Steelers vs. Chiefs ratings mean we’ll get more primetime playoff games

The NFL was forced to delay the start of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Divisional playoff matchup against the Chiefs due to inclement winter weather in Kansas City. The primetime scheduling worked in the league’s favor, as the game was the highest-rated, most-watched primetime game ever in the Divisional and Wild Card rounds. That may change the NFL’s approach to playoff scheduling in coming years.

The league reportedly was going to consider shifting future games into primetime if this one drew significant ratings, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Since the Steelers’ win over the Chiefs was the top-rated primetime Divisional or Wild Card game in history, it’s likely we’ll see more of those in the future.

The game was originally scheduled to kick off at 1:05 p.m., but the league was forced to reschedule for primetime due to an impending ice storm. Kickoff was moved to 8:20 p.m. to allow time for authorities to clear the roads.

But Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell wouldn’t be as easily denied. The 25-year-old set an NFL playoff record with his sixth field goal of the evening, splitting the uprights with a 43-yard kick that gave the Steelers an 18-10 lead with just over 10 minutes to play.

The Chiefs responded with a methodical 13-play, 75-yard drive that featured a pair of fourth down conversions to clip the Pittsburgh lead to 18-16. A two-point attempt to a wide open Demetrius Harris appeared to have tied the game at 18-all, but a blatant holding call on left tackle Eric Fisher erased the important scoring play. Alex Smith’s do-over pass from the 12 was deflected out of the end zone, and the home team was left with 2:43 and just one timeout to find a way to erase Pittsburgh’s two-point lead.

Aaron Rodgers (+400) and Peyton Manning (+700) are also in the mix to be the NFL’s top passer this season.

Andrew Luck is the betting favorite to finish with the most passing yards in the NFL at +350 at the sportsbooks. Luck finished third in the NFL last year with 4,761 yards and seems to be getting better each year. The Colts added Andre Johnson this offseason to join TY Hilton, setting the stage for a ton of passing yards from the young quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers (+400) and Peyton Manning (+700) are also in the mix to be the NFL’s top passer this season.

While Rodgers is unquestionably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, he has never cracked the top three in passing yards for a single season. Manning breezed by the competition for the passing title in 2013 with 5,477 passing yards and finished fourth in passing yards last season.

Other contenders include Matt Ryan (+1200), Eli Manning (+1200), Matthew Stafford (+1200), Tom Brady (+2000), Tony Romo (+2500) and Philip Rivers (+2800).

This news comes just days after Boyer’s NFL debut. He made five snaps during the Seahawks’ preseason game against the Broncos on Friday and before the game led the team onto the field while carrying an American flag.

“That was cool,” Boyer said after the game, via the Seahawks’ official website. “I was actually pretty emotional, just because I always think about my buddies who I fought with, or the ones who are overseas right now. And usually in college you don’t stay out there for the National Anthem, so that got to me too. That whole thing. But just knowing how many of those guys were watching, it’s really special.”

Incumbent AFC Pro Bowler Andy Dalton has the Bengals out to a red hot undefeated start

Incumbent AFC Pro Bowler Andy Dalton has the Bengals out to a red hot undefeated start, and many columnists especialy me are calling him “Hawaii 5-0”. Whats the reason for Cincinnattis surge to prominance? Well I’ll tell you what it is- not to make this all about myself but its because of me.

Theres only one QB in the NFL who is a follower of your humble columnist and that is- you guest it, Andy Dalton. At first I was thining “hey its pretty cool that NFL QBs who subscribe to PFTCommenter are undefeated after 5 weeks” but then I thought about it a little more, and its actually very concerning.

Since that 2000 victory over the Chargers, the Steelers have traveled to play the six westernmost teams in the NFL 14 times in the regular season and managed just three wins. Only one of those actually came on the West Coast:

Difficulty traveling multiple time zones isn’t a problem that only the Steelers have. Even traveling just one time zone has traditionally yielded negative results for teams, but the Steelers are adamant that it isn’t a problem and it won’t be a problem on Monday against the Chargers.

Offensive lineman Ramon Foster told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that traveling far for a game is an excuse that only factors in for those who let it.

“Anybody who makes an excuse about going to the West Coast or traveling to the west to east, I don’t think is built right. It’s bull.”
Mike Vick, who is starting for Roethlisberger due to an injury, hasn’t fared well out West either. While he wasn’t a starter last year when Geno Smith was benched against the Chargers, Vick completed just 8 of 19 passes for 47 yards in his place. Before that he was the starter for the Philadelphia Eagles in bad losses on the road to the Broncos in 2013 and Cardinals in 2012. His last win on the West Coast came in the first week of the 2004 season against the 49ers.