The story of this game was this: One team managed to finally hold on to a 4th quarter lead while the other couldn’t muster another road comeback. The Kansas City Chiefs snapped a five game losing streak with a 23-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs (2-5) won on the Strength of three Steelers (4-3) turnovers and a 110 yards rushing by 2nd year running back Charcandrick West. Tamba Hali forced a fumble on a sack of Landry Jones on the Steelers last possession recovered by the Chiefs Jaye Howard just before the two-minute warning sealed the victory for Kansas City. Kansas City preceded that fumble with an 8 play, 84 yard drive that was capped off by a Alex Smith six yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley.
Alex Smith played his usual solid, efficient game going 21 for 32 for 251 yards with the aforementioned touchdown that iced the game for the Chiefs. West also scored a touchdown and Cairo Santos converted three field goals for the Chiefs. Jones went 16 for 29 for 209 with one touchdown and two interceptions. Antonio Brown caught 6 balls for 124 yards and Le’Veon Bell rushed for 121 yards on 17 carries for the Steelers. Chris Boswell remains perfect on field goals for the Steelers by connecting on both field goal attempts.
Kansas City deserved to winning the game because they won the turnover battle 3 to 0, outgained the Steelers 377-339, and had a better conversion rate on third down (KC 9-16, PIT 2-10). I do not solely blame Jones for the Steelers loss even though he had the turnovers. I personally thought that Kansas City was playing for their season and came out with a little bit more urgency. Let’s not forget the Chiefs were without Jamaal Charles who is on IR with an ACL tear and Jeremy Maclin was inactive due to lingering effects of a concussion, so I thought both teams were on equal footing when it comes to injuries.
The turning point of the game was on the second Steeler drive of the 2nd half and they had the ball on the Chiefs 49 and Landry Jones threw an pass that was intended for Antonio Brown and it got ricochets of Brown and Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson into the arms of Eric Berry for his first interception since he returned from Hodgkin Lymphoma. The Chiefs preceded to go on a 9 play, 53 yard drive capped off by a one yard rushing touchdown by West to make the score 16-3 and the Steelers were playing catch up for the rest of the game.
Looking forward to next week, it is widely expected for Ben Roethlisberger to return from his knee injury and I look like this: This is going to be the most important game this season for the Steelers because if they lose this game any chance of them winning the AFC North will be obsolete and they will be bunched in a scrum for a wild card spot in the AFC. The question for Big Ben and the Steelers offense is this: Are the Cincinnati Bengals the right team for the Steelers to try to get back in rhythm against? The Steelers are going to need Ben to hit the ground running and they have problems at left tackle. Their new left tackle Alejandro Villanueva gave up two sacks to Hali and Ben’s mobility and his ability to shrug off defenders will be effected. One thing is for certain is this: This game Sunday will either decide the AFC North or make the AFC North a real race to the finish!
Next: vs Bengals Sun 11/1 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Next: vs Lions (in London) Sun 11/1 9:30 a.m. (FOX)