During this past week, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler revealed that his magic number is 17 when it comes to points allowed by his unit as he believes they will win their share of games if they achieve that goal. On Sunday, Butler’s defense allowed 23 points and the Steelers lost by 10 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the Steelers defense managed to hold the Chiefs to just 9 points in the first half, they did allow 203 net yards of total offense in the process. Additionally, poor tackling reared its ugly head once again. The Chiefs offense also converted 4 of their 8 3rd down opportunities in that first 30 m minutes of play as three of their four offensive drives ended in points.
Despite being severely outplayed in the first half, the Steelers still were in a good position to win the game with 9:45 left in the third quarter. Their defense let them down, however, as the Chiefs offense put together a 9 play, 53 yards drive that culminated in the game’s first touchdown.
Down 13 points, the Steelers quickly got the game back to 6 points as quarterback Landry Jones led the offense on a 6 play, 77 yard drive that culminated with a Martavis Bryant touchdown reception from 19 yards out. The offense followed that up with a 7 play, 54 yard drive that ended with a 36-yard field goal by kicker Chis Boswell with 10:22 left in the fourth quarter to close within 3 points.
Once again, the Steelers defense had a perfect opportunity to make a statement on the Chiefs ensuing offensive possession and keep their opponent under the Butler’s magic number of 17 in the process. However, Butler’s defensive unit let him down once again at a key time as they allowed the Chiefs offense to march 84 yards on 8 plays for touchdown.
That final Chiefs scoring drive included them registering back-to-back explosive plays, the first of which came on a 3rrd down and 4 from the Chiefs 22-yard-line as quarterback Alex Smith hit tight end Travis Kelce down the seam for 26 yards. Kelce caught 5 passes in the game for 73 yards and his final one wound up being the biggest of them all.
On the very next play, Chiefs running back Charcandrick West ran 36 yards up the middle. Four plays later, the Chiefs delivered the knockout blow as Smith hit wide receiver Chris Conley with a short pass to the left side for a touchdown against a seemingly confused Steelers defense.
The Chiefs converted 9 of their 16 3rd down opportunities on Sunday and scored six times out of their nine legitimate offensive possessions.