Five to Remember: Steelers vs. Chiefs

Who made the difference against the Steelers? Nick Athan looks at five Chiefs who stood out.

1. LB Andy Studebaker - Could anyone have predicted he'd have a bigger impact on this football team than the man he replaced, Mike Vrabel? In his NFL starting debut, Studebaker intercepted two Ben Roethlisberger passes that completely changed the game. If that wasn't enough, he also had half a sack and four tackles. If Studebaker doesn't start the rest of the year, something is wrong. Vrabel has been a nice presence in KC's locker room and defensive huddle, but he's not a playmaker anymore. We don't know if Studebaker is, but he could be the diamond in the rough the Chiefs have been looking for.

2. LB Jovan Belcher - He's reminiscent of former Chiefs' linebacker Anthony Davis and is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Belcher's third-down stop on Steelers' running back Mewelde Moore in overtime was a game-changing play. Belcher had six tackles and could start for the Chiefs next year if he continues to grow. Like Studebaker, Belcher's contributions raise hope that KC's defense will improve the rest of the way.

3. LB Demorrio Williams - Williams once again led the Chiefs with 10 tackles and even with the pressure of unseating Derrick Johnson as a starter, he has not slacked off in his play whatsoever. He enters 2010 in the last year of his contract and with the aforementioned young linebackers contributing, Williams becomes a key member of the defense. Right now he's earning serious consideration for a new contract. He has energy and a fiery attitude, especially after he makes a play. I'm all for showing up the other team, especially when you back it up.

4. S Jon McGraw - For an aging safety, he's having a career year. McGraw had seven tackles and made some big stops against Pittsburgh's running game. He appears to be one of those players who has bought into what Haley is preaching, and that's worth gold in the locker room.

5. TE Leonard Pope - He had his first touchdown as a Chief on Sunday. Pope is a huge target for Matt Cassel and is KC's new starting tight end. At 6-foot-8, he's nimble and has speed, so he can be difficult to bring down. Pope's 21-yard touchdown in the third quarter was a prime example of his ability to find a seam and take advantage of soft coverage. He won't replace Tony Gonzalez in any manner whatsoever but he's the type of receiver who can catch six or seven touchdowns a season and extend drives with tough catches. At that position, that's all the Chiefs need.

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