KANSAS CITY (93.7 The Fan) – It’s what we knew deep down, the Steelers offense was just not good enough to win in the postseason. Especially when trying to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs in a 42-21 playoff loss Sunday.
Steelers defense held the Chiefs for the first five drives, even got a defensive score with after a Cam Heyward forced fumble was scooped up and run in by TJ Watt.
The offense, in Ben Roethlisberger’s last game, was flat out horrible. Here is a rundown of the first half series
· 3 plays, 0 yards
· 3 plays, 2 yards
· 3 plays, 3 yards
· 5 plays, 13 yards
· 6 plays, 20 yards
· 3 plays, 8 yards
· 3 plays, 5 yards
Given all of the opportunities, the Chiefs finally got it going in the second. Mahomes with completions of 20 and 14 yards, then a scramble of 23 yards. Eventually, an underhand throw to Jerick McKinnon to tie the game.
Next series Travis Kelce got loose for 31 yards, then McKinnon runs of 15 and 13 yards before Mahomes hit Byron Pringle on third down for a 12-yard TD. KC got it back at the 20, took six plays to go 80 yards ending on a 48-yard TD to Kelce.
The Chiefs wouldn’t stop and the Steelers scored a couple of meaningless touchdowns to make it look closer than it was.
Watt and Heyward
All year it’s been these two on defense. The Steelers had 32 yards on 20 players when on first and 10 from the KC 31-yard line Mecole Hardman dropped a direct snap and as he picked it up and started to make a move, Cam Heyward came crashing in and knocked the ball loose. TJ Watt picked it up and ran 26 sliding into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
It’s the fourth fumble recovery of the year for Watt and first TD of the season and of his career. The fifth-year outside linebacker now has eight career fumble recoveries. It’s Heyward’s second forced fumble of the season and ninth of his career, second in the post-season.
Both are up for major awards and a strong case for both. Watt for NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Heyward for Walter Payton Man of the Year
On the way into the stadium, met a number of Steelers fans from Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Sharon, Glenshaw. Most acknowledged they didn’t have high expectations, still thousands showed up to cheer their favorite team.
There will be several changes for next season. We know Roethlisberger is retiring. Here are other free agents
· CB Joe Haden
· S Terrell Edmunds
· WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
· G Trai Turner
· T Chuks Okorafor
· WR James Washington
· CB Ahkello Witherspoon
· WR Ray-Ray McCloud
· TE Eric Ebron
· LB Robert Spillane
· QB Dwayne Haskins
Likely Mike Tomlin won’t comment on coaching decisions. The Steeler way is to send out a press release with no explanations. Don’t know if any coach is safe for next season, but interesting call on offensive and defensive coordinator for next season. While the defense performed much better, they didn’t meet expectations. Even though the offense was young, it was horrible at times.