Week 11: Steelers Key Matchup
The Tribune-Review Sunday, November 22, 2009
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Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. CHIEFS SS Mike Brown


Roethlisberger is coming off his worst game of the year last week against the Bengals. He had season lows in completion percentage and yards, and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time the entire season. Roethlisberger will throw often, even though the Chiefs struggle in stopping the run. He has attempted at least 26 passes in each of his first nine games. Roethlisberger is averaging 33 passes per game. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will allow Roethlisberger to throw early to regain his rhythm. Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,469 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he has cooled off since since Week 6, when he threw for more than 275 yards in five of those games.


Brown is a 10-year veteran in his first season with the Chiefs. Brown was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he picked off Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski twice in a 16-10 victory last Sunday. Brown has started all nine games for the Chiefs this season after spending nine seasons in Chicago, where he was a Pro Bowl and All-Pro strong safety. He has 47 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and four passes defensed this season. Brown has been hindered with injuries over his career, but he has been healthy this season. He has had a torn ACL, a foot injury and a torn Achilles' tendon during his career.


Despite being honored last week, Brown has struggled for most of the season. He has allowed numerous long touchdown passes, including ones to Jacksonville's Mike Sims-Walker in Week 9 and a couple to Dallas' Miles Austin a few weeks earlier. Roethlisberger feasts on safeties that have a penchant for giving the big play. Roethlisberger will use pump fakes to move Brown where he wants him in the secondary and then try to hit deep passes to Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace. Kansas City is 24th in the league in defending the pass allowing 234 yards per game, and it has surrendered 14 defensive touchdowns in nine games. The Steelers are the eighth most efficient passing offense in the NFL.