Steel City Underground presents "Steelers Throwback Thursday" featuring plays and recaps from recent seasons which you may have forgotten about! Now we're "bringing them back!"
Although the Kansas City Chiefs were able to get a Super Bowl championship to cap-off their 2019-20 NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't make it into the playoffs, we thought it'd be fun to go back to October 2, 2016, when the two teams met in Week 4 at Heinz Field. The Steelers were dominant on both offense and defense, outscoring the Chiefs 22-0 in the first quarter before finishing the blowout with a healthy dose of pressure for the win, 43-14.
Neither the Chiefs or the Steelers did anything with their opening offensive drives. On the second offensive series for Kansas City, quarterback Alex Smith handed the ball off to rusher Spencer Ware in the first of many costly errors that Pittsburgh would take advantage of. After bursting through the line, Stephon Tuitt hit Ware and knocked the ball loose. Ross Cockrell was able to corral the ball.
It took Roethlisberger and the offense just three plays to find the end zone on a 31-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Steelers went up 8-0 with a successful two-point conversion.
In their first three games of the 2016-17 NFL regular season, the Steelers hadn't utilized a lot of blitz packages. Keith Butler came prepared for Andy Reid's team, however, and the type of pressure plays he called continued to pay big dividends for Pittsburgh in front of the home crowd.
On the next Chiefs offensive series, Jordan Dangerfield was asked to blitz. Smith, feeling the pressure, threw an attempted screen pass (Ware was the target) but Cameron Heyward sniffed it out, tipping the ball that was grabbed by Jarvis Jones and returned for 20 yards to the Kansas City four-yard line.
With the Chiefs shaken, Roethlisberger went to work. He found Antonio Brown deep for a 38-yard touchdown and on the next Steelers offensive series he utilized Le'Veon Bell and tight end Jesse James to put another TD on the scoreboard. In total, Pittsburgh had put 29 points up on the Chiefs, who were expected to be better competition than they showed on the field early that day, and Kansas City entered the halftime locker room with nothing to show but a zero.
Heading into the game, there were questions as to how Butler would replace Ryan Shazier in the lineup. After handing Vince Williams a three-year extension, it was a big opportunity for the linebacker to show why the Steelers had paid him. In Shazier's position, Williams logged 15 tackles (13 solo), one sack, and two tackles for a loss on the day. Williams led the team in tackles and helped the defensive line get better penetration against the Chiefs' offensive line by dropping into coverage, as needed, and keeping Smith from getting much going offensively.
Heyward grabbed three sacks in the game; it was the most by a single Steelers defender, at that time, since Ray Seals accomplished the feat in 1994.
Although the Steelers allowed the Chiefs to get on the scoreboard with two fourth-quarter touchdowns - a Smith-to-Tyreek Hill pass for nine yards and a Smith-to-Travis Kelce for three yards - the Pittsburgh defense played their best game of that season by far against Kansas City.
Roethlisberger's five-touchdown game set NFL highlight reels alight. Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to Brown (twice), Heyward-Bey, James, DeAngelo Williams, and Markus Wheaton in the game. Roethlisberger completed 22-of-27 passes for 300 yards and no interceptions, as well.
You can view highlights of this game over at the NFL's official YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/KbMAeumZT-E