Call it a trap game. Call it a lack of focus. Whatever you call it, the Steelers 2009 season is now officially in a world of trouble. Such is the case after Sunday’s 27-24 shocking overtime loss to the formerly 2-8 Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers had a 10-point lead at 17-7, only to blow that, then 24-17 in the fourth quarter, only to have that fall by the waysides.
The team is now 6-4, losers of two in a row, and in big trouble when it comes to even thinking about playing in the post season. The team dominated the game from the stats standpoint, and after they allowed an opening kickoff for a touchdown took charge, scoring 17 straight points.
Then turnovers took their toll, as first a pick from QB Ben Roethlisberger that bounced off the shoulder pads of Heath Miller early in the third quarter led to a KC touchdown to tight end Leonard Pope to make it 17-14. The Steelers then had another shot to rally put the game away, as they marched to the KC 20, but Roethlisberger threw a pick in the end zone that Andy Studebaker took back 94 yards. That turnover lead to a field goal to make it 17 all.
The Steelers were able to get the lead back with 11 minutes left, as Lawrence Timmons forced a fumble, and James Harrison recovered at the KC 27. Five plays later Roethlisberger found Rashard Mendenhall for an 8-yard score to make it 24-17. That’s when things went wrong.
KC marched from their own 9 and went 8 plays, including a pass play of 30 yards then another of 47 yards to get to the Steelers 13. Four plays later Matt Cassel hit Jammal Charles with a two-yard score to make it 24 all with 4:54 left. The Steelers, who had over 500 yards of offense total, were unable to get past midfield, and were forced to punt.
The Chiefs tried a play, but then downed the ball and the game went to OT. More bad news. The Steelers got the ball first, and seemed to be moving the ball well. They got to the KC 49, but then on a run Roethlisberger was kneed in the head, and had to leave the game. Add to that a hold on Justin Hartwig, and the ball was back at the Steelers 40.
Then though backup QB Charlie Batch came in and made a big play, hitting Santonio Holmes for 17 yards to the Chiefs 43. Then though they had an incomplete pass, an 8-yard run by Mendenhall, and on third down, Moore fell with a two-yard loss, ending the final Steelers possession.
The Chiefs got the ball at their 20, and quickly struck. After three plays, Cassel hit Chris Chambers, who caught the ball in stride and went down the sideline for a 61-yard gain to the Steelers four. The next play Ryan Succop put the Steelers out of their misery with a 22-yard field goal to make it the 27-24 final.
Pittsburgh had outgained the Cheifs n regulation 463-206. The Chiefs stayed in the game with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the contest. The Steelers also held the ball for 19 more minutes. Roethlisberger was 32-for-42 for 398 with three TD’s and two picks.