On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the season, leaving a total of zero undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. The 19-13 score reflected the run-heavy game plan from the Steelers, and the Chiefs’ inability to get points on the scoreboard.
Rookie sensation Kareem Hunt, running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, amassed 100+ total yards from scrimmage for the sixth consecutive game. He now holds that rookie record, and will look to extend it a game further when the Chiefs take on Oakland Raiders tonight on Thursday Night Football (TNF).
The Steelers’ offense, which looked abysmal last week when the Jacksonville Jaguars suffocated Big Ben and intercepted him five times, finally picked up the slack this against Kansas City. Ben Roethlisberger completed 17 passes in 25 attempts for 252 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Wideout Antonio Brown, the lone consistency of the Pittsburgh offense thus far, hauled in eight receptions for 155 yards and a score. Running back Le’Veon Bell had an absolute field day, carrying the ball 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown. He also reeled in three passes for an additional 12 yards.
For the Chiefs, quarterback Alex Smith completed 19 of his 34 passes while racking up 246 yards. He tossed a touchdown and didn’t turn the ball over. Through six games, he’s thrown 12 touchdowns and has yet to be picked off. He has absolutely been playing like an MVP candidate and not like the “game manager” he is so often referred to as.
Roughly eight minutes into the first quarter, Chiefs’ center Zach Fulton fumbled the ball on a botched exchange with Smith. The ball rolled into the end zone for a safety. The Steelers took a 2-0 lead as the Chiefs were forced to punt the ball. On said punt, Kansas City recovered the ball, giving the offense possession at Pittsburgh’s 32-yard line. The Chiefs did not score a touchdown on the short drive of four plays, but Harrison Butker booted a 46-yard field goal to put the Chiefs up 3-2.
Pittsburgh looked to take the lead back on the ensuing possession. In a drive that chewed up nearly half of the first quarter, the Steelers marched 75 yards before Bell thrusted his way into the end zone on a 3-yard rush. After a successful extra point, the Steelers were up 9-3.
The next three drives were all incredibly hard to watch. A Chiefs’ three-and-out was followed by a horrendous pass from Big Ben, which was picked off by Marcus Peters. However, the Chiefs had no answer and had to punt the football.
The Steelers orchestrated another six minute drive, which lead to a Chris Boswell field goal. Some notable plays that lead to it came consecutively in the form of a 26-yard pass to Brown and a 17-yard rush from Bell. Boswell added another field goal to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to nine points. The Chiefs, needing a bust on offense, went three-and-out yet again, accumulating negative yardage before going into the locker room down by a score of 12-3.
The first six drives of the second half included five punts and a loss of downs. Eventually, Kansas City put together a respectable touchdown drive. Over eight plays that took just under three minutes, the Chiefs went 82 yards before Alex Smith connected with wide-out De’Anthony Thomas on a 57-yard bullet. The extra point put the Chiefs within two points with six minutes left in the ball game.
On the very next drive, Pittsburgh increased their lead once again. Roethlisberger hit Brown at midfield, a catch Brown would take to the house for 51 yards. Up 19-10, the Steelers punted the ball back to Smith and the Chiefs, who would get a field goal on a drive that only took 1:07.
A quick, :35 three-and-out from Pittsburgh gave the Chiefs one last opportunity to take the lead. After five plays, Smith was sacked on the Chiefs’ last play of the game, losing eight yards while being blindsided by veteran pass rusher James Harrison. This gave the Steelers a 19-13 win, their biggest of the 2017 season so far.
As mentioned, the Chiefs (5-1) battle the Raiders (2-4) in Oakland tonight in an AFC West showdown. The Raiders have lost four games in a row. The Steelers (4-2) host the Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) on Sunday at 4:25 pm.
With 155-reception yards on Sunday, Antonio Brown has 155 or more receiving yards in three of six games. He has amassed 100 or more receiving yards four times.