PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers won a rematch from the regular season in the wild card round of the playoffs. Now their opponent in the divisional round will try to do the same against the Steelers.
The Steelers will travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. In the first meeting at Heinz Field on Oct. 2, the Steelers routed the Chiefs 43-14.
"I think we came in with the mindset that those guys beat us earlier in the year, but I feel like we're in the playoffs now and we can't let them beat us again," said running back Le'Veon Bell, who rushed for a franchise playoff record of 167 yards in the Steelers' 30-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. "I think Kansas City is going to come in with that same mindset. We have to understand that. We have to understand that the same passion and dedication that we put in this week to beat Miami, that's how Kansas City is going to try to beat us.
"We have to put that much more time in to our detail. We have to do all the little things right because they're going to try to take the things away that we did well last game and make us beat them a different way. Also, Kansas City got better over the course of the year. It's going to be a very good game. We're playing in a hostile environment. It's going to be very loud there."
The Steelers dominated the first game against the Chiefs from the outset. It was 22-0 at the end of the first quarter and 29-0 at halftime.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had one of his best games of the season. He was 22 of 27 for 300 yards and five touchdown passes. Bell had 144 yards on 18 carries.
But this game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs were 6-2 during the regular season. Kansas City's two home losses came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans, two teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.
The Steelers and Chiefs met once previously in the playoffs. The Chiefs beat the Steelers 27-24 in overtime in January 1994 after Pittsburgh blew a 17-7 halftime lead.
REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS
PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- It's a good day when your first incomplete pass hits the ground in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger completed his first 11 passes and finished 13 for 18 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. The passing game wasn't as in sync in the second half, but the Steelers had long since focused on allowing Le'Veon Bell to take the game over with his running. Roethlisberger's early success against Dolphins' secondary set that up. His touchdown passes of 50 and 62 yards to Antonio Brown backed the Miami secondary off the line of scrimmage and forced them to respect the passing game for the remainder of the game.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- It's also a good day when you set a franchise record for rushing yards when you play for the most successful NFL team of all-time. That's what Bell did when he rushed for 167 yards on 29 carries. He also scored two touchdowns. It was the type of dominating performance the Steelers have come to expect from Bell, who went over 100 yards on the ground in five of the final six games he played in during the regular season.
PASS DEFENSE: B -- On a day the Steelers shut down running back Jay Ajayi, one might think the pass defense would have excelled, too. But that wasn't the case. Backup quarterback Matt Moore completed 29 of 36 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown. The only saving grace for the Steelers is they were able to turn Moore over. Ryan Shazier intercepted him once and James Harrison and Mike Mitchell had strip sacks. If not for those turnovers it would have been a much closer game.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- All the defenders heard all week was how Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns when the Steelers played in Miami in mid-October. They made sure they didn't have to hear about him after the playoff game. Ajayi had 33 yards on 16 carries for a 2.1 average. His longest run of the day was eight yards. For the game, the Dolphins finished the game with 52 yards on 16 carries.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Pittsburgh's special teams are a mess. The starting field position for their first three drives was as follows: 15-, 10- and 17-yard lines. Luckily for the Steelers, they scored touchdowns on all three drives, but the special teams hindered their chances rather than help them. The punt return team had a holding penalty that put the Steelers on the 10, and the kickoff return team only managed to get the ball to the 15 and 17. The special teams have been a problem all season, and coach Mike Tomlin doesn't appear to have any answers.
COACHING: D -- Head coach Mike Tomlin had his players ready to compete and the coordinators had strong game plans to defeat the Dolphins, but the decision by Tomlin to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the game until the end was unnecessary and inexcusable if Roethlisberger's right foot injury is serious. Even if it's not, Tomlin deserves to be criticized because he unnecessarily put his team's postseason in jeopardy. The Steelers led by 24 and 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Tomlin pulled running back Le'Veon Bell. Not only did Tomlin keep Roethlisberger in the game, but he had him passing. The injury occurred when Cameron Wake dragged him down from behind.