Just as Big Ben predicted, the Pittsburgh Steelers never really had a chance. Roethlisberger’s last game in black and yellow was one to forget, as the Kansas City Chiefs stomped the Steelers 42-21 to win Sunday night’s last wild card matchup.
A scoreless first quarter was followed by a glimmer of hope for the Steelers, as standout linebacker T.J. Watt scooped up running back Darrel Williams’ fumble and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
It was the second turnover of the night that Watt played a role in, as his deflection on a Patrick Mahomes pass in the first quarter led to an interception for linebacker Devin Bush Jr.
The Chiefs treated the touchdown as a wake-up call and proceeded to score 21 unanswered points before the first half was over. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes found Jerrick McKinnon with a shovel pass, wideout Byron Pringle for a 12-yard score before finding Travis Kelce on 3rd and 20 for a 48-yard touchdown.
While Mahomes hit his stride, his counterpart Roethlisberger didn’t hit much, finishing the half 5 of 14 for 24 yards. Mahomes finished with 241 passing yards, three touchdowns and a pick.
The Chiefs began the second half by scoring with an unlikely weapon - - Guard Nick Allegretti hauled in a one-yard pass to give the Chiefs 28 unanswered points.
After Steelers running back fumbled on the next drive, defensive end Frank Clark leaped on the loose ball to give the Chiefs possession on the 29-yard line. Mahomes and Co. took advantage of the gift, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill outran his man to catch a 31-yard touchdown.
Despite going down 35-7, the Steelers battled back with some scores of their own, starting with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson.
The Chiefs began the fourth quarter with another touchdown, again pulling out the tricks with a touchdown pass thrown from Kelce to Pringle. The touchdown pass was the first of Kelce’s career.
Still, the Steelers fought back with another touchdown. Roethlisberger found James Washington for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The touchdown proved to be the last of the game as the Chiefs cruised through their first game of the postseason. Mahomes proved once again why he should be feared by defenses, racking up 404 passing yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
Kansas City will now look ahead to next Sunday when it will host the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium in a matchup that holds two of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. The Bills reaffirmed their place among the best with a 47-17 rout of the New England Patriots in their wild card matchup.