A quick programming alert: if you are interested in re-watching the Pats win over the Bills, the NFL Network will be broadcasting it on their NFL Replay series this week, beginning on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

 

1-7 Kansas City Chiefs at 5-3 Pittsburgh Steelers
8:30 p.m. ET on espn

 

Whether it was the departure of Bruce Arians, a change in philosophy by Mike Tomlin, or the offensive line getting healthier, the Pittsburgh Steelers have rediscovered their running game. Last week it was Isaac Redman rushing for 147 yards in place of injured Jonathan Dwyer, who had run for over 100 yards in each of the previous two games. They should both be available tonight, as is the top RB on the depth chart, Rashard Mendenhall.

 

After being run out of town in KC, Todd Haley has done a nice job as the new offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. Dick LeBeau once again has the Steelers playing great defense, despite the departure of several key players this offseason due to age, and missing Troy Polamalu and James Harrison for extended periods of time this year; they rank first in the league, allowing an average of just 263 yards per game.

 

For Kansas City this season is like a nightmare that they can’t wake up from. They are the only team since 1929 to not hold a lead for a single second through eight games; their lone victory came in overtime. Although they seem to have quality players at skill positions (e.g., Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles), the offense has not scored a single touchdown since week three that did not come in garbage time.

 

The biggest problem with the Chiefs is their inability to hang on to the ball. They have a minus-20 turnover differential; to get an idea of how bad that is, that’s the equivalent of the turnover differential of the next two worst teams combined heading into this week’s games.

 

At this point it is a question of when, not if Scott Pioli will be fired; he has missed on too many personnel decisions and the fan base is justifiably very upset. Same is true for Romeo Crennel, who despite previous head coaching experience seems to be at a loss on how to handle the position. For example when he was asked why the best players like Charles were not getting the ball more often his answer was that he did no know. Huh? You’re the head coach! If the OC isn’t calling the plays you want to run, instruct him to change – or take those duties away from him!

 

The only thing that might prevent this game from being an absolute blowout is if the Steelers don’t take it seriously at all and are solely focused on next week’s game against the Ravens. The thing is that even if that does happen the Chiefs will simply turn the ball over to them and find a way to lose anyways.

 

Odds: Steelers favored by 12½; point total 40½

Prediction: originally I had this as 31-17 Steelers; I’m going to change that to Steelers 38, Chiefs 10

- final score: Steelers 16, Chiefs 13 in OT

 

 

 

 

This Day In Patriots History

 

November 12, 1961:
Houston Oilers 27, Boston Patriots 15 at Jeppesen Stadium

The 1961 Houston Oilers were one of the greatest offenses in pro football history. They scored 513 points (36.6 points per game) and to this day are the only NFL or AFL team to score 45 or more points six times in a season. While the Pats defense did its job limiting this George Blanda (36 TD passes) led offense, the Houston defense was very good too; over the last ten games of the season they allowed an average of only 13.2 point per game and they finished with an incredible point differential of 271 points, or 19.4 points per game en route to their second straight AFL title.

After spotting the Oilers a 20-0 lead the Pats clawed their way back into it on a touchdown pass from Butch Songin to Jim Colclough, a Gino Cappelletti field goal, and a touchdown run by Babe Parilli, but the comeback fell short. Defensively Clyde Washington and Don Webb each had an interception off Blanda, while Cappelletti (5 catches for 68 yards) and Colclough (5 catches for led the offense for the Pats.

 

November 12, 1967:
Kansas City Chiefs 33, Boston Patriots 10 at Fenway Park

The Pats jumped out to a 10-7 lead but the Chiefs scored four times in the second quarter to cruise to their sixth win of the year. Gino Cappelletti scored all ten point for the Patriots: he had a 24-yard field goal, a touchdown reception, and then kicked the extra point. For the Pats Larry Garron had a 66-yard reception, Jim Whalen had 6 catches for 65 yards and Art Graham had 3 catches for 60 yards.

 

November 12, 1972:
Miami Dolphins 52, New England Patriots 0 at the Orange Bowl

The Pats suffered the most lopsided loss in franchise history, losing their sixth straight game to the the undefeated Dolphins. Miami’s legendary Killer B’s defense dominated, limiting Jim Plunkett and Brian Dowling to a combined 11-28 for just 117 yards, zero touchdowns and three picks.

 

November 12, 1978:
Houston Oilers 26, New England Patriots 23 at Schaefer Stadium

The Pats’ seven game winning streak came to an end as the Oilers scored 26 unanswered points to overcome a 23-0 2nd quarter deficit.

Although the lead looked safe at the time, in retrospect the Pats settled for too many field goal attempts (making three and missing two), while scoring only two touchdowns: a 3-yard run by Horace Ivory and a 7-yard run by Steve Grogan. Whereas the Pats were taking the ball away early they were giving the ball away late; each team finished the game with four turnovers.

Sam Cunningham finished with 132 yards from scrimmage: 87 yards on 16 rushes and 45 yards on three receptions.

 

November 12, 1989:
New Orleans Saints 28, New England Patriots 24 at Foxboro

The Pats comeback from a turnover-induced 28-0 deficit but the rally falls just short as the Saints get their fifth win of the year. Hart Lee Dykes led the Pats with five catches for 105 yards, including a 13-yard TD from Steve Grogan, and Bob Perryman rushed for two touchdowns.

 

November 12, 1995:
New England Patriots 34, Miami Dolphins 17 at Joe Robbie Stadium

For the second week in a row the Patriots won a division game on the road as they forced three turnovers to upset the Dolphins.

Willie McGinest had two sacks, Myron Guyton returned an interception 45 yards and Vincent Brown also picked off a Dan Marino pass to lead the defense. Offensively it was the Curtis Martin show as he ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 45 yards on three receptions.

Vincent Brisby (6 receptions, 118 yards) caught a 47-yard touchdown from Drew Bledsoe early in the third quarter to put the Pats up 17-10. After the Dolphins tied it on a Marino pass to O.J. McDuffie the Pats took the lead again on an 8-yard pass from Bledsoe to Ben Coates. The Pats then pulled away in the 4th quarter on Martin’s second touchdown run, and Matt Bahr‘s second field goal for the final score.

 

November 12, 2000:
Cleveland Browns 19, New England Patriots 11 at Browns Stadium

In a battle of two-win teams the Browns took advantage of four New England turnovers for their third win. The Pats only touchdown came in the 4th quarter on a 2-yard pass from Drew Bledsoe to Rod Rutledge. Kevin Faulk had 231 all-purpose yards: 96 yards on 8 receptions, 26 yards on 5 carries, and 109 yards 5 kickoff returns. J.R. Redmond added 60 yards rushing on just 10 carries for the Patriots.

 

November 12, 2006:
New York Jets 17, New England Patriots 14 at Gillette Stadium

In an extreme rarity a Bill Belichick coached Pats team lost back-to-back home games in an upset loss to the Jets.

The Pats only touchdown came in the 4th quarter on a 15-yard pass from Tom Brady (24-26 for 253 yards) to Reche Caldwell (9 receptions for 90 yards). Corey Dillon rushed for 98 yards on 11 carries, including a 50-yard run. Though the loss dropped the Pats to 6-3 on the season they would go 6-1 the rest of the way to win the AFC East with a 12-4 record, and gaining a bit of revenge on the Jets with 37-16 victory in the playoffs.

 

 

 

 

 

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