The Pittsburgh Steelers begin the second half on defense down 9-3, but the defense has been able to slam the door shut three times inside the red zone in spite of giving up yardage. Landry Jones had some ups, but his biggest down was an interception inside the two-minute warning that gave the Chiefs an opportunity to score again, ultimately missing a 54-yard field goal aided by a Cameron Heyward sack on second down.
In the meantime, Antwon Blake was cleared to return after exiting late in the first half to be evaluated for a concussion. After a return to the 22, West picked up three yards up the right side to the 25 on first down. On second and seven, the Steelers actually got a bit of pressure on Alex Smith to force an incompletion. On third down, more pressure forced Smith to step up for an incompletion.
After a good punt, Antonio Brown fair caught the ball at the 20-yard line, where Jones and the offense will look to get back into the game after managing just three points. His first pass was incomplete to Heath Miller. On second down, Brown snagged a nice sideline pass for his quarterback for about 27 yards. Jones was under pressure, but got the ball off to DeAngelo Williams, who maneuvered to pick up eight yards. On second and two, Brown could not make the corner miss on an empty screen, getting hit for a short loss. On third and three, Markus Wheaton could not pull down a high pass that should have moved the chains.
Jordan Berry‘s first punt of the half was a nice one, downed inside the five. From the three, Smith fired off a short pass to Jason Avant for about five yards. On second down, a downfield pass for Chris Conley was just off his hands. On third down, the pressure got to Smith, chasing him into the end zone, where he was forced to throw the ball away, as the defense induced another three and out.
A reverse end around with Martavis Bryant produced a first down run past midfield. A slant intended for Brown was popped up into the air and scooped up by Eric Berry after Derrick Johnson originally deflected it, certainly terrible luck for the offense.
Taking over as the 47, West was bottled up for no gain on first down for the Chiefs. After a false start, West was able to basically get back to the original pre-penalty line of scrimmage. On third and long, Smith was able to find his receiver for 16 yards out of bounds to the Steelers’ 35-yard line. Smith went back to Wilson on a slant down to the 22. West tore up the middle for nine yards inside the 20.
On second and one, William Gay was blocked to the ground, opening the screen game for Conley to set up first and goal at the three. On first and goal, West picked up around a yard. Robert Golden late a big hit on West at the goal line to keep the Chiefs out of the end zone for at least one more play, as he easily crossed the plane on third and inches. Pittsburgh trails 16-3 with less than 20 minutes to play.
Dri Archer returned the ensuring kickoff out to the 23, where he promptly went to the ground on first contact. Le’Veon Bell got his first touch of the half for about two yards up the middle. Jones hung up a pass short deep to Brown, who was able to secure the pass after some uncalled offensive pass interference. From the 34, another short deep shot should have been intercepted intended for Bryant. On second down, Bell picked up 11 yards to approach the red zone.
On first down, Bell picked up four yards inside the red zone. Jones took a shot for Bryant into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown. The Steelers are back in the game, now down by six, at 16-10.
The Chiefs got off a good return, but a hold negated it. A first down run was negated in effectiveness due to an unsportsmanlike penalty, backed up to the 14. After three-yard gain, Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier blitzed up the A gap, getting Smith on the ground for the second time of the game. On third and 14 from the 10, Golden wrestled West down at the 17 off a screen pass to force a punt.
The Chiefs got off another good punt, with Brown tackled at the 29-yard line. On first down, Jones connected with Brown on first down for 16 yards. Bell broke off a big run inside the 20-yard line, to the 13-yard line. After another three yards on first down to the 10, Jones looked Bryant’s way up the right side, but the two did not seem to be on the same page. Jones went down for the first time of the game for an eight-yard loss, but Chris Boswell‘s seventh field goal of the season made it a three-point game.
Davis returned Boswell’s kick, but was stopped at the 16-yard line. Cam Thomas wrapped up West after a one-yard gain trying to bounce the run to the right edge. But missed tackles continued to creep back into the Steelers’ norm as the Chiefs marched down the field and took back their 10-point lead with a touchdown. Smith found Conley in the end zone for the score, and a red zone conversion.
Archer tried to take the ball out from nine yards deep, but was tackled at the 16. With about five minutes to play down two scores, the Steelers started off with a four-yard pass to Bell. Bryant converted for the first down as the clock continues to wind down. Wheaton picked up first-down yardage on the following play while getting out of bounds. Bell’s second reception of the drive went for a loss of one. Smith was flagged for pass interference covering Brown to the 39. Jones went down again on a sack by Tamba Hali, knocking the ball loose, and the Chiefs recovered for their third turnover of the game.
A short run took the game to the two-minute warning. On second and six, West spun for about five yards as the Steelers used their final timeout in advance of a third and one. West converted on third and one to convert, with a series of knees sending Pittsburgh home in defeat, dropping to 4-3 in advance of a huge division game against the 6-0 Bengals.