Chiefs turn back Steelers 23-13 to snap five-game losing streak
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs refused to give up another fourth-quarter lead.
Smith threw for 251 yards and a touchdown, Cairo Santos kicked three field goals and the Chiefs beat the injury-filled Pittsburgh Steelers 23-13 on Sunday to snap a five-game skid with their first victory at Arrowhead Stadium this season.
Charcandrick West added 110 yards rushing and his first career touchdown, and Chris Conley had his first career touchdown reception for the Chiefs (2-5), who squandered late leads against Denver and Chicago at home earlier this season.
Eric Berry had his first interception since being diagnosed with cancer in December.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs shut down Pittsburgh’s Landry Jones, who made his first NFL start in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Vick. Jones threw for 209 yards and a touchdown, but he was also picked off twice and lost a fumble that helped end the game.
LeVeon Bell ran for 121 yards for the Steelers (4-3). Antonio Brown had six catches for 124 yards, while Martavis Bryant caught his 11th touchdown pass in 12 career games.
The first half amounted to a field-goal fest, which wasn’t all that surprising considering the amount of offensive talent that both teams were missing to injury.
Santos hit three of them after Chiefs drives stalled in the red zone, though he did miss a 54-yarder just before the half. Chris Boswell knocked through a 24-yarder for Pittsburgh.
The Chiefs finally established a cushion midway through the third quarter.
It began when Jones threw a pass over the middle that skipped off the hands of Brown and right to Berry, who had a diving interception. It was the first pick by the former Pro Bowl safety since December 2013, when he had two in a game at Oakland.
The Chiefs capitalized on the turnover by driving 47 yards, at one point using a hurry-up offense to keep Pittsburgh off-balance. West finally plunged in from a yard on third-and-goal to end a streak of seven trips to the red zone without a touchdown, and giving Kansas City a 16-3 lead.
Pittsburgh answered behind the arm of Jones, whose 41-yard completion to Brown helped set up its first touchdown. Jones lofted a pass that Bryant hauled in while tip-toing in the end zone — replays confirmed he made the reception after initially bobbling it.
Suddenly, it looked as if the Chiefs might blow another fourth-quarter lead at home.
Their offense had to punt moments later, and Pittsburgh went the other way for another field goal to get within 16-13. But this time, the Chiefs’ offense — missing top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to injury and with a revamped offensive line — made the plays that mattered.
Smith hit tight end Travis Kelce for a 26-yard reception to convert a third down, and West ripped off a 36-yard run moments later. He added a short run on an option play to convert another third down, and Smith hit Conley from 5 yards with 5:13 left to put the game away.