Steelers vs. Chiefs: Pittsburgh's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 10
It was a painful game to watch and a painful win for Ben Roethlisberger, who left the game with an apparent shoulder injury early in the third quarter. His replacement, Byron Leftwich, did just enough to beat the Chiefs.
It was tough to pick out anything positive from this game, but here are the winners and losers from the Steelers' Week 10 victory.
Winner: Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace actually had one of his worst games one the season statistically with only three receptions for 14 yards.
It was the difficulty of his touchdown reception, however, that made Wallace a winner in my opinion.
There has been a lot of criticism being thrown at Wallace because of a string of drops he's had this season. Although the catch wasn’t pretty, he was able to bring it in with one hand and give the Steelers their only touchdown of the game.
Loser: Offensive Line
After going off the over 100 yards rushing in each of the last three games, the Steelers were only able to muster 95 total yards rushing and a 3.3 per carry clip.
Even though 95 yards doesn’t seem like a terrible game, the Steelers offensive line looked like they couldn’t get any kind of push all night.
Hopefully this was just a bad week for the line because the team will need the rushing game against the Ravens if Roethlisberger is unable to suit up.
Loser: Early Play-Calling
I have been one of Todd Haley’s biggest critics since the slow start to the season, and I really had no idea what he was thinking to start this game.
After the defense forced a punt to start the game, the Steelers came out for some reason trying to throw the football in the rain.
With three straight 100-yard rushing performances, going up against the 23rd-ranked rushing defense—and let's not forget the rain—there really was no reason to throw the ball as much as the Steelers did to early on.
The game plan really slowed the offense down.
Loser: Isaac Redman
Although Isaac Redman started the game against the Chiefs he received 11 less carries than Jonathan Dwyer.
Redman is known for bowling off defenders and always fighting for extra yardage however, his fumble, rare as it may be, gave the Chiefs a ton of momentum in the game.
There was also a 4th and 1 that Redman always converts but he was unable to get the yard against the Chiefs to complete his bad day.
Winner: Shaun Suisham
As long as Shaun Suisham continues to convert his attempts, I will continue to acknowledge the great season he is having.
Although I am still a little nervous every time Suisham goes out there, it is only because of his track record—not his performance this season.
He has only missed one field goal the entire season. Against the Chiefs, he made all three of his attempts, including the game-winner.
Loser: The Rush Defense
The Steelers defense came into the game versus the Chiefs ranked fourth in the league against the run and proceeded to give up 142 yards.
For the most part it seemed that the Chiefs just kept running the same play to the same side of the formation, right at Pittsburgh's Ziggy Hood and LaMarr Woodley.
If Matt Cassel wasn’t completely inept, the Steelers defense would have been susceptible to play action and big plays; early in the game it seemed like that was the direction in which the game was going to go.
Winner: Keenan Lewis
Even without Troy Polamalu the Steelers defense is ranked first against the pass and Keenan Lewis continues to be a big reason why.
Though Lewis was not perfect in this game, other than maybe one bad play, you didn’t really hear his name mentioned much.
If only Lewis could learn to catch some interceptions, then he may actually be the Pro Bowler that he predicted he would be before the season.
Loser: Ike Taylor
Ike Taylor has bounced back the last few weeks from a terrible start to the season and, to be fair, he wasn’t awful versus the Chiefs.
But he does make the Losers list because of the mental lapse he had on the 4th-and-14 that set up the game-tying field goal in the final seconds.
Ike had decent coverage on the play, and then he just seemed to get lost watching Matt Cassel. Dwayne Bowe got open behind him and the Chiefs were in field goal range.
Loser: The Steelers
The Steelers may have actually won the game versus the Chiefs, but that game was just painful to watch.
The team not only struggled versus one of the worst teams in the NFL, they may have lost Ben Roethlisberger for an extended period of time.
Even if Big Ben misses no time at all, the entire team just looked flat from the start. They were lucky to escape with a victory, especially going into next week’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
Winner: Lawrence Timmons
Before the Steelers allowed the Chiefs to go down the field and send the game into overtime, I was going to just have the defense in general on here for closing out the game.
I still wanted to end on a positive note, considering the Chiefs had forced overtime. Then Lawrence Timmons stepped in front of a Matt Cassel pass to essentially end it.
Timmons had a very good all-around game, as well and continues to be one of the only Steelers to consistently get pressure on the quarterback.