The Chiefs look primed for a postseason run.
Ben Roethlisberger’s career is likely over.
Such are the takeaways from Sunday night’s Wild Card matchup between Kansas City and Pittsburgh, which the Chiefs dominated for a 42-21 victory.
Both teams went scoreless with a combined seven punts in the first quarter. But after edge rusher T.J. Watt took a fumble back for a touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter, Kansas City woke up and took off. The Chiefs scored five straight touchdowns between the second and third quarters to build a 35-7 lead with 9:14 left in the penultimate period.
When tight end Travis Kelce scored his 48-yard touchdown at the end of the second quarter, things looked good for Kansas City. But given Pittsburgh’s anemic output on offense — the club had just 44 yards and two first downs at halftime — it was all but over once receiver Tyreek Hill caught a 31-yard touchdown with 9:14 left in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh scored its first offensive points of the night with receiver Diontae Johnson’s 13-yard touchdown reception. But Kansas City wasn’t done, as head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy pulled out another trick with Kelce’s 2-yard touchdown pass to receiver Byron Pringle early in the fourth quarter.
Receiver James Washington may have become the answer to a trivia question, catching a 15-yard touchdown from Roethlisberger with 7:36 left to make the score 42-21.
Roethlisberger’s final pass went to tight end Zach Gentry for an 11-yard gain as time expired in the contest. He finished 29-of-44 passing for 215 yards with two touchdowns.
Mahomes, however, was 30-of-39 for 404 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. He also added 29 yards rushing on three carries.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire out and Darrel Williams dealing with a toe injury, Jerick McKinnon was the featured running back. He finished with 61 yards on 12 carries and caught all six of his targets for 81 yards with a touchdown. Kelce was the leading receiver with 108 yards on five catches.
With the win, the No. 2 Chiefs will host the No. 3 Bills for a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game next Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
For the Steelers, an offseason of transition awaits with Roethlisberger’s likely retirement.