The Eyrie

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs win first game in Pittsburgh since 1987

Tristan Allen, Editor

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Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, did what Alex Smith, previous Chiefs quarterback, never could do: beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 42-37.

The last time the Chiefs won in Pittsburgh was December 21, 1987. There were six games in between then and last Sunday.

Kansas City scored first in the game, with a 15-yard touchdown to Chris Conley, wide receiver, from Mahomes. He followed that up next drive with a 19-yard pass to Travis Kelce, tight end. Chris Boswell, Steelers kicker, missed a 49-yard field goal. The Chiefs wrapped up the first quarter with another touchdown, this time on a pass to Kareem Hunt, running back.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers quarterback, started off the second quarter with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James, Steelers tight end. He followed up later in the quarter with a 2-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver, but Boswell missed the Point After Touchdown (PAT) attempt. The half wrapped up with the Steelers tying the Chiefs 21-21 thanks to a 14-yard pass to James Washington, Steelers wide receiver, and a pass to James Conner, Steelers running back, for the two-point conversion.

Kelce received a 25-yard pass from Mahomes and ran it in for a touchdown to start the third quarter. The Steelers got back with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Conner. The third quarter ended with a 3-yard pass for a Kansas City touchdown to Demarcus Robinson, wide receiver.

Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass to start the fourth quarter. Shortly after, Hunt was tackled in the end zone for a Steelers safety by Artie Burns, cornerback, and Morgan Burnett, safety. Roethlisberger ran for three yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough to beat Kansas City.

One concern from week one was that Mahomes could only pass effectively to Hill. This was of no concern against Pittsburgh, as both Kelce and Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, received for 109 and 100 yards respectively, beating Hill’s 90. Mahomes also made touchdown passes to five different receivers, further putting to rest concerns about Mahomes’ passing connections to other receivers.

While Mahomes is having a great start to the season, passing for ten touchdowns in the first two games and completing 23 of his 28 passes against the Steelers for 326 yards. Kansas City might not have won if Pittsburgh’s stars showed up more.

The most notable missing star is Le’Veon Bell, Steelers running back, who refused to play for the Steelers all preseason and regular season. He was, as of Tuesday, Sept. 18, purged from the Steelers’ roster list, per SBNation. Roethlisberger had an alright game, going 39 for 60 when passing for 452 yards. Antonio Brown, Steelers wide receiver, was targeted 17 times and only received nine of those times for 60 yards.

Kansas City tallied 127 rushing yards on 25 carries. Hunt rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries. He seems to be struggling this season, at least relatively to his performance last season, when he led the league in rushing yards. Hunt currently sits at 11 on this season’s rushing leaders. Watkins also had a 31-yard rush, and Mahomes’ rushing game declined a tiny bit. He rushed for 18 yards, which is a little less than the 21 yards he had last week, on five carries. Spencer Ware, running back, had a rush for three yards.

The Chiefs’ defense did improve this week. Early on in the game, they did cause frustration for Roethlisberger and the offense, ending the first three drives with punts and a missed field goal. The Steelers were able to make the game close, but the Chiefs’ defense held out long enough to stop the comeback effort.

The most notable achievements by the Kansas City defense was shutting out Brown, as noted earlier, and stopping Conner’s rushing offense. In week one, Conner tallied 192 offensive yards against the Cleveland Browns, but only recorded 65 offensive yards against the Chiefs.

Allen Bailey, defensive end, recorded one sack for Kansas City against Roethlisberger. Dan McCullers, Steelers defensive tackle, also got a sack. No interceptions were thrown by either side.

The two things Kansas City needs to improve on is their defense, which should improve with the return of Eric Berry, safety, and increasing their possession time.

The Chiefs had control of the ball for 27:49, almost 5 minutes less than the Steelers’ 32:11 possession time. If the Chiefs leave that much time in a close game, talented teams such as the New England Patriots, who they face on Oct. 14, they can easily score a touchdown against the Chiefs’ weak defense.

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Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs win first game in Pittsburgh since 1987