On a night that promised a Pittsburgh Steelers blowout win over the Kansas City Chiefs and the offensive struggles by former Pitt Panther Tyler Palko and his offense, only one of those things happened.
Reminiscent to an episode of South Park where both teams are trying to lose a softball game to avoid the playoffs, the Steelers played poorly enough to lose, much like an offense of Cartman, Kenny and Stan. The Chiefs were like the team that was "so good that they were simply batting themselves on purpose," hitting baseballs right into the gloves of the opposing team, despite the boys' best efforts to move them. Sadly, in this case, those "baseballs" were footballs and the "gloves" were Steelers defenders.
Also, in this game, the "team so good they could bat themselves out" was just a bad football team with a quarterback in over his head.
The Chiefs defense held strong as the Pittsburgh offense played like "Men of Still," but the final score saw a stressful 13-9 outcome favoring the Steel City. In reality, the Pittsburgh success could be more aptly described as not losing than actually winning.
After starting the game with an aggressive no-huddle approach that yielded the first of three K.C. field goals, the Chiefs' success was short-lived. Palko was overwhelmed for the second straight week, committing key turnovers that led to nearly all of Pittsburgh's anemic offensive output.
Ill-timed penalties and turnovers were nearly damning to the Pittsburgh cause in a must-win game, including a poorly thrown interception into coverage by Ben Roethlisberger. Despite opportunities to take and extend the lead, the Steelers allowed the struggling Chiefs to remain within striking distance, creating tension in the final minutes.
An evening of aggravation in the Steel City ended with the desired result anyway, as Palko's third interception snuffed out any chance of a Kansas City upset.
Here are eight observations that Steelers fans can take from the pivotal, albeit underwhelming, win at Arrowhead Stadium.