Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/27/11

The Chiefs and Steelers are two teams going in different directions and they play on Sunday Night Football. This game is so lightly anticipated that the most notable storyline has to do with a player who will not even be involved in the game: Kyle Orton.

Orton was claimed off waivers by the Chiefs on Wednesday, but just a few days of practice is not enough time to be effective in tonight’s game. Instead, Tyler Palko will get his second straight start after a very disappointing performance last Monday night against the Patriots.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are looking for a much better performance out of Tyler Palko tonight, as he went 24/37 with three interceptions and no touchdowns against New England in Week 11. He is clearly not the quarterback that Matt Cassel is, but he has to limit his mistakes in order for the Chiefs to even have a chance to beat the Steelers. This will likely be Palko’s last start of the season, as Orton should be ready to go for next week’s game against Chicago.

The defense will have to put pressure on Roethlisberger, who has a fractured thumb. The problem is that the Chiefs’ defense is among the worst in the NFL, ranking 22nd overall.

After three straight losses to start the year, The Chiefs rattled off four wins in a row to get to 4-3. They have gone on another three game losing streak since then, and could increase that streak as their next four opponents are the Steelers, Bears, Jets, and Packers.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are coming off a bye week, after winning five of their last six games. The extra week off gave Ben Roethlisberger extra time to nurse his fractured thumb, which will not hold him out of the action in tonight’s game.

Pittsburgh needs to win this game in order to keep pace in the AFC North with Baltimore, who won on Thursday night against the 49ers. A Steelers win would put both teams at 8-3, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker as they beat the Steelers in both of their meetings this season.

The defense of the Steelers owns the third ranked pass defense and sixth ranked rush defense, so they should have no trouble shutting down the shorthanded Chiefs. No opponent of the Steelers has scored more than 23 points since Baltimore beat them 35-0 in Week 1.

Prediction

The Steelers will control the game from the very beginning, and will never let Tyler Palko and the Chiefs offense get anything going. Palko may even be pulled for Ricky Stanzi if things get too ugly.

Pittsburgh will easily take this game, and Roethlisberger’s injury will have no effect on his play.

Steelers 35 | Chiefs 10

**********

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Steelers-Chiefs Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, November 27th at 8:20 ET on NBC
  • Steelers-Chiefs Announcers: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
  • Steelers-Chiefs Point Spread: Steelers -10.5
  • Steelers-Chiefs Over-Under Odds: 39.5
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