The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the second half with a 10-6 lead on the strength of a one-yard rushing touchdown by Le’Veon Bell. The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, have fallen behind 17-0 in the AFC North. Still, a win over the Kansas City Chiefs would send the Steelers to the playoffs either way.
The Steelers ended the half with a kneel down after stopping Kansas City on fourth and one, but the Chiefs begin the second half with the ball. Dwayne Bowe caught the first pass of the half for nine yards. Jamaal Charles was able to move the chains on second down.
Alex Smith was incomplete deep on the next play. On third and four, Smith was sacked by James Harrison.
Bell found a bit of space up the right side for six yards on first down for the Steelers. Justin Houston was able to get to Ben Roethlisberger off the left side for his 18th sack of the year. On third and long, Antonio Brown bobbled the ball as he ran, but he still came up a yard shy of the first down.
The Chiefs began driving, but William Gay helped break up a pass to set up third and four. Smith was able to find his tight end, Travis Kelce, however, to keep the drive going. Mike Tomlin challenged that the ball was not controlled, and thus not a catch, but the ruling stood. However, Charles lost the ball on a hit by Stephon Tuitt and the Steelers recovered.
Taking over at their own 25, Roethlisberger rolled out and completed to Markus Wheaton for a first down. Heath Miller got open down the field across midfield a play later. Again going downfield, Brown caught yet another pass for a nice chunk of yardage to the 24.
Bell churned his way forward for about six yards inside the red zone for the first time of the half. He showed nice patience to come back around the left side and got right to the first down marker.
The Chiefs were flagged for encroachment, making it first and five at the nine-yard line. Bell took the ball and got down close to the four. Roethlisberger looked to Brown, who was covered well, in the end zone, for an incompletion. On third and one, Bell fought for a first down to set up first and goal. Roethlisberger stepped through pressure and found Brown for the three-yard touchdown, but the quarterback stayed down after the play.
After a deep incompletion on second and seven to open the fourth quarter, the Chiefs faced third and seven, Smith found a quick outlet to Knile Davis for the first.
Jason Worilds got to Smith for the second time of the day after the first down. On second and 17, Antwon Blake buried the tight end for no gain on a horizontal pass. On third and 17, Lawrence Timmons buried Kelce to stop the Chiefs, but Gay was flagged for taunting and gave the Chiefs 15 yards and a free first down.
Charles picked up another chunk of yardage inside the Steelers’ 30 on a screen pass. Smith was incomplete through the end zone on the next play. Thomas was cut down by Cameron Heyward to set up a third down. The pass was bobbled and dropped, and Timmons nearly intercepted it. Instead, the Chiefs were able to make it an eight-point game.
Bell gained six yards on two carries to open the drive as they looked to wind down the clock. On third and four, Roethlisberger completed to Brown for the first down and more as he went over seven catches for 72 yards and a touchdown on the day.
Martavis Bryant‘s second attempt at an end around was unsuccessful. On second down, Bell churned ahead for seven yards. The Steelers got a free play on an offsides, so Roethlisberger went deep to Brown, who drew a pass interference penalty.
After picking up four yards, Bell was held to no gain, setting up a third and long. Under pressure, Roethlisberger threw from an awkward angle and Miller came up with the tough grab down the field for the first down.
From the 11, with under five to play, Bell kept plugging ahead for a few yards on first down. Roethlisberger was short to Michael Palmer in the end zone on second down. On third down, he looked quickly to Miller short of the first down as the Chiefs called a timeout with 4:07 to play. The Steelers added a field goal to make it a two-possession game.
After a short kickoff, the Chiefs started near midfield. Smith was nearly sacked on first down but got the pass away. He found Jason Avant for about eight yards. On third and two, Avant moved the sticks.
Charles caught the ball and came inside to the 23-yard line. Smith’s next pass was tipped away incomplete. He was incomplete again to Kelce, setting up a third and 10. Heyward hit Smith as he threw, but he completed the pass for the first down.
He tripped and fell on the next play, ruled down by contact, to the two minute warning. On second and 14, Charles couldn’t hold on to the pass. Charles got down to the four to set up a fourth down. The Chiefs kicked a field goal to make it 20-12 as the Steelers prepared to field an onside kick.
Will Johnson fielded the ball and the Steelers were three kneels away from reaching the postseason once again, riding a three-game winning streak.