Steelers 20, Kansas City Chiefs 12December 21, 2014
It was a game where the offense didn't put up huge numbers, with just 68 yards rushing and Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 220 yards. The defense, though, shut down the Chiefs ground game, holding them to just 39 yards rushing and harassed quarterback Alex Smith with six sacks.
In 2014 the Steelers defeated the Chiefs in a regular season game 20-12.
The game wasn't just about statistics, though. It was about getting back to where the Steelers are accustomed to being.
With the 20-12 win over the Chiefs, the Steelers clinched a playoff spot after missing the postseason the previous two years.
"A big fight by our football team," said Coach Mike Tomlin afterwards. "We did what was necessary to secure victory. A lot of efforts to point out. Really just loved the spirit of the defense. We challenged those guys this week. Our defense had to play tough in the red area to keep the playing field level. I thought that they responded to that challenge."
The defense held the Chiefs to four Cairo Santos field goals on the day, keeping them out of the end zone with big play after big play.
In the second quarter, with just seconds on the clock, the Chiefs decided to go for it on fourth-and-one from the 12-yard line. Jamaal Charles took it up the middle, but was stopped by Ryan Shazier and William Gay for no gain, sending the Steelers into the half up 10-6.
With a 10-6 lead in the third quarter, Stephon Tuitt forced a Charles fumble that Vince Williams pounced on at the Steelers 25-yard line to halt a drive.
The Steelers made it count when Roethlisberger engineered a 10-play, 75 yard drive that culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown for a 17-6 lead.
Shaun Suisham extend the Steelers lead to 20-9 late in the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs added Santos' fourth field goal of the day with under two minutes to go in the game.
Timmons led the defense with 13 tackles, while Jason Worilds had two of the Steelers six sacks. Harrison and Cam Heyward were both credited with one and a half sacks, while Tuitt also added one.
"The red zone stops where we forced them to kick field goals and then ultimately that fourth-down stop was big in the football game from a big perspective," added Tomlin. "Just largely, a lot of good efforts by a lot of people."
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