Steel City Underground presents our 2017 Recall: a brief look back at Pittsburgh Steelers games from last season.
Following an embarrassing home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars (in which Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions) Steelers Nation was at an all-time low as far as expectations for the remainder of the 2017 season.
At the time, the Kansas City Chiefs were the hottest team in the NFL. Andy Reid’s squad started the season 5-0, while the Steelers looked like a haphazard team, having lost to two "bad" teams in the Chicago Bears (on the road) and the Jacksonville Jaguars within their five games played to date.
Surely the 3-2 Steelers were no match for the 5-0 Chiefs in Week 6. How were they going to win, on the road, against an unbeaten team, in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL?
Well, Pittsburgh would shock the world by winning in Kansas City for their second-straight visit there.
The first time was the previous playoffs, when the Steelers narrowly edged the Chiefs 18-16 to head to the AFC Championship game, following six Chris Boswell field goals.
This game was similarly close, starting off with a safety that put the Steelers up 2-0. In fact, the entire first half was one-sided, as the Steelers rolled to 232 yards on 36 offensive plays, while converting 16 first downs. Compare that to the Chiefs, who had one first down and six total yards on 16 plays.
Pittsburgh also dominated time of possession 21:41 to 8:19. In fact, the Chiefs were so bad, they had a minus-two rushing yards going into halftime.
The Chiefs would finally close the gap in the fourth quarter as each team jockeyed field position. A 57-yard touchdown pass from Chiefs QB Alex Smith to De’Anthony Thomas got KC within two points, but the Steelers would answer with their own 51-yard pass to Antonio Brown to go up 19-10.
Kansas City could only muster a field goal as the Steelers left Arrowhead Stadium the unlikely victors in a 19-13 win.
What Stood Out
Killer B's 1 - Ben Roethlisberger
One week earlier, against the Jaguars, Roethlisberger had not thrown for 300 or more yards. At the time, it was his eleventh straight regular season game without hitting the 300 mark.
Despite only throwing for 252 yards in this one, Big Ben finished the day with five throws over 20 yards and a 97.4 QB rating.
Ben remarked on his words from the previous week, by stating “This ol’ cowboy got a little something left in him.”
Killer B's 2 - Antonio Brown
8 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. 19.4 yards per catch.
AB was once again on another level. (You’ll see why in the “play of the game” below too.)
Brown's monster game had him reach 9,000 receiving yards in 107 regular season games, which tied Randy Moss for the 4th fewest games in NFL history to reach the mark.
Killer B's 3 - Le'Veon Bell
After struggling to get going all season, Bell felt right at home in Arrowhead Stadium, smoking the Chiefs for his second straight time playing them there. The running back would gain 179 yards rushing on 32 attempts, plus find the end zone.
He made the Chiefs look so silly, it prompted us to put this clip out on Twitter, where Bell would gain 26 yards will evading countless KC defenders.
When you keep jamming on the right stick playing Madden @L_Bell26 pic.twitter.com/fvvH7HtYE1
— Steel City Underground (@steelcityundrgr) October 16, 2017
Furthermore, Bell would run for 99 yards alone in the first half!
Mike Hilton arrives
While Hilton had been impressing onlookers through five weeks, this game truly stood out as his coming out party. The nickel corner would rack up four total tackles, two for a loss, plus hit Alex Smith once at an opportune time.
It was the beginning of more to come for the undrafted underdog turned major contributor.
Vince Williams sack party
With two sacks and two more QB hits, Williams was a man possessed during the game. Unfortunately, he left the game early, or else he may have had more to add to his big day.
James Harrison spoils it again for KC
A hero in the previous season’s Divisional playoff game, Harrison once again disrupted a Chiefs comeback bid with a timely fourth-quarter sack. It increased the linebacker’s franchise total while also making him the only Steelers with more than 80 sacks (since they became an official statistic).
Play of the Game
Many of us here at SCU said this many of times during the Steelers 2017 season: Antonio Brown makes the impossible look commonplace.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead from a safety, then led at half 12-3.
Kansas City closed the gap to 12-10 before Brown struck. Needing a big play, AB made a superhuman feat look simple as the Steelers were staring down the barrel of a 3rd and 2, up only two points with about three and a half minutes in the game.
Ben Roethlisberger looks to his favorite receiver, obstructed by a KC defender, who incidentally also has the football bounce off of his helmet and into one (yes, only one) of Brown's hands before #84 secures the ball and takes it to the house for a 51-yard touchdown reception.
The score would prove to be the deciding factor in a 19-13 Steelers win which would hand the Chiefs their first loss of the 2017 season.