NFL head coaches are some of the greatest sports orators around when it comes to the understatement. As a group, they do not wish to reveal anything, at any time and couch their words so as little information as possible is provided to the listener -- and especially the next opponent.
After 18 seasons as an NFL head coach, Andy Reid has an advanced degree in understatement. The Kansas City Chiefs leader spoke Monday about the Pittsburgh Steelers, his team's opponent for an AFC divisional round game in the playoffs this coming Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
"We look forward to the challenge of playing Pittsburgh," Reid said. "We know they are a good football team. We had an opportunity to play them in the season and they got after us pretty good."
Pretty good? On Oct. 2 in the Week 4 the Steelers got after the Chiefs to the tune of 43-14 beating. Pittsburgh ran off 36 unanswered points and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes seemingly before K.C. even knew the game had started.
That 29-point blowout was among the largest margins of victory this season in the NFL. The only other team to make the playoffs after being crushed by more points was Miami, as the Dolphins lost to the Baltimore Ravens by 32 points (38-6) in early December.
So will Reid spend time this week reminding his team of that meeting 15 weeks ago?
"Nah, they were there," said Reid. "They know what that story is all about. They are a good team. We have to make sure we block and tackle and do the things you have to do at this time of the year. They are a good football team."
It's the third time in 15 months the Chiefs will play the Steelers and the game figures to be as important to Reid's team as the first two meetings were against the Steelers:
--Oct. 25, 2015 -- K.C. was 1-5 and the season appeared to be spiraling into the dumpster when the teams played at Arrowhead. The Chiefs' 23-13 victory turned the tide and was the first of 10 consecutive victories that allowed Kansas City to finish 11-5 and in the playoffs.
--Oct. 2, 2016 -- The Chiefs arrive at Heinz Field with a 2-1 record, but the Steelers dominate the Sunday night game. After that game, the Chiefs went 10-2 over the rest of their schedule to finish 12-4 and win the AFC West division title.
There is certainly more on the line for this Sunday's contest. The Chiefs are looking for their first home victory in the playoffs since the 1993 season. In that game the Chiefs won 27-24 in overtime beating ... you guessed it, the Steelers, in the only prior postseason match between the teams.
For Reid and his 2016 Chiefs, the formula for beating Pittsburgh and advancing to an AFC Championship Game is actually very simple.
"You've got to play good football; you've got to do what got you here," Reid said. "There's not a lot of room for error. That's not what this time of the year is about. You've got to have good line play on both sides of the ball. That's what you get at this time of the year."
NOTES: --OLB Justin Houston (knee) and RB Spencer Ware (ribs) should practice Wednesday when the Chiefs begin their preparation for Sunday's game against the Steelers. "Everybody that was banged up is good to go now," said Reid. "Justin (Houston) and Ware will be ready to go." But Reid held back saying Houston will play against the Steelers. "We'll just practice and see how he does," said Reid. Houston has not practiced since Dec. 16, 2016 and he's missed the last two games dealing with inflammation in a surgically repaired knee. Ware did not play in the regular-season finale against the Chargers due to bruised ribs that he suffered the week before in the Denver Broncos game. ... OLB Dadi Nicolas (knee) sustained a ruptured patellar tendon in his knee in the final game of the regular season and was moved to the injured-reserve list Jan. 4. The sixth-round choice out of Virginia Tech in the 2016 NFL Draft was active for 11 games during his rookie season, played in nine and saw 28 snaps on defense and 45 in the kicking game. He was credited with one pass breakup. ... OLB Victor Ochi was signed off the New York Jets practice squad last week, filling the roster spot vacated when Nicolas was placed on injured reserve. Ochi entered the NFL this year as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Baltimore Ravens. He was released at the end of the preseason and signed to the Jets' practice squad.