Steelers vs Chiefs Second Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations of the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 20-12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

  • On the Chiefs’ third play, they just missed a home run hitter to Albert Wilson, who got behind Antwon Blake in the middle of the field. Alex Smith was under duress from Jason Worilds, influencing the throw.
  • On third and four, James Harrison got the sack after Smith had to pull the ball down with nothing open.
  • The Steelers opened their next possession with a sack when Justin Houston, working against Kelvin Beachum on the left side, was able to work the left tackle back and catch him flat footed, forcing his way inside.
  • On third and 10, Antonio Brown bobbled, but brought in, the reception, but was stopped after nine yards as the Steelers went three and out.
  • For the second time in the game, Ross Ventrone failed to make the special teams tackle, but got down the field fast enough to bottle up the returner and force him to move laterally instead of north and south.
  • The Chiefs managed to drive the ball on their next possession, reaching the Steelers’ 28-yard line, but that was as far as they would get. Smith looked for Jamaal Charles on the screen on second down, but Stephon Tuitt was able to come off his block and smacked Charles as he was funneled inside, knocking the ball loose, and the Steelers recovered.
  • On the Steelers’ next drive, Ben Roethlisberger bluffed a wide receiver screen, allowing Heath Miller to go vertical, where the two hooked up for 17 yards. A common theme on the day.
  • For as much as the Steelers may have struggled overall in the ground game, the truth is that they were overall pretty successful in converting with the run in situational football, namely at the goal line and in short yardage. The one failure off the top of my head was the two-yard gain on second and three inside the 10-yard line on the opening possession.
  • After an encroachment penalty, Bell gained four yards on first and five, but the highlight of the play was Mike Adams flying in late to bury himself into the Chiefs’ safety, scraping him off the pile.
  • As mentioned, when it comes to short yardage, the Steelers were successful. On third and one, after an incompletion, Bell converted with a two-yard gain, forcing his way up the middle.
  • On first and goal, Brown was able to come back to the middle of the field in the end zone to give Roethlisberger the target, which he gladly took, as Brown caught his franchise record-tying 12th receiving touchdown of the season.
  • Will Allen was slow to cover Knile Davis on third and seven, allowing the Chiefs to convert instead of going three and out on a drive on which they would eventually score.
  • Jason Worilds got inside the right tackle after the first down to record his second sack of the game, this one truly earned.
  • On second and 17, Smith had to check down vertically, and Blake tackled the catch for no gain. On third and 17, Lawrence Timmons buried the tight end after a short gain, but William Gay was flagged for taunting in what has been seemingly universally looked at as a bad call. The Chiefs should have been punting here, but instead the drive continued and they went on to make it a one-possession game.
  • From the Steelers’ 44-yard line, Charles walked through two tackles for a 16-yard gain to get the Chiefs up inside the 30.
  • But Cameron Heyward cut down De’Anthony Thomas on a screen for a gain of three, and then was unable to catch the third down pass, which was nearly intercepted by Timmons.
  • With 10 minutes left in the game, the Steelers turned their focus to running out the clock, generally keeping the ball on the ground when applicable. Bell got the ball on first and second down for six yards, but then threw to Brown on third and four on the quick slant.
  • On the next third down opportunity, the Steelers got a free play on an offsides call, so Roethlisberger took a shot deep to Brown, who was able to draw a pass interference call good for 24 yards.
  • Once again, the Steelers went back to the ground on first and second down, but Miller came up with a big reception on third and seven on a tough catch just outside the 10-yard line.
  • Roethlisberger’s second down pass came up short of Michael Palmer in the end zone as the Steelers were forced to settle for a field goal.
  • The Chiefs got the ball back with four minutes to play, and, after a penalty helped set them up at midfield, they used up more than half that time just to get a field goal, even though they reached the five-yard line.
  • Kansas City was given a generous spot on a completion on third and 10 for a first down, but Smith was sacked on the following play. An 11-yard pass to Charles on third down left the Chiefs a few yards shy of a first down as they settled for a field goal.
  • The ensuing onside kick attempt was directed right at Will Johnson, who fielded it himself to seal the victory.
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