Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin called it ‘Redemption Sunday’ as the Steelers were stunned and destroyed by the Philadelphia Eagles in a 34-3 rout at Lincoln Financial Field one week ago. Just like their roommates the Pitt Panthers, the Steelers were looking to redeem themselves with some Home Cooking as they returned to Heinz Field, and like the Panthers the were able to get the win-but in more convincing fashion as they destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs 43-7 in front of a Nationally televised audience.
QB Ben Roethlisberger was at his best as he led his team with 5 TDs and 300 yards without an interception. It was the 5th time in his career that he passed for 5 TDs. Think the Steelers missed RB Le’Veon Bell? Well, they got him back as he completed his 3-game suspension and he showed the Steelers what they missed as he rumbled for 144 yards on only 18 carries. He also caught 5 passes for 34-yards, once again giving them the dual threat that made him an All-Pro in 2014. WR Antonio Brown caught 4 passes for 64 yards, with 2 of them being TDs. WR Sammie Coates continues to prove that he’s a legitimate deep-ball threat as he caught the opening pass for 47 yards. He finished with 7 catches for 79 yards.
After the Steelers defense recovered a KC fumble, The Steelers offense added insult to injury as they punched KC in the mouth on their 2nd drive when Roethlisberger methodically led his team down the field and eventually found WR Darius Heyward-Bey for a 31-yard TD, and along with a 2-point conversion, the Steelers led 8-0.
The Steelers defense also kept it going as DE Cam Heyward got to KC QB Alex Smith forcing his pass to be tipped and intercepted by Steelers LB Jarvis Jones giving them the ball deep in Chiefs territory. Then Roethlisberger once again went to work as he found WR Antonio Brown for a 4-yard TD, extending their lead to 15-0. Big Ben would find Brown again this time for 38 yards extending the Steelers lead to 22-0.
And it was only the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Chiefs offense could do nothing against this revised Steelers defense on their next drive and after punting the ball back to the Steelers, Big Ben was back at it again as he found TE Jesse James for a 9-yard TD pass, giving them a 29-0 lead-which is a new franchise record for most points scored in the first half. KC lined up for a 38-lard FG by Cairos Santos, but it was missed as the rain came down. With 15 seconds left, the Steelers took a knee to end the first half.
In the 3rd Quarter, the Steelers got the ball and kept it going as they once again stormed down the field with a mixture of runs and passes and then Roethlisberger found WR Markus Wheaton for a 30-yard TD extending the Steelers lead to 36-0. The Steelers and KC then exchanged punts the rest of the 3rd quarter and in the 4th quarter, Smith and the Chiefs put together a good drive as he found rookie WR Tyreek Hill for a 10-yard TD pass slightly closing the Steelers lead to 36-7.
And how did the Steelers respond? By scoring again. Even though they mostly ran the ball, Bell made the most of it as he found a hole and rumbled for over 40 yards, giving the Steelers a 1st and goal at the 2-yard line and then RB DeAngelo Williams walked into the end zone for 2-yard TD, extending the Steelers lead to 43-7.
The Steelers then rested Roethlisberger and most of the offensive starters as the clock continued to tick, but the Chiefs were able to get another late TD with 4 seconds left as Smith found TE Travis Kelce for the 3-yard TD, which proved to be the final points as the Steelers won 43-14.
On defense, the Steelers showed lots of hustle, making Smith and Chiefs offense miserable as they sacked him 4 times (3 from Heyward) and intercepted him once.
For KC, Smith passed for 287 yards, 2 TDs and the interception. RB Spencer Ware ran for 87 yards on 13 carries and WR Jeremy Maclin caught 5 passes for 87 yards. The Chiefs fall to 2-2, while the Steelers improve to 3-1.
Ray’s take: The Steelers offense rose to the occasion as they proved that they need to set the pace for the team with 43 points, 29 in the first half. Roethlisberger and Bell were priceless as the passed and ran all over KC and the defense played with heart and hustle, sacking Smith 4 times, with 3 by Heyward. Rookie CB Artie Burns also made some impressions as he knocked away 2 passes in the Red Zone.
I like how the Steelers responded in this game. Instead of waiting for the Chiefs, they took it to the Chiefs in a must-win game.
Injuries: Apparently the Steelers have several as starting OT Marcus Gilbert sustained a knee injury which kept him out of the game. LB Jones, LB Anthony Chickillo and Heyward-Bey also missed the rest of the game. Here’s hoping their injuries aren’t serious.
The Steelers will now prepare to host the NY Jets (1-3) Next Sunday.
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