Brinson: “I definitely have Kansas City ahead of Pittsburgh”

The Pittsburgh Steelers are vying for an undefeated regular season, but Will Brinson believes they would be clear underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs

Reiter Than You
December 01, 2020 - 3:07 pm
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs

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The AFC boasts the two best teams in the NFL, at least in terms of record. The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) are vying to become the fifth team in league history to go undefeated in the regular season, while the Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) have just one blemish on the season. They lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 40-32 in Week 5 but have since won six straight games.

It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see the Steelers and Chiefs square off in the AFC Championship. If they do, is there a wide separation between these two squads?

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a wide separation,” CBS Sports senior NFL writer Will Brinson said on Reiter Than You. “I definitely have Kansas City ahead of Pittsburgh, personally. I know that that’ll probably make Steelers fans mad, but when you look at the two teams, Pittsburgh has an edge defensively in some spots for sure, especially when it comes to pass rush. But Kansas City can get after you if they get things cranked up with their defensive linemen. We saw them improve last year down the stretch, and then on the back end, I think they’re probably a fairly decent wash.”

The Steelers rank third in total defense and lead the league in scoring defense (17.4 points per game allowed). The Chiefs, meanwhile, rank 18th in total defense and sixth in scoring defense (21.6 points per game allowed).

Offensively, though, is where Brinson sees a big difference.

“As good as the Steelers’ weapons are,” Brinson said, “and they’re really good – they have a plethora of wide receivers and Ben Roethlisberger is playing some good football – it doesn’t compare to what they’re operating with in Kansas City.”

The Steelers have an excellent wide receiver trio in Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who have combined for 146 catches, 1,631 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Steelers rank 20th in total offense and fourth in scoring offense (29.8 points per game).

The Chiefs, meanwhile, rank first in total offense, first in passing offense, and second in scoring offense (31.6 points per game). That’s what having Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can do for you. Hill and Kelce have combined for 142 catches for 1,999 yards and 20 touchdowns.

“Can Pittsburgh slow down Kansas City? Can anybody slow down Kansas City?” Brinson asked. “I would suggest no. If you can’t slow them down, you got to keep up with them, and I’m just not sure that Pittsburgh – even as good as they are – has the high-octane ability to chase after the Kansas City Chiefs when they’re operating at their maximum efficiency. And they are doing that right now.”

Brinson believes the Chiefs would be favored by five points, at least, against the Steelers.

Click below to listen to his interview in its entirety.