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Steelers beat Chiefs: The good, bad and ugly

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NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tough loss for the Chiefs. You can’t sugarcoat it in the postseason. It was a game we should have won. I still feel like it was a step forward over last year, and the window is still opening.

The Good

  • As predicted, the defense gave up a lot of yards to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. But no touchdowns. (At all)
  • Alex Smith looked like a game-winning QB on the first and last drive.
  • Pittsburgh was the only team that didn’t allow an opening-drive TD all season. Then the Chiefs did it to them.
  • Eric Berry had a huge interception and a huge stuff.

The Bad

  • The Chiefs allowed 46 percent conversions on third downs (7/15), while getting only 22 percent on third down themselves (2/9). This has been a problem all year.
  • Where was the special teams dominance? The Steelers were weak in special teams all year ... they got good in just one week?

The Ugly

  • Although the defense didn’t give up any touchdowns, they were unable to get any early stops that prevented field goals. The Steelers only punted once. If the defense had forced two punts, the Chiefs might have won. The Chiefs first drive was perfect. That’s exactly what you want, a drive right down the field to answer a field goal with a touchdown. Then the Chiefs started shooting themselves in the foot. The last drive was a touchdown, too. Everything in between was ugly.
  • You knew things were going against the Chiefs when Charcandrick West fumbles in the open field trying to switch the ball to the other arm without even being touched. It really feels like a curse.
  • The holding call against Eric Fisher on the two-point conversion. If there is a difference between what Fisher did and what is done on almost every play to the premium pass rushers in the league, I don’t have the experience to see it.
  • Steelers tight end Jesse James had two big catches that extended field goal drives in which he was wide open, as if the Chiefs just forgot to cover him. Killer.

The Bottom Line

When the Chiefs hold teams to under 19, they win. The Chiefs did that. When the Chiefs score more than 20 points, they win. They didn’t do that. The result was a game of missed opportunities.

The good thing is, I am convinced the Chiefs window is still opening. There is more to come.