The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 16-13 in overtime Monday night at Heinz Field to move to 6-3 on the season. It certainly wasn\’t a pretty win against an ugly team and below are the players, or group of players, that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game. Trust me when I say that the losers list could certainly be a little longer if I wanted it to be.
Lawrence Timmons – Timmons interception of a Matt Cassel pass on the second play of overtime gave the Steelers the win. The Steelers linebacker read the play perfectly and the catch was not an easy one to make. Timmons finished the game with 7 combined tackles, 2 passes defensed and a quarterback hit to boot. Timmons just have easily could have wound up in the losers section as the 22-yard touchdown by Dwayne Bowe that was negated by a holding penalty was a result of Timmons missing a tackle. I would say that he more than made up for that.
Mike Wallace – Wallace only had 3 catches in the game, but the one that he snared one-handed and between the knees for Steelers lone touchdown might wind up being ESPY worthy. Wallace had another long pass go just off of his fingertips earlier in that drive as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was just a little long with the throw. Many will try to pin that as a drop on Wallace, but it was certainly a tough catch to make.
Brett Keisel – Keisel, like the rest of the Steelers defensive line, got off to a slow start, but he made his presence felt as the game wore on. The Steelers right defensive end recorded both of the sacks for the defense in the game and he finished with 8 combined tackles and a few quarterback pressures in addition.
Shaun Suisham – Don\’t look now, but Suisham is 20-of-21 on the year and perfect on extra points. The weather was anything but perfect Monday night at Heinz Field, but the Steelers kicker calmly made his kicks from 35, 31, and 23 yards out. Suisham also was credited with the tackle on the opening kickoff of the game. Sure, kickers are paid to make those kicks, but it is time he finally gets a little recognition for doing so.
Offensive Line – The Steelers offensive line just couldn\’t control inside linebacker Derrick Johnson in this game as he seemed to live in the backfield. The interior of the line allowed push up the middle and the tackles allowed pressure on Roethlisberger that ultimately led to him being knocked out of the game with a right shoulder injury. Johnson finished the game with 13 combined tackles and the Steelers running backs rushed for just 77 yards on 27 carries. Thrown in on top of it all was the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Willie Colon for cursing at an official which was tacked on to the holding penalty he was flagged for. That backed the Steelers offense up to their own 9 yard-line and the offense turned the ball over on the very next play.
Isaac Redman – Redman fumbled deep in the Steelers own end following the double penalty on Colon and the running back was immediately removed from the game and replaced by Jonathan Dwyer. Redman did start the second half, but he did not look focused throughout the game and failed to hang on to short a pass out in the flat.
Mike Tomlin – Tomlin did not have the team ready for this game. I did not like the decision to go for it on fourth down near midfield when Johnson had already been disruptive the running game. I wanted to put Byron Leftwich on the list until he said after the game that he hasn\’t received many reps in practice since the team left Latrobe. Sure, Leftwich looked like he was full of rust, but that is to be expected when he is not getting any work in practice with the first team. I bet he does now.
James Harrison – Harrison hasn\’t produced any consistent pass rush in the last two games and he currently has just 1 sack on the season. Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert was limited all week in practice due to a back problem, but he seemed to handle Harrison with ease when it mattered most in the game. The Steelers need to start getting more pressure out of their right outside linebacker moving forward as he has had enough time now to be back in football shape.