Week 10 in the NFL comes to a close with the Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) travelling to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3).
The Chiefs have had a disappointing season, to say the least, and with a 1-7 record sit at the bottom of the AFC West. Their attempt to build something positive in the second half of the season starts with a road game at the surging Steelers. Matt Cassel is back at starting QB after losing the job to Brady Quinn, who was subsequently sidelined with a concussion.
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With a rating of only 68.9, Cassel has had some major issues this season accounting for 18 of the Chief’s league-worst 29 turnovers, with 11 interceptions and 7 fumbles lost. While Cassel is 3-0 as a starter on Monday nights, he will have to be mistake-free for his team to have a chance against the league’s leading defense. The Chief’s running game, which is third in the league averaging 149.9 yards per game, will have its work cut out to continue that streak against the Steelers, whose run defense is 4th in the league, allowing only 88.6 yards rushing per game. RB Jamaal Charles is listed as probable after coming out of last week’s game after a hard helmet-to-helmet hit and should help keep that run game going.
On the defensive side, one bright spot has been the OLB duo of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, who have tallied 11 sacks between them. The Steelers offensive line has shown some weakness leaving Ben Roethlisberger scrambling. If the Chiefs can keep Roethlisberger under pressure and hold the score down they could have an opportunity to come away with an upset.
The Steelers got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, going 2-3 before gaining momentum and winning the next three games, and are trying to catch up with the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger has come on lately with a rating of 101.1 and a 67.7% completion percentage. While WR Antonio Brown is out with a high ankle sprain, WR Mike Wallace is a speedy downfield threat and Emmanuel Sanders and Jericho Cotchery are solid receivers in their own right as part of the league's 9th ranked pass offense, putting up 262.4 yards per game. The Chief’s 26th ranked pass defense is allowing 207.6 yards per game
Watch for the Steelers to target Chiefs corner Javier Arenas, who has recently replaced an underperforming Stanford Routt. While RB Rashard Mendenhall is still out with an Achilles injury, the running game has picked up with Isaac Redman putting up 147 yards against the Giants last week. With the Chief’s allowing 126 yards rushing per game, the Steelers ground game could be in for a big night.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
The Dow Industrials fell sharply, posting a 2.12% loss last week, and has been down for three consecutive weeks. The S&P 500 was down as well, closing out the week with a 2.43% loss, and has been down for two of the past three weeks. While the markets saw some gains from better-than-expected reports on jobless claims and foreign trade, it was not enough to overcome the selloffs on concerns of impending tax hikes and spending cuts in 2013. The day after the presidential election saw the biggest drop in the markets this year.
Over the past 20 years, the Chiefs have played 23 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .500 when the Dow closes the prior week down and .500 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them a MNM rank for this week of .500.
During the same 20-year period, the Steelers have played 33 Monday night games and have a rank of .600 when the Dow is down and .600 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them an MNM rank this week of .600.
Monday Night Markets picks the Pittsburgh Steelers at home over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Week 10 FBN Staff Picks:
Chiefs vs. Steelers