Postgame Takes

Steelers bounce back in big way, 43-14


Steelers' record: 3-1
One year ago: 2-2
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 21-11


It was the most decisive defeat in the Mike Tomlin era – last week's 34-3 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia – and it ranked right up there with Bill Cowher opening the 1997 season with a 37-7 loss to Dallas, and Chuck Noll opening the 1989 season with back-to-back losses to Cleveland and Cincinnati by a combined 92-10. Almost as soon as 34-3 was over, the Steelers began talking about bouncing back.

"Anger, disappointment, all of the things you would naturally feel under those circumstances," said Tomlin about the emotions after that loss to the Eagles, "but such is life in the National Football League. I think it's less about how you feel and more about what you do. I thought we had a good week's work. We got back to it, but there's nothing like getting back into a stadium. We have a formidable opponent tonight, and we're excited about meeting the challenge."


Game action from Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

When a team loses by 34-3 it's impossible to identify a single event as the cause of the outcome, but it's also fair to point out that things got off to a bad start for the Steelers in Philadelphia and then went downhill from there.

Against the Eagles, the Steelers had a dropped pass in the end zone and then had a field goal blocked on their opening possession. Against the Chiefs, both the offense and defense made plays to stake the Steelers to an early lead that they then were able to build upon as the game continued.

The defense recorded takeaways on two of Kansas City's first three possessions, and then the offense cashed in on those two takeaways and ended up scoring touchdowns on three of its first four possessions.

It was more symbolic than impactful on the scoreboard. The Chiefs defense was coming off a game in which the unit had eight takeaways – including six interceptions – in a win over the New York Jets, but the Steelers offense attacked starting with their first offensive play. That play was a 47-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Sammie Coates, and not only was it executed despite a steady rain, but the play also went right at cornerback Marcus Peters, who came into the game with four interceptions already this season.


Proof that statistics don't necessarily tell the tale of the game. The Chiefs finished with more first downs, 22-18; more time of possession, 30:36-29:24; fewer penalty yards, 40-68; and only 13 fewer passing yards, 287-300. But the Steelers led, 36-0, and then 43-7, on the way to a 43-14 victory,

This is the fourth time in Mike Tomlin's 10 seasons as coach that the Steelers have started out 3-1. The other seasons were 2010, 2008, and 2007.

The Steelers came into the game against the Chiefs with one sack and four takeaways. They had four sacks and two takeaways against Kansas City.

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