The Pittsburgh Steelers knocked off the last remaining unbeaten team, the Kansas City Chiefs, with a 19-13 road victory.
Le’Veon Bell led the offense with 179 yards on 32 carries in a very workmanlike performance. Add that to a defense that played three-plus quarters of its most inspired football in nearly a decade and you have the recipe for success.
Alex Smith and company nearly brought the Chiefs back late, but the Steelers held on to move to 4-2 ahead of a key AFC North clash with the Cincinnati Bengals next week.
It’s time to grade the Steelers performance, unit-by-unit.
Ben Roethlihsberger didn’t look like the Ben of old in this one, but he surely didn’t look as incapable at playing the position as he did against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That being said, Roethlisberger took care of the football and made the plays when he needed to, finding Antonio Brown on several key drives.
Le’Veon Bell had one of his more impressive games of recent memory. That’s saying a lot considering what he did a few weeks back against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bell looked like a man on a mission as he was matched up against one of the NFL’s premier running backs early on in Kareem Hunt. He did more than just out-duel Hunt, he mopped the floor with him and the Chiefs defense.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
We all know about Antonio Brown’s insane sideline grab that essentially put the game out of reach, but what about the rest of the game?
AB finished the game with eight catches for 155 yards and that touchdown. JuJu Smith-Schuster made the most of his ever-increasing role catching all three passes thrown his way for 32 yards.
Vance McDonald and Jesse James combined for one catch and 26 yards, all of that by McDonald on a great run and catch.
Overall, the pass catchers, outside of Antonio Brown were effective enough to win the game.
Grade: B- (AB gets a solid A)
The guys in the trenches came to play on Sunday. They opened holes for Le’Veon Bell and they protected Roethlisberger.
There’s nothing really to gripe against with the performance they had on Sunday.
"“We finally got to show everybody on TV who we are,” defensive end Stephon Tuitt said. “ … To do it against Kansas City, who was a great, undefeated team, is awesome.” – TribLive.com"
The Steelers defensive line of Stephon Tuitt, Cameron Heyward and company did their part for the team to come away with a victory.
They clogged running lanes, they allowed the linebackers to run freely and got into the backfield on a number of occasions.
As Tuitt said after the game, the team finally got to show who they were on TV.
The Steelers made a good decision in activating James Harrison in this contest. He made them look good for that decision as he recorded a sack to go along with a pair of QB hits. The sack came on the Chiefs last minute drive that essentially sealed the victory.
Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier were all over the field, but there’s reason for concern with Williams leaving the game early with a leg injury. He’s listed as questionable for next week.
Overall, it was a very good outing for the linebackers that helped keep all-pro tight end Travis Kelce and Hunt in check all game.
More from City of Champions
- Pittsburgh Penguins: A Look Back at 2019
- Pittsburgh Steelers: A Look Back at 2019
- Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look Back at 2019
- Steelers: Need for QB of the Future is More Apparent than Ever
- Steelers: Defense Needs to Take Advantage of Inconsistent Bills Passing Attack
Alex Smith and the Chiefs could not get anything going offensively for over three-quarters, and that has to do in large part to the NFL’s stingiest pass defense.
Artie Burns, Sean Davis, Mike Hilton, Mike Mitchell and company deserve the praise they got after that victory.
Yeah, the Chiefs got a ton of passing yardage in the fourth quarter, but to be fair, the Steelers were playing with a lead and a little softer in coverage. I’ll take three quarters of dominance over one questionable quarter every day of the week.
How can the Steelers build off of this victory? Perhaps with a win in six days over the Cincinnati Bengals.