Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis intercepted a pass by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko with 38 seconds left in the game to secure a 13-9 Steelers win on the road Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
The interception was the third one of the game for the Steelers defense, who came into the game with just 4 interceptions on the season. Ike Taylor and Ryan Mundy also tallied interceptions of Palko in the first half.
The Steelers offense was very sloppy on the night as they converted just 3 of 11 third down opportunities and were 1 of 3 in redzone trips scoring touchdowns. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit rookie tight end Weslye Saunders for the games only touchdown with 10:53 left in the second quarter. Roethlisberger, who was playing with a splint on his fractured thumb suffered against the Bengals two weeks ago, was 21 of 31 passing on the night for 193 yards. He was also intercepted once on a ball intended for wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown led all receivers in the game with 81 yards on 4 catches. 9 different players had receptions on the night from Roethlisberger.
The Steelers running game had some success on the night as they rushed for 108 yards on the night. Rashard Mendenhall led all running backs with 57 yards on 17 carries. Isaac Redman chipped in 22 yards on 3 carries and Mewelde Moore had 16 yards on his 2 carries. Moore however was guilty of a fumble after a 6 yard run down to the Chiefs 2 yard-line and the ball was recovered by Chiefs cornerback Javier Arenas in the endzone for a touchback after defensive end Tamba Hali stripped the ball from Moore.
That was not the end of the Hali disruption of the Steelers offense on the night, and although he did not record a sack, he was constantly providing pressure on Roethlisberger as both tackles Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert had their problems with him.
The Steelers also had to jumble the offensive line early in the night as center Maurkice Pouncey left the game early with a stomach virus. Doug Legursky, who was starting at left guard in place of the recently demoted Chris Kemoeatu, was forced to take over at center after Pouncey left and Kemoeatu played the rest of the game at left guard.
Also leaving the game early with an injury was safety Troy Polamalu after he tackled Chiefs tackle Steve Maneri low after he caught a tackle eligible pass during the Chiefs first offensive series. Polamalu stayed down after the hit and ended up walking off under his own power. He never returned to the game after suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
The Steelers move to 8-3 on the season and remain in second place in the AFC North as the Ravens own the tiebreakers over the Steelers. They now go back home to host the Bengals next Sunday at Heinz Field.
My full game observations will be up in a few hours after I go through the tape again.