Outside of Tamba Hali, the Chiefs have no reliable pass-rushers. Can Hali pick up the slack for his team and keep the Chiefs active in limiting Ben Roethlisberger?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been recognized as one of the league's most dominant defenses over the past couple of years. The Steelers have two of the most dominant outside linebackers in the AFC in LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison.
Three weeks ago, the Steelers hosted the New England Patriots and gave Tom Brady a tough time finding some open receivers. Woodley sacked Brady twice and knocked him down three times. Woodley's efforts were a big factor as the Steelers went on to hand the Patriots their second loss of the season.
While the Chiefs did claim Kyle Orton off waivers, he may not be prepared to start on Sunday night. Therefore, Tyler Palko will most likely start for the Chiefs against the Steelers.
On Monday Night Football, against the Patriots, Palko was sacked three times and threw three interceptions while trying to avoid some sacks in his first career start.
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau should follow a very similar game plan to the one he used against the Patriots in Week 8.
Will LeBeau's defense take advantage of Palko's inexperience and limit the Chiefs on offense?
The Steelers are a far better team than the Chiefs from a defensive standpoint. The Chiefs rank last in the NFL in sacks this season. However, along with Woodley and Harrison, Sunday Night Football will feature another dangerous outside linebacker in Tamba Hali.
While the Chiefs struggle as a unit to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Hali manages to stand out from the team and help make big plays.
Hali and company ended their two-game skid of sacks by putting Brady on the ground on three occasions and recovering a fumble from one of those sacks.
Hali has managed to beat many good offensive tackles and will line up on both sides of the line of scrimmage throughout the game and blitz.
Steelers offensive tackles Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert will need to be ready for Hali in this game in order to give Ben Roethlisberger time to throw.
Palko and Roethlisberger will have a lot to deal with this Sunday night. If this turns out to be a low scoring Sunday Night Football match, we can thank Woodley, Harrison and Hali for chasing the quarterbacks.
In the end, this football game will come down to which team has the best pass rush.