The Chiefs beat down the Steelers at home on Sunday, earning yet another AFC West Crown and inching closer to the top seed in the AFC heading into the playoffs.
- Frank Clark Sack
The Chiefs continued to get pressure with four recording two sacks on the day. The first sack came by way of Frank Clark who sacked Ben Roethlisberger on a crucial third down on the game’s opening drive. The Chiefs showed six on the line of scrimmage but dropped two back into coverage. Clark had a tremendous jump off the ball, and stabbed both hands into the left tackle’s chest to drive him back and cut down the pocket. Chris Jones and Jarran Reed run an interior twist game, putting the guards and center on different levels not allowing Roethlisberger to stop up. Good rotation in the defensive secondary keeps men covered up and Clark gets home for the sack.
2. Max Protection Touchdown
The Chiefs left SEVEN players in protection on the goal line, blocked too perfectly, and Mahomes was patient enough to wait for the coverage to collapse and Byron Pringle to pop open in the back of the endzone. He found him with a beautiful running sidearm pass-through two defenders. The offensive line plus Burton and Edwards-Helaire did a wonderful job of stonewalling the Steelers pass rush. It is impossible for teams to cover that long, nearly seven seconds, and all Mahomes needed was a small opening to fit the ball in.
3. Wharton strip and Reed recovery
The Chiefs defensive line once again got the job done, and while Chris Jones was quiet Tershawn Wharton and Jarran Reed both had big games. Wharton won this rep quickly, firing off the line as soon as the ball was snapped. The swim move caught the OL, and Roethlisberger by surprise who were attempting to use some misdirection in the backfield to open up the passing game. Reed was on the spot for the recovery and nearly took it back for a touchdown.
4. Mahomes deep ball to Gore
Mahomes hit a deep ball to backup running back Derrick Gore late in the first half, putting KC in a position to try to score before halftime. The play started out with a five-wide set, and Mahomes had a chance to take the short pass to either Gore or Pringle, both running hitches. Late before the half though Mahomes improvised and forced the defense to respect his legs which caused the safety to step up and let Gore run free down the sideline. Weeks of taking the short ball, and putting very simple football on film seemed to have lulled the Steelers to sleep on this play, but it illustrates how the Chiefs’ offense may be close to going full circle.
5. Domination Up Front
The Chiefs’ offensive line still isn’t perfect, but they deserve a ton of credit for the turn of the season. They dominated the Steelers upfront, gashing them in the run game, pounding on them while pass blocking, and gassing them out by the end of the game. Mahomes has ample time and takes the short hitch route to Noah Gray. Joe Thuney crushes some ribs helping out Creed after a good pickup from the line.