The Kansas City Chiefs proved a tough opponent, but fell short to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round.
Article continues below ...
The story of the AFC Divisional Round Game was the Kansas City Chiefs offense. They simply couldn’t give the defense the support it needed to win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Think about it; if someone had told you prior to the game that the Steelers would win without scoring a touchdown, would you have believe them? Probably not. Kansas City needed to punch the ball in just one more time than they did to win this one, and they couldn’t do it.
Bob Sutton’s “bend but not break” defense gave Kansas City all the chances in the world to win. Pittsburgh would drive the ball into Kansas City territory and settle for field goals, six times to be exact. Holding an opponent to 18 points should be good enough to win an NFL game. The problem was that the offense couldn’t come up with a touchdown drive until they were down by eight. They converted the two point try but it was taken off of the board on an Eric Fisher holding call. The second attempt was no good, and the Steelers took the game.
Kansas City had a chance to bring the momentum back to their side late in the third quarter. They were driving, down 15-7, and had crossed midfield into Pittsburgh territory. After a play that went for a short gain was over, Travis Kelce was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty that took the drive completely out of rhythm. They converted a long third down to Jeremy Maclin, but it ended with a Cairo Santos field goal. Had that drive ended with a touchdown, it could have changed the entire complexion of the game.
Penalties were another theme for Kansas City as they were penalized six times for 60 yards. It’s not a huge number, but every one of the six penalties seemed to come in a big spot. They were all momentum killers. The team that is more disciplined wins more often than not, and that is what we had at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers — Bell was dominant in typical Bell fashion. His patented hesitation runs led him to 170 yards and 30 carries.
Chris Boswell, Steelers — It’s not often that a kicker earns a spot on this list, but when the kicker sets an NFL record with six field goals in a playoff game, he’s the exception.
Antonio Brown, Steelers — Pittsburgh takes all three spots as Brown leads all receivers with six receptions for 108 yards.