The Chargers’ faceplant in Houston on Sunday left the door open for the Chiefs to win the AFC West for the sixth straight season and they stormed right through it against the Steelers.
Kansas City went up 14-0 in the first quarter and led 23-0 at halftime on their way to a resounding 36-10 over the Steelers. The win leaves the Chiefs at 11-4 and keeps them ahead of the Titans in the race for the AFC’s top seed heading into the final two weeks of the season. They’ll be in Cincinnati and Denver as they try to close things out.
It remains to be seen if running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and safety Tyrann Mathieu will be around for those games. Edwards-Helaire left with a collarbone injury and Mathieu exited with a quad injury in the second half of Sunday’s rout.
Outside of those injuries, there wasn’t much to dislike for the Chiefs on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes was 23-of-30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns before letting Chad Henne run out the final minutes of the game. Mahomes’ passes went to nine different receivers as Tyreek Hill played a limited role after coming off the COVID-19 reserve list just ahead of the game.
Wide receiver Byron Pringle caught a pair of touchdowns, running back Derrick Gore produced 104 yards from scrimmage, and the Chiefs rolled to a 36-3 lead before taking their foot off the gas in the final minutes of the game.
The Steelers were coming off a hard-fought win over the Titans, but opened the game by letting the Chiefs drive 74 yards over eight-plus minutes for a touchdown and then giving the ball right back on a Ben Roethlisberger interception. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson lost a fumble to open the second half after in looked like the Steelers might have a little life and the overall performance looked like one from a team playing out the string at the end of a lost season.
That’s not what the Steelers are, however. The 7-7-1 team can still win the AFC North and make the playoffs, which seems unbelievable given the way they played on Sunday but the Steelers have veered wildly from one direction to the other all season. They need to push the pendulum back in the other direction against the Browns next weekend or else it really will be curtains for the Steel Curtain.