We believe in them and thank them,” Roethlisberger said. “I hope if we get in a situation again toward the end of the season where one of us isn’t playing well, we can show that, ‘Hey, remember that game in Jacksonville when it didn’t look good until the final eight seconds and we found way?’ Hopefully we can use this.”

Most importantly, the Steelers’ offense learned that it has a defense that can bail it out on occasion. That didn’t look like a possibility when the Steelers were giving up six touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes in Week 2. Things have settled down, and so has a defense that has adequately handled pure passers, read-option passers and run-heavy sets the past six weeks.

This defense might just be built for January.

“Those are the ones you want to win — when it’s ugly,” Cam Heyward said. “It shows a lot of character, lot of maturity.”

Podcast: ‘Steelers Hangover’ returns tonight at 9:30 p.m. EST

BTSC recaps the Steelers last second win in Jacksonville and opens the phones to you, the listener, to join in.

Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC for the day after extravaganza known as “Steelers Hangover”. The Steelers improved their record to 7-2-1 in a non-dominant fashion and a second half comeback not seen since 2007 with their 20-16 victory over Jacksonville. Tony and Bryan will discuss the game and look to hear from you.

Check out a rundown of the show:

– Reactions

– Grades/Valedictorian and Honor Roll

– Calls

– Did Jacksonville give away the game or did the Steelers take it?

– Looking ahead to Denver

– and MUCH MORE!

You can listen to the show live by logging onto our BlogTalkRadio page at 9:30 p.m. EST but WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! What did you think about the game, the upcoming regular season or whatever you want to talk about Steelers related. Simply dial (347) 850-8581 anytime during the show to make your voice heard!

Roosevelt Nix is a “Glue Guy” for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Every successful football team has a player or two that is universally respected by the other players and can be counted on to help hold things together when the proverbial crap hits the fan. Roosevelt Nix fits that description for the Steelers.

There is one in every kindergarten class. That one kid who would rather eat paste than use it to glue the pieces of macaroni to the paper in the shape of a turkey so his parents could stick it on the fridge proudly for the whole family to admire for Thanksgiving. “Little Timmy is so talented the other kids call him Elmer”, his parents joyously proclaim, not realizing the nickname was short for Elmer’s Glue. I always wondered if that nickname stuck with him his whole life.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their own glue guy, and his name is Roosevelt ‘Rosie’ Nix. As the starting fullback for the Steelers powerful offense, Nix is often left standing on the sidelines for large portions of the Steelers offensive snaps, but he always finds a way to make his presence felt.

A fullback gets paid to have violent, full speed collisions with other individuals. Not a job for the faint of heart. Rosie does his job better than most, seeing how he represented the AFC in the Pro Bowl last season. He displays a certain zest for his job. He understands the leverage required to move an opponent, many larger than himself, in a direction against their will. His high school wrestling background undoubtedly proves invaluable in this endeavor. The running backs for whom he has lead the way may have changed, but their production has not, in no small way the result of his blocking prowess.

A exceptional fullback has to display incredible versatility, and that description fits Rosie Nix quite well. He is, all at the same time, a mini offensive lineman, a short yardage back, a QB protector, and a H back out of the backfield. He is also outstanding on special teams because of his all out effort and determination. It would be impossible to tell Nix’s story without mentioning his unbelievable determination and perseverance.

Rosie doesn’t even stand six feet tall but he was an all conference player for Kent State as a defensive lineman. Realizing the need for undersized defensive lineman in the NFL is miniscule, Rosie lost almost twenty pounds after graduation and worked out as a linebacker at his pro day. After predictably going undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, Nix signed as a UDFA with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons asked him to switch positions yet again, this time to fullback. Nix agreed, hoping it would give him a better chance to make the team. Sadly, he was released before the start of the season.

Undeterred, Nix even looked into the Arena League in hopes of keeping his professional football dreams alive. Then in January 2015 his persistence finally paid off and fate intervened. He signed a reserve/futures contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a inside linebacker, but was quickly moved to fullback again. He didn’t care, he was determined to take advantage of this opportunity. He initially excelled on special teams, before earning the starting fullback position. Now he is performing at a Pro Bowl level at both.

While Rosie Nix is no where near the most talented player on the Steelers offense, he is no doubt one of the most well respected by his teammates. They all know his story and realize how he sacrifices his body on the field each week so they can revel in the glory. You will see them acknowledge his contributions with a pat on the back or a slap of the helmet, and it seems extra special for all involved when they get to celebrate a touchdown or big play with him. In a league were most of the participants were being told how great they were by the eighth grade, Rosie Nix refused to take no for an answer.

It is a blessing to have so many superstar players like the Steelers possess, but it takes a well respected glue guy to help mesh all the eccentric personalities together and keep everyone focused and humble. That is the kind of young man we can all be happy to root for, and young people can look up to as a role model.

Rosie Nix is the definition of a glue guy.

Steelers Owner Expects Le’Veon Bell To Report By Tuesday

Steelers owner Art Rooney II expects running back Le’Veon Bell to report by next Tuesday’s deadline for doing so, as he explained on SiriusXM Radio earlier today (link via Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com).

“I don’t know what his plans are, but I would say at this point we expect him to come back next week,” Rooney said. “We know he’s back in Pittsburgh and so we’re hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend and we’re kind of expecting he will be back next week.”

Bell must report by Tuesday in order to play in the NFL this season, but whether he reports or not won’t necessarily affect his financial future. If the Steelers use the franchise tag on Bell in 2019, regardless of whether he shows up this year, it will be considered his third tag and therefore be worth more than $25MM, an untenable amount for any running back. Pittsburgh could still deploy the transition tag at a cheaper cost, but Bell would be free to negotiate with other clubs and the Steelers wouldn’t receive any compensation if he left.

Hypothetically, it’s fair to wonder if Pittsburgh even wants Bell back in the building, given that some Steelers have voiced frustration with the star running back. That’s not the case, however, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says (via Twitter) that Pittsburgh does indeed want Bell to return, regardless of how his situation has played out thus far. Nevertheless, at least one anonymous Steeler did express a bit of discontent to NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala (Twitter link).

“This Le’Veon thing is just a cloud over us at this point,” said the unnamed player. “Just make a decision, sign or not, be in or out, and let’s all move forward.”

While the Steelers think Bell will report by Tuesday, PFR readers do not agree. In a poll earlier today, more than three-quarters of voters said they don’t believe Bell will show up by next week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Will Le’Veon Bell Play This Season?

The Le’Veon Bell watch continues. For months, it was expected that the Steelers star running back would report for work by Nov. 13, the deadline for him to sign his franchise tag and play in 2018. However, Bell’s camp only recently confirmed that the running back does not have to show up for work by Tuesday in order to solidify his status as a free agent for next season, which means that Bell could theoretically stay home for the entire season. 

Originally, it was believed the Steelers would have the right to franchise tag Bell again for the same rate as this season if he did not ink his tender by the deadline on Tuesday. As it turns out, the price of the third tag would actually jump to the quarterback level, which would cost upwards of $25MM. The transition tag would technically be in play, but the Steelers are very unlikely to match any offer and such a move would saddle the team with an unnecessary cap hold.

All of this means that Bell can stay at home and preserve his health for free agency, though it would mean losing out on approximately $6MM in salary after already having forfeited $7.7M in game checks. Some say that Bell should get back on the field to prove his commitment to football and reassert himself as one of the game’s best running backs, but the 26-year-old firmly believes that he’ll find a strong market for his services no matter what.

Do you expect Bell to show up by Tuesday to face the Jaguars on Nov. 18? Or do you think Bell will extend his holdout through the end of the season? Click below to cast your vote (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.

Take Our Poll

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign DE Bruce Irvin

Former Raiders defensive end Bruce Irvin has agreed to a one-year deal with the Falcons, according to a team announcement. The deal reunites Irvin with coach Dan Quinn and gives the veteran a chance at reaching the playoffs this season. 

This was a dream [come] true,” the Atlanta native told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). “The Patriots and Steelers offered more money, but being able to play for my city and my people, you just can’t put a price on that.”

The Seahawks also tried to sign Irvin, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). But, rather than don his old uniform, Irvin decided to reconnect with the coach who helped mold him into one of the league’s most feared edge rushers.

Irvin’s new deal will pay him $1.5MM for the final eight games of the season, Rapoport adds (on Twitter). He also gets to collect on the full amount of his remaining Raiders salary, giving him a total haul of $9.75MM for 2018.

Irvin, 31, recorded 88 tackles, 8.5 sacks, five pass defenses, three interceptions and two touchdowns in his two seasons under Quinn in Seattle. The former No. 12 overall pick also had some success with the Raiders, but things took a turn this year under new head coach Jon Gruden.

The Raiders’ pass rush has been listless without Khalil Mack leading the charge, and Irvin was not his usual self, despite leading the team with three sacks at the midway point of the season. In his final game with the Raiders, Irvin played only nine snaps.

With the Falcons, Irvin will join a talented pass rush that includes former first-round picks Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley. On the whole, it’s a defense that has not been playing up to its potential. The Falcons are among the lowest-ranked defenses in the league and the front seven has registered just 17 sacks on the year.

Because he was released after the trade deadline, Irvin was subject to waivers. He went unclaimed due to his contract which called for him to earn $3.8MM the rest of the way. Naturally, he’ll earn less on his Falcons deal.

Irvin’s first game with the Falcons will come against the Browns on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Steelers, Le’Veon Bell

The Steelers have not had contact with Le’Veon Bell this week and they do not expect the running back to report in time for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Bell’s debut may come on Nov. 18 against the Jaguars, but some uncertainty’s emerged on this front.

Bell must report to the Steelers by Nov. 13 in order to play this season, but contrary to what ESPN and other outlets have previously reported, he does not have to report to the Steelers by a certain date to get an accrued season to become eligible for free agency. Bell already has played the four-plus seasons he needs to become a free agent after the season.

The two-time All-Pro running back has missed out on more than $7MM and could conceivably wind up on the Steelers’ exempt list, which would allow the franchise to pay Bell at its discretion. Now that Bell has already missed out on half of his franchise tag salary ($14.1MM), would be merely sit out the season?

[It] doesn’t make any sense for [Bell] to play now,” a source told ESPN. “If he doesn’t want to play for $14.5MM, why would he want to play for $5MM?

Bell returning would net him millions, but he’s already sacrificed nearly eight figures to stay healthy for free agency. While a return would allow him to minimize his workload, he could still be injured during Pittsburgh’s stretch run and ruin this bold strategy’s purpose in advance of a potential March windfall.

If Bell does not report, the Steelers will have the right to franchise tag him for a third time, but at the rate of a second tag.

Despite his differences with the Steelers, Bell refused to go along with a midseason trade in order to give himself the best opportunity to showcase himself before free agency. It remains to be seen whether that was a smart move. When Bell returns, he may be in a timeshare with his one-time backup, James Conner, and that could hurt his value in the spring.

Even without one of the game’s most talented running backs, the Steelers have looked the part of a contender thanks to Conner’s play. On Sunday, the Steelers improved to 5-2-1 on the year as Conner ran for 107 yards off of 24 carries against the Ravens. His 1,085 yards from scrimmage sit only behind Todd Gurley, who’s played one more game than Conner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers can’t overcome another slow start at home, fall to Chiefs

When did the Steelers start thinking that they could just roll out of bed and win games at home?

The Steelers lost their second straight game at Heinz Field Sunday going back to last year’s AFC divisional playoff loss to the Jaguars.

The Chiefs defeated the Steelers 42-37. In this defeat and in the aforementioned 45-42 loss to the Jaguars, the Steelers started the game as if they were still in their pajamas.

The Chiefs became the second team in history to score 21 first-quarter points on the Steelers in Pittsburgh, jumping out to a 21-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game. The Jaguars nearly hung 21 on the Steelers in the first quarter in January, taking a 21-0 lead less than four minutes into the second quarter.

Visiting teams are scoring 21 points before the Heinz Field public address announcer has a chance to say that patrons must be 21 to purchase alcohol.

The Steelers drove their fans to drink with the following first-quarter lowlights:

  • After going backwards two yards on their first possession, the Steelers allowed DeAnthony Thomas to return the ensuing punt 31 yards to the Steelers’ 10-yard line to set up the first of Patrick Mahomes‘ six touchdown passes. The Steelers succeeded in keeping the ball away from dangerous return man Tyreek Hill, but forgot that the guy who does field the punt still has to be tackled, and Thomas caught the Steelers napping.
  • Ben Roethlisberger fumbled a snap on the Steelers’ next possession, which went three-and-out. That led to the first of Travis Kelce‘s two touchdown catches, giving the Chiefs a 14-0 lead before the Steelers’ first positive-yardage play.
  • Chris Boswell missed a 49-yard field goal to end the Steelers’ third possession. He’s missed both of his field-goal attempts this year and he missed an extra-point try on Sunday. Boswell was quite possibly the difference between 13-3 and 9-7 last season. A Boswell meltdown is a headache the Steelers don’t need right now.

The Chiefs would have had a 28-0 lead in the first quarter if the officials hadn’t bailed the Steelers out of their next pratfall. Justin Houston strip-sacked Roethlisberger deep in Steelers territory and Chris Jones recovered the fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. The play was nullified, however, when Orlando Scandrick was penalized for defensive holding.

The Steelers took advantage of that lifeline and tied the game in the second quarter. Throwing from his heels, Roethlisberger put the Steelers on the board with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James. He also threw touchdown passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. He was almost over the line of scrimmage on his 14-yard scoring pass to Washington.

Much like their playoff loss to Jacksonville, the Steelers’ rally had a playground sort of feel to it, like their entire offensive gameplan was drawn in the sand.

The defense, well, they did shut out the Chiefs in the second quarter.

Then in the second half, the Chiefs remembered they can use Hill on plays from scrimmage, too. The first play of the third quarter was a 36-yard pass to Hill that led to Kelce’s second touchdown. The Steelers answered with James Conner‘s 1-yard touchdown, but the Chiefs made it 35-28 with Mahomes’ touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson.

We had always envisioned the defensively-challenged Steelers having to win shootouts like this. Don’t worry about the defense, the offense can carry this team.

Except that it didn’t.

The Steelers went three-and-out on their next possession and the Chiefs extended their lead to 42-28 on Mahomes’ 29-yard TD pass to Hill early in the fourth quarter.

During that drive, Antonio Brown showed he’s in midseason form by screaming at Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on the sideline. At least no Gatorade coolers were harmed. Mike Tomlin provided the sideline theatrics in the first half by giving his players a good ass-chewing after they had fallen behind 21-0. Um, maybe he should start doing that before games.

The whole Team Turmoil thing was an entertaining sideshow last year when the Steelers went 13-3, but this year the comedy will turn a lot darker if the Steelers (0-1-1) don’t start winning.

Speaking of turmoil, yeah, it might have helped Sunday if Le’Veon Bell was around. Conner crashed down to earth by gaining just 17 yards on eight carries. But if the Steelers don’t figure out a way to avoid falling behind 21-0 before all their home fans find their seats, they’ll need a lot more than Bell to become any kind of serious championship contender.

Entering the 2018 season, the Patriots and Jaguars looked like the biggest obstacles standing between the Steelers and the Super Bowl. Now the Chiefs have become one of those obstacles.

The Steelers had been a wall that the Chiefs couldn’t get over until Sunday. They ousted Kansas City in the playoffs two years ago and handed them their first loss last year.

So far it looks like Mahomes is the solution.

No other quarterback has thrown 10 touchdown passes in the first two games of a season, according to ESPN. The Chiefs moved up 17 spots in the first round of the 2017 draft to take him at No. 10, then traded away Alex Smith this past offseason and handed Mahomes the keys to the offense.

Those moves look brilliant so far, the kind of moves that have altered the AFC power structure much like the Jaguars’ hiring of Tom Coughlin as executive vice president before the 2017 season.

Before last season’s AFC divisional playoff game at Heinz, the NFL Network showed Coughlin walking into the stadium. The Steelers had been tweeting away about their inevitable rematch with the Patriots, and there was Coughlin, no-nonsense personified, reporting for work. It was an ominous scene for the Steelers.

The Steelers thought they could just show up and win that day, and it looks like that’s what they thought on Sunday.

Follow Mike @Steel_Tweets