The Steelers Defense’s No Good, Very Bad Day: Fall To Chiefs 42-37

It looked like the Kansas City Chiefs were going to run away with it at one moment. At the next moment, it seemed like the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be able to escape death but ultimately the defense’s inability to stop Patrick Mahomes did the team in as they were defeated 42-37.

The defense struggled to find an answer for Mahomes as quarterback sliced and diced the pass defense all afternoon. Mahomes did not just look like the next coming of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana, he looked even better. The Chiefs’ sophomore quarterback put up numbers that shattered the NFL record books. With his four touchdown passes last week and his six touchdown passes this week, Mahomes set the NFL record for most touchdown passes in the first two games of a season.

In fact, Mahomes was almost perfect, finishing with a 154.8 passer rating, completing 23 of 28 passes for 326 yards.

As the saying goes, death comes in threes and just as he threw three touchdowns in the first half, Mahomes would throw three in the second half as well. Travis Kelce caught the first to go ahead 28-21, then DeMarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill added one each to put the Chiefs ahead 42-28.

Considering this, it would be hard to believe that the Steelers had any life, but for the better part of two quarters, the offense battled back against the Chiefs, and ultimately against their own defensive shortcomings.

Down 21-0 with a minute remaining in the first quarter, Ben Roethlisberger was sack and stripped, and the ensuing fumble was recovered by Chiefs’ defensive lineman Chris Jones for a touchdown. But in a move that completely flipped the script, the touchdown was erased due to a defensive holding call.

Given a new chance at life, Roethlisberger and the Steelers marched down the field, finding Jesse James for a 26-yard touchdown. The butterfly effect of the reversed touchdown was just taking shape, as the Steelers cut the score to 21-7.

Like clockwork, Roethlisberger and his offense got back to work, leading drives of 81 and 90 yards respectively, each ending in touchdowns to tie the game at 21 before half. It took the Steelers 21 plays to put up 14 points, with 18 coming from the arm of Roethlisberger. If there was concern of his elbow injury, he sure was not showing it, connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster and then James Washington before the half to tie it at 21. It would be Washington’s first touchdown of his NFL career.

Roethlisberger would essentially try to win this game all on his own as James Conner was almost invisible on the day besides a rushing touchdown. Big Ben would throw the football 60 times and for over 450 yards, along with three passing touchdowns and also one rushing touchdown.

The rare rushing touchdown of Roethlisberger’s came with just two minutes remaining and narrowed the Chiefs’ lead to just five. But in a textbook ending, the defense continued to allow the floodgates to open as they were unable to hold the Chiefs, allowing them to run out the clock and escape with their first victory in Pittsburgh since 1986.

The Steelers will resume next Monday as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the red-hot Buccaneers in primetime for Monday Night Football.

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