CHIEFS 23, STEELERS 13
Steelers' record: 4-3
One year ago: 4-3
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 20-11
Series historical oddity: Between 1992 and 2011, the Steelers played 11 games against the Chiefs, with 10 of those played in Kansas City. The Steelers were 5-5 in those 10 road games.
Ben Roethlisberger was able to practice on a limited basis during the week leading up to this game in Kansas City, but he wasn't healthy enough to start, and so the Steelers went with Landry Jones, who had been spectacular in limited action in the win over Arizona. This time it was a bit different though, because instead of being the guy who came off the bench, Jones was going to start.
"The old adage in sports is: it's easier to come off the bench than it is to start. That's very true," said Coach Mike Tomlin on the Friday before the game. "Often times in life and sports, a lot of the battle is man vs. himself. I'm sure Landry has had some interesting moments with himself over the course of this week in preparation for this game, scenarios he has taken himself through to make sure he is overall ready to perform. That's a roller coaster ride you don't take yourself on if you're an in-game replacement. There is not a lot of time to second-guess. There's not a lot of time to over-think. You just do what comes natural. It's going to be interesting to see how Landry manages that and performs for us today."
As it has been during each game the Steelers had to play without Roethlisberger, turnover ratio and situational football were going to be critical.
HOW THE STORYLINE PLAYED OUT
The Steelers were minus-3 in turnover ratio, and just as critical as that statistic was in determining the outcome of the game, so was the fact they had no takeaways.
Takeaways can help the offense, either with field position or by putting points directly on the scoreboard, and any time the Steelers offense is without Roethlisberger it's going to need help.
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri to face the Chiefs in Week 7.
The Chiefs actually only cashed in one the one turnover – an interception that bounced off Antonio Brown – but that touchdown early in the second half gave the Chiefs a two-score lead for the first time in the game.
Also hurting the Steelers was their 2-for-10 performance on third downs, and a 1-for-3 in the red zone.
FIRST HALF STAT THAT STANDS OUT
Not including a 2-yard loss on a kneel-down by Landry Jones on the final play of the half, the Steelers offense had managed the exact same umber of yards passing (73) as rushing (73).
The Steelers had cut the Kansas City lead to 16-13 early in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard pass from Landry Jones to Martavis Bryant, but the defense couldn't hold onto the momentum. A nice tackle on the kickoff return by Jarvis Jones had Kansas City starting at their own 16-yard line, but Alex Smith got the offense out of a hole with a 26-yard completion to tight end Travis Kelce, and then on the next play Charcandrick West raced 36 yards to the Steelers 12-yard line. The eventual touchdown pass to Chris Conley restored the Kansas City lead to 10, 23-13.