Monday, November 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Steelers 16, Chiefs 13 (OT)
By Jamison Hensley
PITTSBURGH -- My thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 16-13 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs:
What it means: Whether they were looking ahead to Sunday's game against the Ravens or simply unfocused, the Steelers (6-3) barely beat one of the NFL's worst teams on a rainy night at Heinz Field. Their fourth straight victory allowed the Steelers to remain one game behind the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens (7-2). Pittsburgh had to come back from an early 10-0 deficit, the first time this season that the Chiefs (1-8) have led during a game. It marked the third time the Steelers have rallied from a double-digit hole during the win streak. The Steelers have now won 15 straight Monday night games in Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger hurt: This could be a costly victory for the Steelers. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hurt his right shoulder after being sandwiched by Justin Houston and Tamba Hali on the third play of the third quarter. Roethlisberger was seen leaving the stadium with his shoulder in a sling. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was getting an MRI at a local hospital. Roethlisberger left with the game tied at 10 and finished with 9-of-18 passing for 84 yards. In his first game since 2010, backup Byron Leftwich looked ragged in replacing Roethlisberger.
Coming through in overtime: After giving up the tying field goal in regulation, the Steelers' defense stepped up in overtime. Pittsburgh linebacker Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel on the second play of overtime, and Shaun Suisham kicked the winning 23-yard field goal.
Flinching in the fourth quarter: The NFL's top-ranked defense couldn't stop the Chiefs in the final minute of the fourth quarter. With 22 seconds remaining, Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe for a 27-yard pass on fourth-and-15. That set up Ryan Succop's game-tying 46-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.
Capitalizing on penalties: Suisham's 31-yard field goal put the Steelers ahead 13-10 with 12:37 left in the fourth quarter. The key plays in the drive were a 22-yard pass interference penalty and a 14-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Hali, both of which converted third downs.
Getting lucky: The Steelers were helped by the Chiefs playing like the Chiefs in the second half. With the game tied at 10, Succop, who had missed only two field goals in the first eight games, sliced a 33-yard attempt wide right in the open end of Heinz Field. After the Steelers went ahead in the fourth quarter, Chiefs wide receiver Jon Baldwin had a pass broken up at the Steelers' 25-yard line.
Spectacular catch: Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has had his share of drops this season, made the best catch of the night with a one-handed touchdown grab. With the Steelers trailing 10-3, Wallace caught Roethlisberger's pass in the end zone with his outstretched right hand and cradled the ball in for his sixth touchdown of the season.
Costly turnover: Isaac Redman got the start but a turnover reduced his playing time. He fumbled at the Steelers' 11-yard line late in the first quarter, which was converted into a field goal to extend Kansas City's lead to 10-0. It was Redman's first fumble since he coughed it up twice in the 2011 regular-season opener. Just before the turnover, guard Willie Colon was called for two penalties: holding and unsportsmanlike conduct for cursing at an official.
What's next: The Steelers play host to the Ravens on Sunday night. They face Baltimore twice in three weeks.