Gridiron Report: Steelers fall to Chiefs in first round of playoffs

Written By Anthony Cugini, Steelers Columnist

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21 in the Wild Card round.

Pittsburgh just couldn’t keep up with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense as Kansas City had more than 500 total yards.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on his A-game again as he completed 30 of his 39 passes for 404 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Mahomes did throw an interception in the first quarter thanks to a T.J. Watt tipped pass. Pittsburgh linebacker Devin Bush came down with the loose ball, and Mahomes had his first and only turnover of the night.

The first score of the game went to Pittsburgh with defensive end Cam Heyward forcing a fumble. T.J. Watt recovered the loose ball and took it to the endzone for a scoop and score to give Pittsburgh the early lead. Everything went downhill from there as the Chiefs scored 35 unanswered points.

In what was most likely his last game in the NFL, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 29 of his 44 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Though Ben may have played mediocre at best, Pittsburgh fans can at least know he scored in his final professional game.

Rookie running back Najee Harris was held to only 29 yards on 12 carries. With Harris averaging 2.4 yards a carry and the passing offense staying quiet until the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh never had a chance to keep up with Kansas City.

Diontae Johnson remains a point of concern for the Steelers as he dropped two key passes on third down which would’ve given them a fresh set of downs. Though it is worth noting Diontae Johnson lowered his drop percentage by 9.6% from the previous year.

JuJu Smith-Schuster made his return to the field as he finished with five receptions for 26 yards. JuJu didn’t make a huge impact, but it was positive for the Steelers to see him on the field nonetheless.

Linebacker T.J. Watt bolstered his defensive player of the year case as he finished the game with a sack, a tipped pass which led to an interception, a fumble recovery and a touchdown. Watt did almost everything he could in the Steelers loss.

Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith and defensive tackle Montravius Adams finished with a sack each as well. Highsmith seemed to be a problem for the Chiefs offensive line all game. Highsmith’s play this season has surely earned him that starting spot for a long time.

With the loss, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is officially over. The Steelers finished their regular season at 9-7-1 and were bounced in the first round of the playoffs. With plenty of change to come in the offseason, expect a completely different-looking Steelers team with a new starting quarterback to take the field for week one of the 2022 NFL season.