Recap: Steelers Shot Down At Arrowhead, Lose To Chiefs 23-13


Just when it seemed like the Pittsburgh Steelers were learning how to win without Ben Roethlisberger, the team managed a dud of a performance on the road in a 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The defense was in bend but don’t break mode from the outset, as the Chiefs marched the ball 48 yards in ten plays on their first drive for a 3-0 lead. Landry Jones responded by helping guide the offense down the field on the strength of Le’Veon Bell’s running to tie the game at 3-3 when Chris Boswell hit a 24-harder near the end of the 1st quarter.

The Chiefs would again drive at will on the Steelers, only to see the possession falter at the Steelers three-yard line. Cairo Santos’ second field goal of the game made it 6-3 Kansas City with nine minutes left in the first half.

Pittsburgh could have tied the game at 6 with a field goal, but they elected to go for it on 4th-and-one from the Chiefs 32-yard line. DeAngelo Williams was stuffed for no gain, giving the Chiefs the opportunity to march down the field and take a 9-3 lead with 1:05 left in the first half.

Jones then proceeded to throw his first NFL interception, as Derrick Johnson leapt to snag a high toss and returned it to the Steelers 40. A Cam Heyward sack helped force a 54-yard attempt that Santos missed wide right.


Trailing 9-3, the team’s exchanged punts before Jones’ throw to Antonio Brown over the middle popped up into the air and was intercepted by Eric Berry. The turnover launched a nine-play, 53-yard drive, capped by Charcandrick West leaping over the goal line from a yard out.

Jones would answer however, hitting Martavis Bryant from 19 yards out for a touchdown to cut the Chiefs lead to 16-10 near the end of the third quarter.

A huge Ryan Shazier sack on the Chiefs ensuing drive helped get the Steelers offense the ball back quickly, and a 42-yard Bell run gave Pittsburgh a first-and-ten at the Chiefs 13. After Bell gained three yards on first down and Jones overthrew Bryant on the fade route, Tamba Hali busted inside on a tackle-end twist to drop Jones for an eight-yard loss. Boswell’s 36-yard field goal made it 16-13, but Pittsburgh had lost a huge opportunity to gain the lead.

Smith answered by finding Kelce for 26 yards over Lawrence Timmons, followed by West rumbling for 36 yards down the right sideline thanks to a few Steelers missed tackles. Smith then found a wide open Chris Conley for a touchdown on 1st-and-goal, extending the Chiefs lead to 23-13.

Down ten points with just over five minutes left, Jones and the Steelers offense moved far too methodically down the field, with the drive eventually coming to an end when Hali beat Alejandro Villanueva around the edge for a strip-sack of Jones with 2:11 remaining. With the Steelers down to one timeout, the Chiefs drained the clock and escaped with a 23-13 home victory.

Jones wasn’t awful, completing 16-29 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, The team will undoubtedly welcome Roethlisberger’s return to the lineup however, hopefully by next week. Brown was undoubtedly grateful for Jones’ presence, snagging six passes for 124 yards, most on remarkable adjustments in the air. Bel was again spectacular, despite only getting 17 carries. The dynamic back managed to turn those opportunities into 124 yards rushing, adding four catches for 16 yards as well.

3rd downs killed Pittsburgh, as the team converted just 2-of-10 chances while allowing Kansas City to gain a first down on 9-of-16 tries. Combine those numbers with losing the turnover battle 3-to-0, and you get a disappointing loss as the Steelers fall to 4-3 on the season. The undefeated Cincinnati Bengals are up next on the schedule, as Pittsburgh returns home for a 1 p.m. kickoff next Sunday.

  • steelersfan

    We just can afford to take bell off the field for pivotal plays. He’s the second best player on our whole team. Don’t get the decision to use williams on those two critical plays.

  • CodeNameJerk

    How does Bell not touch the ball for almost and entire quarter? That is troubling.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Look, we are 2-1 without Ben… That kept the season going. We can win 10 games and get to the tournament.

  • CodeNameJerk

    *2-2

  • John A Stewart

    Most of our losses are from coaching.

  • steelersfan

    Anyone else see berry use the ball as a prop after that interception. He threw it up and pretended to shoot it down. Should have been a 15 yard penalty .

  • The Chin

    Please. No coaches tossed 2 picks nor fumbled the ball away with our last gasp of hope. Not buying it. Steelers win the last 4 with Ben.

  • The Chin

    While Cam Thomas seemed to play pretty solidly, we missed Tuitt immensely. Pass rush was non existent.

    And wow, I hate to say it, but I had hoped Blake was gonna stay in the locker room. Boykin came in, made a nice play. I can see no plausible reason he doesn’t play in his stead.

  • The Chin

    I’ll add a positive, I like how well Golden is playing. I think he will continue to get better as the season progresses. However, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get parked with Allen coming back as early as next week.

  • steelersfan

    No idea what is influencing Tomlins decision not to use boykin. Would really like a straight up answer from him about that during a press conference

  • #7

    I may be in the minority, but I really hope Haley is offered the HC position with Miami, and that he accepts it. His offense is well designed conceptually, but his play calling is often atrocious.

  • #7

    You’ll be waiting until the end of time to get a straight answer from Tomlin about anything during a presser.

  • The Chin

    I’m going to disagree with you. But I get your point.

  • Louis Goetz

    Well, at least there hasn’t been a DRASTIC decrease in Williams’ production over the past several weeks that would’ve suggested to Haley, Tomlin and Co. that giving 34 the ball over Bell would’ve been a really, really bad idea. The fact that he’s averaged less than 2.7 yards per carry over the past five weeks shouldn’t mean anything, should it? You’d much rather have him running the ball on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 than someone like Bell who averaged over 7.1 yards per carry today, right? Man, do I hate it when they loose due to poor coaching!

  • Louis Goetz

    Bell carried the ball on 3rd and 4 with 5:33 left in the second quarter. He’d only touch the ball ONCE (and only to lateral it to Bryant) for the next 16:16 before he’d finally get another carry with just 4:17 left in the 3rd. That’s pathetic, pathetic play calling.

  • #7

    Not only that, but with Bell and the run game working, I don’t recall a single play-action pass used the entire game. Isn’t that one of the primary benefits of a strong run game? Especially with a 3rd string QB making his first career start? Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m not then that is nothing short of coaching and play calling malpractice.

  • juliusmidfield

    Different game if DW catches 3rd down pass on 1st scoring drive. Tuitt is a huge loss. LJ.missed.open receivers on sideline during critical possessions. One pick was a freak, he wasn’t horrible. We needed mistake free game by everyone else and we didn’t get it. CT stinks, appreciate that JJ plays hard, his results are what you’d expect from a mid rounder.

  • Louis Goetz

    The Steelers never should’ve been in a position for Jones to throw 2 picks. Bell having only 17 carries is simply inexcusable; especially when he averaged over 7 yards per carry! And they were playing one of the league’s worst offenses without their top two weapons. The defense has been giving up more than 400 yards a game for the last four weeks, but fortunately, most teams were scoring more FGs than TDs. When your defense gives up long drive after long drive, AND YOU HAVE THE LEAGUE’S BEST RB you have to run the ball; not try and make Jones look like he’s Ben, Jr. This loss is 100% on the shoulders of the coaching staff.

  • Louis Goetz

    Technically, the’s the 4th string QB, which exemplifies your point even more.

  • SfSteeler

    sucha trap game, like every Raider game weve played the last 5 years…

  • SteelerFANN

    seriously like antwoin blake is making a serious debate of being the worst CB in the NFL were not saying boykin is revis but hes way better than blake

  • Louis Goetz

    Obviously there’s an issue with his decision-making. Given what Boswell’s done (and how he’s looked doing it) how the he!! did they ever choose Hartley over him initially, and what does it say about the decision-making?!

  • SteelerFANN

    disagree as well that deangelo williams play was dumb but hes play calling is usually good

  • Jones

    Scary thing is that we’ve got a tough Bengals team next week with Ben likely being a little rusty, followed by a bunch of below average teams that we like to lose to…

  • SteelerFANN

    and not playing some players aka boykin

  • SteelerFANN

    I think its sad that we have to hope Blake is injured because he is so bad

  • SfSteeler

    yes, but he cant make up for the crap CB play beyond Gay, who is hurtn’ now…:(

  • Nolrog

    Yeah, I know. Did you see Tomlin under center in the 4th quarter? Just what was he thinking, and Munchack playing center. Damn coaches.

  • The Chin

    Is it a trap game with your 3rd string QB? With all due respect, this is how I thought it might go. The funny thing about last week is that we fans get this false sense in L. Jones like he’s really a viable option. And he’s really just not very good. Bless his heart.

  • Clyde Jacobs

    This lost is completely on the coaches. Landry didn’t have a bad game, the coaches just put too much on his shoulders. LeVeon was averaging over five yards a carry before half time and they went pretty much a whole quarter without giving him the ball. When the second interception was thrown, that should have been a run play. There was no reason to throw the ball on 1st and 10 with LeVeon needing more carries. There was no play action passing which is ridiculous. Every good coach knows that when the running game is working, play action passes could open up passing lanes. This lost is on Todd Hailey. It was most definitely the worst coached game in my recent memory. They didn’t looked prepared at all.

  • Clyde Jacobs

    Landry did not do bad. For his first start, he did quite well. The only problem is that the coaches put too much on him instead of running the ball more. That second interception was a drop by Brown so can’t put that on him. This lost was all Todd Hailey and his awful play calling.

  • The Chin

    He’s a professional quarterback. He’s been in the system for several seasons. This is what’s expected from someone getting paid to play the position. He made some poor decisions and those decisions cost the Steelers the game. He can’t account for the defenders in the middle of the field dropping into coverage. While AB could have possibly hung on to the last ball that was intercepted, it was tipped by the linebacker dropping and he simply missed him.

  • The Chin

    Jeez, he was a genius last week, and we need to fire him this week. Okay.

  • Clyde Jacobs

    Where in my comment does it say he was a genius last week and he needs to be fired this week? If you think this game was well coached, you don’t know anything about football.

  • John A Stewart

    Play calling clock management and players who shouldn’t be on the field Blake,Cam forth and one and you don’t give it to Bell that’s coaching.

  • John A Stewart

    Last week Tomlin said if Vick didn’t get hurt he would have let him played the whole game and we would have lost that’s poor coaching.

  • LAD

    I saw that and said to the TV “15 yards!!”, but nothing…. I thought it was a change in the rules. Not sure, because it was evident the use of the ball as a prop…. I recalled the sack of bret keisel that because he put the knee in the ground was penalized 15 yards!… Dont understand the refs

  • HiVul

    Lots of key plays that killed drives for the offense in this one–the failed 4th down, tipped interception, dropped passes. I don’t really want to overreact to a loss like this one. We were probably on equal footing with a better chiefs team at home than their record suggests (look at who they’ve played). What has me concerned more than anything is that the defense still seems incapable of covering a TE.

  • Steeler-Drew

    I listened to the press conference after the game and Blake’s name did not come up. The media doesn’t have the balls to call him out on Blake and ask if he considered keeping him out since he was playing poorly and Boykin came in and played well. If someone does he may try to put them on the IR, I mean have them banished from press conferences.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I was hoping that would have been the very first play