After playing perhaps their best 60 minutes of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs still found a way to lose.
Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel was intercepted by Steelers’ linebackers Lawrence Timmons on the second play of overtime and Shaun Suisham hammered home a 23-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 16-13 victory over the Chiefs on Monday night.
The Steelers (6-3) manged to overcome an early 10-0 deficit and the loss of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to hold off the challenge from the Chiefs.
Kansas City (1-8) squandered several opportunities throughout the game and looked like they would come up short while trying to rally for a game-tying field goal in the closing minutes as well. Tight end Tony Moeaki was called for a push off on a third down conversion that put Kansas City in field goal range. Instead, they faced a 4th and 15 from their own 45-yard line. But the Chiefs manged to stay alive. Cassel was pressured and had to hop up in the pocket to avoid pressure off the edge. He fired a strike to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for 27 yards to get the Chiefs to the Steelers’ 28-yard line.
Cassel spiked the ball to stop the clock with three seconds left and Succop atoned for his earlier miss with a 46-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. The excitement was short-lived as Cassel was intercepted trying to find Bowe again in overtime.
The Chiefs did show progress Monday night as they actually led a football game for the first time this season. Jamaal Charles scored from 12 yards out to give the Chiefs an early 7-0 lead. Charles finished with 100 yards on 23 carries and scored just his third rushing touchdown this season.
An Issac Redman fumble gave the ball back to Kansas City at the Steelers’ 10-yard line, but the Chiefs weren’t able to punch it in and had to settle for a 22-yard Ryan Succop field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
After a Suisham field goal, Mike Wallace made a spectacular catch of a Roethlisberger pass in the end zone to even the game at 10-10 late in the second quarter. Roethlisberger connected with Wallace from seven yards out as Wallace somehow kept the ball off the turf by holding it between his knees and reeling it before rolling out of bounds.
Roethlisberger left the game in the third quarter after being sacked by Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. He was taken to the locker room and was taken to hospital for further evaluation. Byron Leftwich replaced him for the Steelers. Roethlisberger was 9 of 18 for 84 yards and a touchdown when he left the game.
The Chiefs saw two touchdowns come off the board in the third quarter that would have put them back on top. Cassel hit Bowe on a quick screen for a 22-yard touchdown that was nullified by a holding penalty against Branden Albert.
The call proved costly as Succop missed a 33-yard field goal try that also would have given the Chiefs the lead. On the ensuing possession, Leftwich tried to pull back a throw and the ball came loose. The ball was scooped up by Houston and returned 21 yards for a touchdown that was reviewed and ultimately determined to be an incomplete pass. However, the excessive celebration penalty against the Chiefs for a group touchdown celebration still counted.
Suisham gave the Steelers a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter connecting on a 31-yard field goal try.
Cassel finished 11 of 26 for 154 yard and an interception.
The Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday while the Steelers take on the division-rival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football on NBC.