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Steelers can’t deliver in 23-13 loss to Chiefs


Landry Jones didn’t enter the game against the Kansas City Chiefs with nearly the swagger he had at the end of the Steelers’ week six win, struggling to get the offense moving in the first half. Jones came out of the locker room and was able to chip away at the Chiefs defense with help from two big plays from Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant and the patient running of Le’Veon Bell. Unfortunately, it was turnovers that hurt Jones and the Steelers, forcing Pittsburgh to come away with a 10-point loss.

A lot of people were talking about this week seven game being a ‘trap game’.  The Steelers had opportunities, but too few and not often enough.  Jones was only able to complete 16 of 29 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown.  The two interceptions and sack-fumble spelled doom.  One of the interceptions was a result of a tipped ball at the line that left Antonio Brown without a clean catch; Brown grabbed at it, tipped it and the ball landed in the hands of the Chiefs.

The touchdown by Martavis Bryant was a corner fade that nearly went bad.  Bryant bobbled the catch, but was able to maintain possession just long enough to get both feet inbounds.

Bell had 17 carries for 121 yards.  His longest run went for a remarkable 42 yards.  Bell shared rushing duties with DeAngelo Williams who had four carries for just nine yards and was mainly used in short yardage situations.  Bell also had four catches for 16 yards.

Brown had six receptions for 124 yards; his longest a 41 yard catch.  Once again he was unable to get into the end zone.

Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton and Williams all had limited catches.  Outside of the touchdown, Bryant had only three catches (45 yards), Wheaton had two (16 yards) and Williams a single catch for eight yards.

The Steelers defense played a hard-fought game for a full 60 minutes. Although they continue to lack wrap-up ability on many plays, they showed toughness by keeping steady pressure on Alex Smith.  Cam Heyward logged one sack, with Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons splitting another.

The Chiefs threw in some trickery and misdirection to keep the Steelers defense on their toes, coming away with a few nice plays. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was a handful, finding space to make plays when Pittsburgh played soft coverage. Without a lot of offensive performance, the Steelers defense was tasked with keeping the game close.

In the end, the slow start and turnovers kept the Steelers from putting necessary points on the scoreboard for a win.  Kicker Chris Boswell was two-for-two on field goals with his longest sailing for 36 yards.

S. Dean is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan. The former owner of 'The Beam in Pittsburgh', Dean has worked in the sports media field for several years. S. Dean graduated with a degree in physical therapy and sports medicine, has a minor in journalism and is a Mt. Lebanon, PA, native. His favorite Steelers players (all-time) are Jerome Bettis, Lynn Swann and Joey Porter. You can follow him on Twitter @NFLHotTopix and Google Plus. To see his full bio, please visit the Meet Our Staff page.



  1. Austin

    October 25, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Everyone is going to blame this on Ben not being there. That is highly erroneous. Here is why we lost the game:
    Point one: situational play calling and personnel decisions- I agree with getting Deangelo more involved, however it is how you get him more involved. I know it sounds like second guessing, but if Deangelo is going to spell Bell, it should be BETWEEN THE TWENTIES!!!!! Why are we taking out our best player on redzone passing opportunities and third and short yardage?!?!?! Yes Williams’ drop on third down which would’ve given Pittsburgh a first and goal is on him but whose decision is it to put him in? That ball is caught by Bell ten out of ten times period. Why Williams is in on a play that should’ve featured Bell is inexcusable! Same thing with the third and short where Williams was stuffed! Again, let Williams help out BETWEEN the twenties so Bell is fresh for the important red zone opportunities. This “next man up” mentality is for the birds! It assumes players who aren’t as good as others are going to perform as well as those better players. It doesn’t work that way. If it did, then just bring one of the beer vendors out the stands and give him a hat!!!! Sounds ridiculous because it is. These decisions to misutilize their personnel properly falls
    On Tomlin! Ditto for the reason he didn’t challenge the fumble
    By KC at the goal line!
    Point two: the offensive line simply can’t choose third and seven from inside the redzone to give up a sack up the middle! Period! I don’t care if you play awesome all game. If you allow a sack there, to me that nullifies everything! I know Dr. George champions the notion that the team hasn’t invested in a first round blind side left tackle in forever and I couldn’t agree more! The only reason I could possibly think of is that, after the QB, LT is probably the highest paid position on the field especially if he is an elite LT. Pittsburgh probably doesn’t want to pay the top two highest paid positions big contracts at the same time (it should be noted that that fear, if it and I are both accurate, should be highly mitigated by the fact that in the 2016 draft, a first round elite LT’s contract would most likely be renewed AFTER Big Ben has retired-ergo eliminating the likelihood of paying out the top two NFL elite positional contracts at the same time-No, we’ll just pay he sack machine otherwise known as Jarvis Jones or give a huge contract when it’s time to the never injured Ryan Shazier! Because, it’s great to have all these high round draft pick linebackers who are always on the field and making a difference! Give me a break!.). This offensive line is marginal at best and don’t forget, BB would’ve had to have put up 24 points today to win. Whether or not he would’ve “automatically” done that is highly debatable thus negating you idiots who feel that we “automatically” win the game with him in there. These are Tomlin/Colbert decisions!
    Point three: Antwon Blake is a complete liability on this team! Kudos to him for being a perseverer and a hustler but the man cannot cover and allows a garbage QB to shred him today. Now he’s missing tackles so I say why is he in there?!?! That is another Tomlin decision.
    Point four: if you have a young , inexperienced QB, wouldn’t a solid TE and pass catching elite RB out of the backfield be optimal to target? Yet, after a two games now with backup quarterbacks, Bell has zero catches and Miller has been nonexistent! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE! Bell should fall out of bed and have two or three catches! And if linebackers take him away, then they can’t take miller away too! It’s football 101! You can’t take every thing away from an offense especially if they’re both positions which typically have LBs and safeties covering AND you have Antonio brown on one side with Martavis Bryant on the other! Yet Haley has found a way to not include a young backup’s security blankets! This falls on Haley/Tomlin!
    In summary, although coaches can’t go in and make plays for players (i.e., Williams dropped ball), the coaching staff continues to put this team in positions to lose games in lieu of winning them. Landry jones did about what we thought he would. Can’t blame it on him. Defense did about what we thought it would sans Blake’s inexcusable inability to cover. Until Steelers fans admit it, there is going to be a lot of getting hopes up. And that thing is, we are a reflection of our coach which is an uninspired stylistic snapshot of mediocrity. Tomlin is more about looking good than playing good or so it appears to me whenever I watch this team play, especially after the steelers have a good win or two. In fact, how often have we seen, under Tomlin, a good win or two followed by a laid egg against a subpar team!? Big Ben or no Big Ben, it would’ve been difficult to beat a one win team today and that falls squarely on our head coach who, if not for Martavis Bryant’s heroics last week, would’ve dropped the game at home to Arizona! How long before everyone wakes up and sees how poorly prepared our coach has the team game in and take out, year in and year out? Fire the man and give the keys of of the city to Urban Meyer! Ridiculous? Fine. I’d settle for just firing the man!

    • david greer

      October 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I Totally agree Period

  2. DaveB

    October 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Our defense definitely needed to play better and it didnt . However , if Ben had suited up and played in this game theres a better than average chance the Steelers win this game . Ben is light years better than Alex Smith . In addition , Landry Jones timing was clearly off in this game . On the passes he was completing , his throws were either up or behind his recievers on almost every play with the exception of the Martavis Bryant touchdown . On another note , why has Heath Miller been removed from the Steelers offense ? Hes nothing but an extra blocker and has been forgotten as a receiving threat in the offense . Thats pure stupidity on Todd Haleys part . The man is a weapon and hes been for all intents phased out of the offense . Why ?

  3. DrGeorge

    October 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    The media, what little I’ve seen of it, is blaming this loss on defensive fatigue, evidenced by poor tackling. That may be true. The fatigue I anticipated against the Cardinals may have shown up a week later than expected. But early on, the defense didn’t look fatigued so much as it looked undermanned. Without Tuitt, the Chiefs were running through our front seven even in the first quarter, long before fatigue set in. And our secondary is weak. Alex Smith successfully targeted Blake and Cockrell all game long. Yet, acknowledging all that, the defense still gave up “only” 23 points, about its average. Butler can’t get much better play out of the talent he has. Typically, limiting an opponent to 23 points would be good enough, because our offense with Ben R. is usually good for 25 points or more.

    But Ben R. didn’t play today; Landry Jones did. And while he played as well as one might expect of a QB making his first NFL start, it simply wasn’t good enough. In saying that, I am not blaming Jones. He was set up to fail. He failed in part because Haley asked him to make down field throws beyond his present ability, leading to two interceptions; in part because the O-line gave up one too many sacks and he fumbled at a critical moment; and in part because the coaching staff gave up on the run at critical times in the red zone, as Austin detailed in the note above.

    Even with Landry Jones at QB, this game was winnable, if the game were properly called and if the team did not make errors. But coaches are human and sometimes make mistakes, and players are human are they do make errors. This team is simply not talented enough to make up for its mistakes, as good teams do. With Ben R. at QB, it might have been closer, maybe — but more went wrong today than can be fairly heaped on the head of Landry Jones.

  4. Fred Mitch

    October 26, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Herman Fartzenpants just was signed from the Memphis Plops of the arena league to the active roster. Had many good streaks. Can’t wait to see him in the black and yellow.

  5. BigCarp

    October 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I think the crap is out of the bag now. Boykin can’t throw, Jones plays too itchy, the offense pissed the ticket, and Tomlin doesn’t know where to go for the grapes. If Ben didn’t come back, now is the time. Heath Miller isn’t getting any older you know. What would Chuck Noll do? Tell Shazier to buy a brazier and get his girly ass back on the field full-time because NFL stands for Not For Lolipops for people who get hurt. 7 rings stands for arse in 2015!

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