Steelers Survive, Beat Chiefs 16-13 in OT Despite Ben Roethlisberger Injury
With the win, this tidbit showing Pittsburgh's perseverance from ESPN Stats & Info holds true:
If the Steelers go on to win tonight, it'll be 4 straight victories + they will have overcome a double-digit deficit in 3 of them—ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 13, 2012
The game couldn't have reached a more fitting conclusion for the NFL's most turnover-prone team. Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel on the first possession of overtime, handing Kansas City its 30th turnover of the season and Shaun Suisham the game-winning field goal.
The news of the night came in the third quarter when Ben Roethlisberger took a hard fall on his throwing shoulder while being sacked by Justin Houston. Big Ben went to the sideline and proceeded to go to the locker room shortly after that.
That forced Pittsburgh to turn to Byron Leftwich, an idea that should make any Steelers fan cringe.
As if things weren't bad enough, ESPN's Rick Reilly gave these details regarding Roethlisberger's injured shoulder:
Asked Roethlisberger as he was leaving how bad his shoulder was. He just shook his head. Was wearing sling on right shoulder. Left w/ wife.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) November 13, 2012
That news made this comment by Rotoworld's Evan Silva seem all too possible:
The #Steelers season just rode away on that golf cart.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 13, 2012
Leftwich finished the night 7-of-14, failing to lend any optimism to Pittsburgh's quarterback situation moving forward. Granted, it's a small sample size, but the veteran didn't look comfortable behind center.
Kansas City started the game's scoring with Jamaal Charles' 12-yard touchdown run. Ryan Succop then added a 22-yard field goal, giving the Chiefs a shocking 10-0 lead.
Following Charles' touchdown, ESPN let the Twitter world know how bad the Chiefs have been this season:
It's Week 10, and the Kansas City Chiefs just took their first lead ... OF THE SEASON! #MNF— ESPN (@espn) November 13, 2012
The Steelers were struggling to hold onto the ball on offense and the defense couldn't stop the run at all in the first half. Charles finished with 100 yards on 23 carries on the night, but he paced the effort in the first two quarters.
After Succop's field goal, though, the Steelers seemed to wake up a bit. Suisham knocked home a 35-yard try to make the score 10-3, and Mike Wallace followed up one-handed touchdown catch with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
The weather conditions at Heinz Field were poor, keeping the score 10-10 at half. Either way, it was utterly shocking when you consider how hot Pittsburgh has been and how awful Kansas City had been playing.
Second-half action didn't prove to be as eventful outside of Roethlisberger's injury and the Chiefs' penchant for unwarranted celebrations—something that Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted:
If celebrations were worth points, the #Chiefs would be undefeated right now.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 13, 2012
Obviously, those proclamations of joy have been pent up for awhile, but that doesn't mean you should prance around like a group of undisciplined school kids.
The defense wasn't undisciplined, though, consistently shutting down the Big Ben-less Steelers offense. Leftwich couldn't get anything going, forcing Pittsburgh to settle for a 13-10 lead on Suisham's second field goal of the night early in the fourth quarter.
Without much help from its offense Monday night, Pittsburgh's defense was pretty much left to fend for itself. Surrendering 290 yards to Kansas City isn't terrible, especially when you consider how Charles started the game.
Losing Roethlisberger for any length of time kills the Steelers' season. He's the be-all and end-all for his team, and the injury didn't look good. Even if Charlie Batch is active, the team's other quarterback options don't come close providing what Big Ben does.
A win is always a win, but Pittsburgh didn't bring its best game Monday night. Kansas City fought hard, stifling the Steelers run game and forcing Pittsburgh to rely on key defensive stops to earn the win.
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