Scouting Report: Chiefs

A look at what the Steelers will be up against on Sunday afternoon at the Kansas City Chiefs:


THAT DOG WILL HUNT:** Third-round running back Kareem Hunt leads the NFL in rushing (609 yards) and yards from scrimmage (775). The Chiefs are No. 2 in the NFL in rushing (156.2 yards per game), No. 2 in total offense (414.2) and No. 1 in scoring offense (32.8 points per game). They also lead the league in fourth-quarter points (73).

Hunt (5-foot-11, 216 pounds) is averaging 6.3 yards per attempt and leads the NFL with 18 carries of at least 10 yards. He also became the first player in NFL history to register a touchdown from scrimmage of at least 50 yards in his first three NFL games with a 78-yard touchdown reception on Sept. 7 at New England, a 53-yard touchdown run on Sept. 17 against Philadelphia and a 69-yard rushing TD on Sept. 24 at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hunt is doing to the NFL this year what Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas did last season. Elliott did it with athleticism and instinct. Hunt is doing it, seemingly, by running hard, by running through contact with regularity and by running as if he never wants anyone else to ever get the ball.


AMAZING ALEX:** Quarterback Alex Smith leads the NFL with a passer rating of 125.8, with 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Smith hasn't been picked off in his last 168 attempts dating back to last season (158 this season). The Chiefs' only turnover in 2017 is a fumble by Hunt on Kansas City's first offensive snap of the season. KC has run off 359 consecutive snaps without a turnover since.

Smith can still move well at 33. He'll run some read-option and even the more traditional option on occasion, he'll roll out of the pocket when pressured or just when he feels in need of a re-set and he can throw accurately on the run. He has 108 rushing yards and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and his ball-handling will be a factor.

TIGHT MAKES RIGHT: The Chiefs often deploy two and three tight ends at a time, and they're not opposed to lining up in a four-wide receivers look comprised, in part, by as many as three tight ends. They like to run the ball with multiple tight ends and they like to throw it against defenses populated by bigger people because of all the tight ends on the field.

Travis Kelce is the headliner at tight end and the Chiefs' leading receiver with 29 catches (eight on 11 targets for 98 yards in the first half of last Sunday's 42-34 win at Houston; he missed the second half with a concussion). Kelce is likely to line up just about anywhere, he can catch sideways passes and he can get open down the seam. What he does best is go up and get the ball and bring it down with a vice-like grip.   


DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS:** The Chiefs no longer have Dontari Poe (Atlanta) lining up as a three-down nose tackle or Eric Berry (reserve/injured) patrolling the secondary as an All-Pro safety. And inside linebacker Derrick Johnson is 34 and coming off his second season-ending Achilles' injury in the last four seasons.
All of that might help to explain Kansas City's unimpressive defensive rankings (No. 20 against the rush, No. 25 against the pass and No. 27 in total defense).

This might, too: The Chiefs have gone against quarterbacks Tom Brady (New England), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers), Kirk Cousins (Washington) and Deshaun Watson (Houston) in their first five games, three of which have been on the road.

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?: The Chiefs are No. 3 in the NFL in red zone offense with 11 touchdowns on 17 possessions (64.7 percent), trailing only Green Bay (78.9 percent) and Dallas (66.4). Kansas City was No. 26 in that department a season ago (47.37 percent).


SPECIAL EDITION:** Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against Houston. Hill returned one kickoff and two punts for TDs as a rookie in 2016. The Chiefs have scored 11 TDs on special teams and given up none since the arrival of special teams coordinator Dave Toub in 2013. Kansas City is the only NFL team not to have allowed a touchdown on special teams in that span. Kicker Harrison Butker has converted eight of nine field goals attempts (5-for-5 against the Texans) in two games since taking over for Cairo Santos (reserve/injured).

STAT THAT MATTERS: Kansas City is 27-4 in the regular season since starting the 2015 season 1-5.

HE SAID IT: "There is so much in this Kansas City offense. I have no idea how they practice it all." _ NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth during the Chiefs-Texans game.

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