Steelers vs. Chiefs: The “Righting the Ship” Edition

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Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports

I admit it. I was nervous about this game. I was nervous about the Kansas City defense taking out critical Steelers offensive players such as Ben Roethlisberger. (In fact they did manage to take out Darrius Heyward-Bey, who had a touchdown pass and a special teams play which pinned Kansas City at about the 2 yard line. And Marcus Gilbert left with an ankle injury.) I was also worried about Marcus Peters, their second-year corner who leads the universe all-time in interceptions.

I was worried about their special teams, particularly their explosive kick returner Tyreek Hill. In the end he had a touchdown, but in garbage time, on offense. His long return was called back on a penalty.

I was also worried about the return of Jamaal Charles, the Alex Smith controlled-passing game of a sort which gave the Steelers defense so much trouble last week, and their very good tight end Travis Kelce. And in the end the defense was the unit who suffered the most from injuries, losing Jarvis Jones, Anthony Chickillo, and someone else who I can’t remember at the moment. Perhaps this is part of why they gave up the two touchdowns late in the game.

Whatever.

The Steelers showed the form that was encouraging everyone to jump on the bandwagon at the beginning of the season. And boy was it satisfying to see. Ben threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers (two to Antonio Brown, who really needs to come up with a more family-friendly end zone celebration.) DeAngelo Williams added a running touchdown, which was entirely satisfactory, and Le’Veon Bell had 140-some yards rushing in his first game back.

The Kansas City special teams unit was pretty special, all right. Their kick returner made some really poor decisions resulting in the Chiefs starting a couple of drives practically in their own end zone. Dustin Colquitt, who has been one of the best punters in the league, shanked a punt altogether, resulting in the Steelers starting at mid-field, more or less. Their kicker missed the one field goal attempt.

The vaunted Kansas City defense didn’t get a finger on Ben for the most part, other than a late pile-on long after the whistle was blown. (Not flagged, naturally.) The only potential turnover was a fumble by Chris Hubbard which Landry Jones recovered, when the game was utterly out of reach and they pulled some starters. The replay of the Chris Hubbard (at center) fumble was pretty funny, actually, as he hit his own butt. I guess that’s his version of the patented Mark Sanchez butt fumble.

Marcus Peters barely got a finger on anything, and was mainly unsuccessful when lined up against Sammie Coates or Antonio Brown or whoever.

The Steelers defense, on the other hand, got some actual sacks last night, a pretty exciting sight for the Steeler Nation faithful. (Cam Heyward, who appears to be recovering, finally, from the high ankle sprain, had three of them, Vince Williams the other.) They also had two turnovers—an interception by none other than Jarvis Jones and a fumble forced by Stephon Tuitt and recovered by Ross Cockrell. And the tackling, while still occasionally lacking, looked considerably better. Jamaal Charles was pretty much a non-factor, as was Travis Kelce.

It’s late, even here in Colorado Springs, so I’m just going to mention a few favorite moments in the game, other than the obvious touchdowns and such-like.

One was the call around the stadium of “Heatthh” when Jesse James made the very nice contested catch for a first down somewhere in the second half of the game. (I’ll be a bit more precise later…)

I have to admit, I loved them playing the video of B.J. Finney announcing he was under contract to the Steelers. That was pure gold. And kudos to him for coming in for Ramon Foster and playing so well. David DeCastro had a lot more calls against him than Finney did.

And how about Maurkice Pouncey blazing down the field to block for Bell’s almost-TD run? That was a remarkable sight.

Most bizarre moment of the game? Had to be the discussion between Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth about Ben Roethlisberger “feeling out the tight ends.” They surely could have phrased it differently.

That’s all. There will be more, much more, on Tuesday, as this is a much more satisfactory game to talk about than last week’s. Much. But for now let’s all bask in the glow of 3-1 at the end of the first quarter of the season.

 

 

6 comments

  • Homer’s favorite moment – other than the Finney tape – was the Chiefs’ last offensive play of the first half. They wanted to go for a 47-yard field goal, and it was pouring to beat the band. (I think the band was Styx last night) So Reid calls a time out to get his field goal team out there. And out trots holder Dustin Colquitt and their kicker, Cairo Santos. Cairo? At least he isn’t named Abu Simbel or Alexandria. Whatever.The last thing they did on the sideline was wipe off their hands and dry off the ball.

    So what does Tomlin do? He calls another time out! To “ice” the kicker. Nuh-uh. To drown him.

    They stand out there in the downpour until the refs signal ready for play. The snap is just a bit high, Colquitt juggles the ball ever so slightly. Santos’ timing is off. His kick is a bit to the right, and it clangs and splashes off the goal post and bounces off to the right. Then, to add insult and embarrassment to injury, little Heliopolos slips and falls on his butt during the follow-through.

    It was at that moment the game turned into a laugher. Really. And we needed that.

    Redemption Sunday, indeed, brethren and cistern. And the rain washed away the sins of the previous Sunday. Amen. And amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  • HERE HERE! and HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO! That was a fun game to watch.

    Was really happy that Sammy Coates adjusted to, and caught the ball over his defender on the first bomb from Ben.

    The Defense stepped it way up and just hounded the KC offense.

    AB’s endzone dance was pretty tame compared to the twerking, but I agree, he needs to tone them down/come up with something more family friendly, which he should considering he made it so far on Dancing with the Stars.

    Jesse James’ TD grab upon review at one point looked like a 1 hand/arm grab.

    I think Wheaton really should have been called out and incomplete on that touchdown, but, as the announcers stated, the league is trying to get away from the microscoping of plays like that, which i agree with. The call would not have been overturned upon review if it was ruled incomplete either.

    Looking forward to reading the next articles Mamma.

    GO STEELERS!

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  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    I must admit, I was very worried coming into this game. The Chiefs have been a team that gives the Steelers issues in the past and the Steelers were pretty banged up (little did I know). It turns out Tomlin and his staff had the team more than ready for the game. By the end of the 1st quarter I was feeling sorry for Andy Reid and the Chiefs as they were paying the price for the previous week’s loss to the Eagles.

    I have already deleted the game from my pvr so I can’t go back and review it but I think there was an uncalled clip on the called back punt return TD. It would have occurred before 84 for the Chiefs made his mistake.

    I like how the Steelers battled through the injuries to provide this butt whipping on the Chiefs but I worry about the number of injuries. Most troubling is the foot injury to Gilbert. The O-line depth is being tested already. I don’t know how much more it can take.

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    • Ah, but the O-line depth proved themselves.

      Also, I think there were 3 or 4 penalties that should have been called on the punt return TD. The initial block after the catch was fine, but another player then came and blocked our guy in the back. Then there were another 2 or 3 blocks in the back that i saw. Glad at least 1 was called, but dang the refs missed a lot there.

      Wasn’t happy with the non call of roughing the passer when they tackled Ben. Not to mention the lineman who finished the late tackle put all his weight on him.

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      • cold_old_steelers_fan

        I was thrilled the o-line depth held up but unless some of the injured are able to come back next week, we are almost out of depth on the o-line.

        The soft tackle was an oddity. The fact that it wasn’t flagged wasn’t. If the refs aren’t calling crown of the helmet hits (as were seen earlier this season), they are not likely to call the soft tackle after the whistle.

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  • Toronto Steeler Fan

    I think that the most important thing the playes learned from all of the film review they did of the Eagles game was how to go about putting a proper beating on the other team.

    I felt a little sorry (just a little) for the Chiefs and their fans, who were so well-mannered on BTSC this week, but we had to do what we had to do.

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