79 degrees/ Cloudy
Key Coaching Decision #1: KC leads 21-19 / 2 pt. conversion KC 2 / 0:18 Q2)
• After the end of the first quarter, the Steelers faced a 21-point deficit. At halftime, the game was tied. After scoring three straight touchdowns in the second quarter, and having missed the second PAT, the Steelers elected to attempt a two point conversion to tie the game.
• The game was moving fast and it appeared as if each team would have a fair number of possessions in the second half. Pittsburgh would have plenty of opportunities to get back the one point that they were missing as a result of the missed PAT.
• However, the Steelers had some momentum and the Chiefs defense were on their heels. The Steelers successfully put two points on the board to tie the game at the half. A Roethlisberger pass to running back James Conner was the tying score.
• We understand what Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was thinking on this conversion attempt. The Steelers had momentum and the crowd was into the game. It would demonstrate to the team that they had the ability to come back, irrespective of the hole they had dug themselves. Also, the Chiefs were to get the ball after halftime. This appeared to us that it was a move to appeal to the psyche of the team more than strictly a strategic maneuver.
• This was a penalty-marred game. Both teams had 12 penalties. This needs to get cleaned up for both teams to make a serious run at and in the playoffs.
• Two additional things we tweeted about this game that should be of concern for both teams going forward.
• About the Chiefs – “Whether the KC Chiefs hold on or not, it’s the 2nd time in 3 games that they’ve lost a double digit first half lead.”
• About the Steelers– “Steelers have been down 21-0 in back to back home games. This from last year.”
• The Steelers attempted to blitz more frequently in the second half but were not successful. Their secondary was exposed even further in the second half. In sum, it was a forgettable game for Pittsburgh’s defense.
• Kansas City special teams coach Dave Toub is one of the more highly regarded special teams coaches in the NFL. He’s one of the special teams coaches that is regarded as a potential head coaching candidate. For the second straight week, his return units have been electric and given the Chiefs good field position. In related news, De’Anthony Thomas also makes a special teams coach look good with his returns. (Thomas also had a key tackle of Ryan Switzer on a free kick return in the fourth quarter- he had made a tackle on Antonio Brown on a free kick one earlier- but it was called back due to an illegal formation penalty on the Steelers).
• The Chiefs got Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins involved in the passing game this week after they were largely absent in Week 1. Both had over 100 yards receiving in the game. Five different receivers caught six touchdown passes from Mahomes.
• Roethlisberger threw 60 times in 74 offensive snaps. The Steelers were threatening the Chiefs deep throughout the game but were largely unsuccessful. They went to the well too many times and this game might have been closer or had a different outcome had the Steelers run more shorter and intermediate routes.
• Pittsburgh’s secondary will have another test this coming week as they face the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their explosive passing game.