2021 Wild Card Round Steelers Vs Chiefs Live Update And Discussion Thread – First Half

The Pittsburgh Steelers made the tournament, barely sneaking in as the 7th seed, and in just an hour will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl two straight years, so naturally the Steelers are nearly two touchdown underdogs in this matchup.

Various players in leadership have echoed the media notion that the Steelers have no chance in this game as a way to motivate the young players on the team. Manufacture a chip on the team’s shoulder, if you will.

Juju Smith-Schuster was officially activated on Saturday from IR, so he will provide some form of a boost to the offense. It remains to be seen what kind of division of labor will be seen there. Pay close attention to Ray-Ray McCloud’s snaps in comparison to Juju’s throughout the game.

Steelers Inactive Players

QB Dwayne Haskins
ILB Tegray Scales
DT Carlos Davis
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
WR Cody White

Chiefs Inactive Players

QB Shane Buechele
WR Josh Gordon
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
CB Rashad Fenton
DE Joshua Kaindoh
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
RB Darwin Thompson

Mike Tomlin spoke to the media prior to kickoff and evoked one of my favorite Tomlin-isms, “Don’t blink”.

The Steelers finally won the coin toss, but elected to receive. Very odd, given the lack of success receiving for most of the season.

Juju in motion on 1st down. Najee Harris went around the right end and was stopped for a gain of just 2. Najee got the ball again on 2nd down and lost two yards trying to bounce to the right sideline. On 3rd and 10, Ben Roethlisberger incomplete deep right intended for Diontae Johnson. Looked like Ben missed him as Diontae got wide open.

Pressley Harvin III punting after some controversy throughout the week. His punt went 54 yards, but was returned 21 yards, so the Chiefs are on the 42.

Cam Sutton forced 3rd and 8 after tackling Hardman for a loss. Tre Norwood got his hand in there to break up the 3rd down pass, so a three-and-out for the Chiefs as well. Stops may be hard to come by for the Steelers defense, so it will be important to capitalize.

Ray-Ray McCloud returned the punt 8 yards, so the Steelers will start at the 23.

On 1st down, the pass was incomplete to Derek Watt. A rare play where he is involved, so its a bummer it didn’t work. The routes got tripped up on each other in a bit of a traffic jam. On 2nd, Najee Harris went up the middle for just 2 yards, so another 3rd and long, though slightly better than last time. Incomplete to Pat Freiermuth on 3rd down. Another punt coming up.

The punt coverage unit did a nice job getting downfield after a 56 yard punt by Harvin. Two solid punts so far. Field was flipped with the Chiefs starting at their own 20 yard line.

Jerick McKinnon picked up 20 yards on 1st down on a well designed screen pass.

On 1st and 10, McKinnon went up the middle for 4 yards. On 2nd, Chris Wormley applied pressure and forced an incompletion. 3rd and 6, the Mahomes hit Byron Pringle for about 4 yards. Minkah Fitzpatrick made a monster tackle. Mahomes wanted to go for it on 4th, but Andy Reid is opting to punt.

Defense is playing really well so far. McCloud fair caught the ball at the 18 yard line. Flag down on the return, but the refs picked it up.

Juju back on the field for 1st down. Kalen Ballage in for the series as well. Najee Harris maybe on a snap count with his injury.

Ballage ran hard up the middle for 5 yards on 1st. On 2nd, Freiermuth picked up a few yards on a short pass to set up 3rd and 2. A 1st down conversion would be a good place for this offense to start. Currently no rhythm. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked for an 11 yard loss on 3rd down. The ball was nearly ripped out of his hands, it would have been returned for a touchdown. Untouched up the middle of the line.

Harvin’s punt was good for 55 yards, but was returned 49 yards by Hardman. Derek Watt was the last man there to prevent the touchdown.

Starting just outside the red zone, the Chiefs passed on 1st down, but TJ Watt tipped the ball straight up and it was intercepted by Devin Bush returned for 10 yards.

On 1st down, Ben Roethlisberger complete to Diontae Johnson short in the middle, but Johnson slipped on the field for a gain of 4. Juju Smith-Schuster made the catch and fought through contact to pick up the 1st down. Boy has that been missed on this offense.

1st and 10, Najee Harris ran off up the middle for just 2 yards. On 2nd, Ben incomplete to Diontae Johnson. Diontae dropped that one. 3rd and long again. Diontae Johnson adds to his mistake with a false start. He needs to get on the sideline and calm down for a play. Ben attempted one deep to Juju, but it was slightly overthrown. Juju had enough separation.

The punt was very high in hang-time, but took a bad bounce. Christian Kuntz, the long snapper, prevented it from being a worse bounce. Downed at the Kansas City 20.

On 2nd down for the Chiefs, Chris Wormley chased Mahomes deep into the backfield. Mahomes ran about 40 yards in the backfield to throw the ball away. On 3rd and 6, the Chiefs were called for a false start. 3rd and 11, Mahomes managed to convert with a gap toss to Robinson.

On 1st and 10, the pass fell incomplete. Joe Schobert in coverage on Noah Gray. Mahomes kept the ball himself on 2nd down, but only picked up 1 yard. Taco Charlton with an excellent tackle to prevent that from being a larger gain. 3rd and 9 now, the pass fell incomplete intended for Byron Pringle. Mahomes was scrambling around for a long time. Tre Norwood stuck with the receiver for a very long time.

The punt was fair caught by McCloud at the 19 yard line.


Najee Harris up the middle for 4 yards on 1st down. Harris got the ball again on 2nd with some hard-fought yards, gaining 3. On 3rd, Ben connected with Diontae Johnson for 5 yards. A rare first down. Diontae made a nice grab on that.

On 1st down, Najee Harris off the left end for about 4 yards. Another 4 yard pickup up the middle on the next play. On 3rd and 2, the pass fell incomplete deep left to Diontae Johnson. He was double covered with no room to operate.

Pressley Harvin’s punt went 47 yards, continuing his decent play on the day. Out of bounds at the 14 yard line. The Steelers are winning the field position battle very slowly. Something their offense is going to need.

TJ Watt appeared to be getting held on 1st down, but he was somehow called for a face mask. His hand just happened to catch the mask. On the next play, the play was aborted after a fumbled snap. TJ Watt recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown. 7-0 Steelers.

TJ Watt had to avoid a tackle from Travis Kelce towards the end of the play. Love that. Watt put two hands on the ball, protected it, and drove his legs forward for the score.

The kick was returned to the 24 yard line.

On 1st down, Alex Highsmith met Taco Charlton at the quarterback for a big hit, but he completed to Tyreek Hill in the middle of the field for 20 yards.

On 1st and 10, Ahkello Witherspoon pushed Hill out of bounds for 2 yards along the left sideline. Mahomes complete to McKinnon for 14 yards and another 1st down. Cameron Heyward chased him all the way down field for the big hit to end the play.

The Chiefs were called for a false start, so 1st and 15. Mahomes creating plays once again, scrambling for 23 yards. The Chiefs are just outside the red zone again.

Heyward and Watt drilled McKinnon in the backfield for a loss on 1st down. On 2nd, Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the middle for 15 yards. Sutton and Spillane in coverage.

On 1st and goal, McKinnon picked up 5 with a check down in the flat. On the next play, McKinnon was able to get into the end zone. TJ Watt came in hot and an underhand flip left McKinnon all the room he needed. 7-7 Even.

Ben targeted Chase Claypool deep in the middle of the field, but Ward was able to get his hand in there. Claypool wanted a flag, but it was clean. On 2nd down, Najee Harris picked up 8 tough yards to give the team a chance on 3rd down. Incomplete for Diontae Johnson on 3rd. Another drop for Diontae. Ugly, ugly game. One of the primary reasons the offense isn’t getting in a rhythm.

Harvin’s punt went just 41 yards, fair caught at the 26 yard line. 4:38 remaining in the quarter. Chiefs get the ball back after the half, so any points here will be tough to come back on.

On 1st down, Mahomes deep to the middle, but it was incomplete, forced into an early throw under pressure. Travis Kelce picked up a big chunk on the next play. 31 yards with only about 10 air yards. Joe Haden finally made the tackle. Chiefs are inside the 40 yard line now.

McKinnon up the middle for 15 yards on 1st down. The Chiefs are moving with ease now. Another 13 yard pickup from him on the next play as well.

On 1st down from the 15 yard line, Tyreek Hill was pushed out of bounds for no gain by Joe Haden. On 2nd, Bell picked up 3 yards.


Patrick Mahomes made an excellent toss into the back right corner of the end zone. Alex Highsmith hit Mahomes late and was flagged. The PAT was good. 14-7 Chiefs.

Ray-Ray McCloud returned the kick to the 14 yard line. On 1st down, Najee Harris was stopped for no gain up the middle. On 2nd down, Pat Freiermuth gained 5 yards and got out of bounds. 3rd and 5, Ben attempted deep to Chase Claypool. Claypool looks injured after the play.

Harvin with his 7th punt of the night for 53 yards. Hill returned the ball for a 7 yard loss. Chiefs back at their own 20, so a lesser chance of tacking more points on before the half.

The Steelers allow big chunks on back to back plays before half time. 42 total yards between two plays. The Chiefs have 00:35 and three timeouts right at the edge of field goal range.

Alex Highsmith sacked Mahomes to knock them out of field goal range. Timeout called by the Chiefs with 00:29 remaining in the half. 2nd and 20, incomplete pass for Gray. Mahomes escaped pressure multiple times on that play. He is running all over the place in the backfield.

Mahomes deep right to Travis Kelce who took it all the way for the touchdown. Tre Norwood burned with Terrell Edmunds also running to that side as help over top. 21-7 Chiefs.

This is not the type of game the Steelers can win.


Join us for the second half here.

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