Week Seven Steelers Vs Chiefs Second Half Notes And Observations

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell short in their comeback attempt Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, ultimately losing the first start of Landry Jones’ career by a score of 23-13. Below are my notes and observations from the first half of the game.

  • The Steelers entered the second half trailing 9-3 after making three red zone stops on defense and forcing a missed 54-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half after Jones threw an interception that was returned to the Steelers’ 40-yard line.
  • They started out the second half with a three-and-out, aided in part by a drop, which also came in handy at the end of the second quarter. On third and seven, a safety blitz forced a poor throw that fell incomplete.
  • Jones’ first pass of the half was a poor one, which was easily batted down by Derrick Johnson covering Heath Miller. But he came back with a 26-yard pass to Antonio Brown on the next play, smartly throwing with the defender’s back to the ball.
  • Later, on second and two, he tried to hit Brown on a quick screen with the defender playing off the ball, but the cornerback was able to come up and make the solid tackle for a loss of one. His pass on third down was too high for Markus Wheaton.
  • Following a very good punt downed at the three, however, the defense forced another three-and-out, giving up a six-yard completion to Jason Avant on first down, but then forcing two incompletions.
  • On the Steelers’ first play of their next drive, a handoff to Le’Veon Bell gave way to a reverse end around for Martavis Bryant for 13 yards.
  • On the following play, however, Jones’ pass intended for Brown was tipped and deflected. Brown had an opportunity to make a play on the ball, but ended up batting it into the air as he was being tackled, ultimately intercepted by Eric Berry.
  • For the Chiefs, the third time was the charm in the second half, this time converting on third and 10 to avoid a third straight three-and-out, as Alex Smith hit on a 17-yarder to the left sideline in front of Antwon Blake.
  • Then the chunks began to come, first by 14 yards, then nine, then 10, all the way down to the three-yard line. After the Steelers came up with two run stops near the goal line against Charcandrick West, the third time proved to be the charm again, scoring off the right side.
  • After allowing a red zone touchdown for the first time in four trips, the Steelers were forced to respond in kind, and they did, with a six-play drive capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryant.
  • The primary catalyst came on the second play of the drive, a deep shot to Brown on which the veteran got away with a bit of a push off to create separation for a 41-yard reception on a slightly underthrown ball.
  • Jones very nearly threw an interception at the goal line 35 yards away on the next play, however, which was fortunately dropped.
  • Rookie Anthony Chickillo made his statistical debut, recording the tackle on the ensuing kickoff, though the Chiefs were penalized for holding on the return.
  • On second and seven, Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons split a sack on a double A gap blitz that got home for a loss of seven. West was limited to seven on a dump off pass on third and 14.
  • Bell’s longest carries of the day came with Roosevelt Nix playing a key role. His longest, a 42-yarder, was no different, as he pushed the cornerback out of the hole, who eventually chased the back down at the 13-yard line.
  • But the offense would stall there, in fact, even going backward, following a third-down sack for a loss of eight. On the play before, Bryant struggled to get off a jam at the line of scrimmage on a pass in the end zone.
  • The Steelers had a chance to take the lead on the drive, but instead just drew to within three with another field goal, and the Chiefs came back with a nail in the coffin touchdown drive.
  • Smith found Kelce over the top of Timmons on third and four, a critical play for 26 yards that could have gotten the defense off the field and gotten good field position for an offense that scored on its last two possessions.
  • On the very next play, West ripped off a 36-yard run, busting through a missed tackle before Golden was able to drag him down as the deep safety and last defender.
  • After the Chiefs scored, Archer was tackled at just the 16-yard line after his up back told him to take a knee, but the real problem was that Nix missed a block, which had a ripple effect on Will Johnson’s block. Had those two controlled their assignments, Archer actually could have found a lane to hit the left sideline, perhaps even score.
  • The Steelers’ ensuing drive was slow and incremental, with the longest gain being 11 yards. A pass interference on fourth and six extended the drive for one more play, on which Jones was sacked and stripped, losing the ball and effectively ending the game. Tamba Hali had easily turned the corner on Alejandro Villanueva for his second sack of the game.
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