So…that was an interesting first half. The Pittsburgh Steelers bumbled their way through the first quarter, losing in all three phases to go down 21-0. Then they came back to score 21 unanswered in the second quarter, including Ben Roethlisberger touchdowns to Jesse James, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and rookie James Washington. The turning point was a strip sack touchdown against Roethlisberger that was negated by a penalty.
After having no impact in the first quarter, Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill on the first play against Artie Burns, spinning away for 36 yards. At the Steelers’ 39, Mahomes had Sammy Watkins deep but overthrew him. It looked like T.J. Watt might have been in coverage on him. Steelers got away with a big play for a score there. Now second down, he found Travis Kelce for 13 yards. Pittsburgh was calling out for illegal formation but didn’t get it.
Now at the 26, Kareem Hunt was bottled up for a short gain. Mahomes connected with Kelce for the explosive score one play later, running down the seam. The Chiefs retake the lead, 28-21, to kick off the second half.
James Conner got the ball and was limited to three yards on first down. Roethlisberger avoided pressure to find Smith-Schuster coming across the middle for a first down and more, Ryan Switzer contributing a block.
Now to the 43, the ball went back to Conner, who was stuffed near the line of scrimmage. Off play action, Roethlisberger found Smith-Schuster open for 19 yards, putting him over 100 yards for the game. Conner made a tackler miss for a nine-yard game following that. After Roethlisberger missed Antonio Brown open in the end zone, the receiver came off the field for a play. On third and one, a shovel pass to Smith-Schuster added two yards.
With good protection, Roethlisberger looked for Brown again in the end zone, who was open again, incomplete. The two didn’t look to be on the same page. A screen to Roosevelt Nix picked up the first down and more, down to the five-yard line.
On first and goal, Roethlisberger had time to throw looking for James, unable to bring it in and nearly intercepted, but there was a defensive hold (yet again) to make it half the distance to the goal. Now from the 2.5-yard line, Roethlisberger telegraphed a throw to Brown that was picked off after he bobbled the snap, but once again, there was a pass interference to wipe out another Roethlisberger turnover. The penalty was clear as day, however. Now on first and goal from the 1.25-yard line, in 22, Conner tried to go over the top for the score but only got to the one. He scored on second down on second effort, spinning away from a defender for the score to tie the game again.
Tyreek Hill continued to get more involved in the offense on the following play, making a couple of moves, now across midfield. At the 43, Kelce beat Jon Bostic down the seam for a big gain just outside the 10. Mahomes went right back to the tight end for 10 yards, over 100 yards and already with two scores. Mahomes looked for his number three receiver at the back of the end zone for his fifth touchdown of the game, and ninth in the first two games.
Roethlisberger connected with Stevan Ridley for a short gain of five yards to start the following drive. Hitchens made a great tackle after two yards for Ridley on second down. Out of the 01 package, he fired wide to Ryan Switzer.
Taking over at the 35 after a punt, Watkins picked up yards after the catch, Mike Hilton missing the tackle. Hunt lowered his head for five yards on the following play. After another three yards for the back, Hilton jumping offside gave them a free first down, though they converted anyway on a short pass.
An illegal hands to the face penalty went against the Chiefs on the following play, pushing them back to the 36. A short screen only gained two yards on first and 20. Dupree jumped into the neutral zone to give five yards back before second down. Now second and 13, Mahomes hit Hill for the touchdown for 31 yards, beating Burns for six touchdowns on the game.
A short pass to McDonald picked up 13 yards with second effort from the tight end. Roethlisberger under pressure had to get the ball out to him again for two yards. A deep shot to Washington on second down was out of bounds. The pass to Smith-Schuster on third down was incomplete, contested and off Kendall Fuller’s helmet. Jordan Berry’s punt rolled out of bounds at the one after 59 yards.
Mahomes overthrew Hill on first down from the one. T.J. Watt and others, including Burns, were there to bring Hunt down in the end zone for the safety. Off the safety kick, Brown fielded the ball and returned it near midfield, but an illegal formation resulted in a rekick. The second kick was deeper, Switzer returning it short of the 30. A fastball to Brown was incomplete, the defensive back getting a hand on it. On second down, he did find Brown for the first down.
After an incompletion to Smith-Schuster, Roethlisberger was sacked by Allen Bailey to set up a third and 20. A screen to Brown was able to get 18, but a hold brought it back anyway. So now it’s third and 25. A screen to Conner got about 18. Berry’s punt went out of bounds.
After a tipped pass on first down, Mahomes handed off to Hunt, who fought for seven yards. Now third and three, Mahomes was able to roll out to his right to find Watkins for the conversion. After a run stop on first down, Dupree was flagged for being offsides again. A quick pass to Hill gained a new set of downs.
Hunt spun out of a couple of tackles for 16 yards after that conversion. Down to the 36, Hilton missed a tackle against Chris Conley on a screen, but Heyward came over the knock the ball loose, Anthony Chickillo recovering.
Taking over from the 34, Roethlisberger bought time and James was on the same page, scrambling up the field to connect for another explosive play. After an incompletion from the 20, Roethlisberger looked for Smith-Schuster for a gain of seven. Roethlisberger was high looking for Smith-Schuster in the end zone. Now fourth and three, he eventually found Smith-Schuster to the six.
On first and goal, Roethlisberger had to throw the ball away under pressure. A checkdown to Conner got down to the two. Now third and goal, Smith-Schuster lost yardage on the inside screen. On fourth down, Roethlisberger had to scramble for the score himself, bringing it down to a one-possession game with 1:59 to play and three timeouts.
Hunt picked up nine yards on first down following the kickoff. He got the first down on the following play, the Steelers using their second timeout, now with just one left with 1:44 to play on first down. Mahomes bobbled the handoff on the following play, Hunt making it third and seven on the next play. Pittsburgh’s final timeout comes with 57 seconds remaining. Tyler Matakevich was flagged for roughing the kicker, giving the Chiefs an automatic first down to end the game after a kneeldown with five seconds left.