The Pittsburgh Steelers were tested by the Kansas City Chiefs, before eventually pulling out a hard fought 16-13 overtime victory.Ben Roethlisberger to an unspecified right shoulder injury in the process. The Pro Bowl quarterback was taken to the locker-room and then transported to another location for evaluation and did not return. In his absence, the team turned to veteran Byron Leftwich for the remainder of the game.
After each team secured a first down and then punted, the Chiefs put on a drive to take their first regular season lead in 2012. Behind a solid run/pass combination they drove the ball 70-yards in four plays, with running back Jamal Charles scoring from 12-yards out to make the score 7-0. After a Willie Colon meltdown that cost the Steelers almost 20-yards in penalty yardage, running back Isaac Redman fumbled on next play. This turnover set the Chiefs up at the Steelers 10-yard line. The defense held their ground, and held the Chiefs to three-points. Ryan Succop capped the six-yard drive with a 22-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter of action.
The Steelers were finally able to scratch their way onto the board with a solid drive. Riding passes to tight ends Heath Miller and David Paulson the team moved 43-yards on 11-plays to set up a Shaun Suisham 35-yard field goal to make the score 10-3 Kansas City. After the defense forced their first three-and-out, the Steelers offense took advantage of great field position, to draw even at 10-10 late in the second quarter. To cap the 50-yard drive, Roethlisberger hooked up with Mike Wallace on a seven-yard pass, allowing Wallace to become only the sixth wide receiver in franchise history with at least 30 touchdown receptions.
After struggling through the third quarter with Leftwich at the helm, the Steelers got their offense stumbling down the field. Taking advantage of two critical penalties that kept the drive alive, the team moved into position with Suisham capping an 11-play 73-yard drive to make the score 13-10 in the fourth quarter.
The score remained that way until the final play on regulation, where after the Chiefs overcame a fourth-and-15 on the next to last play, Succop connected on a 46-yard field goal to bring the game to a 13-13 at the end of regulation.
Fortunately, for the Steelers, the defense finally came up with a huge play to help them pull out a victory. In overtime, linebacker Lawrence Timmons picked off quarterback Matt Cassel and set the team up at the Chiefs five-yard line. On first down, head coach Mike Tomlin decided to kick the field goal and Suisham delivered to give the Steelers a 16-13 victory.
The biggest story was the injury to Roethlisberger, who was seen leaving the stadium with his wife in the fourth quarter wearing shorts and a sling on his right arm. According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS, he was headed to the hospital for an MRI for a possible separated shoulder.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer took over for Redman after his fumble and led the ground-game with 19 carries for 56 yards. Roethlisberger was better than is numbers would suggest, going 9-of-18 for 89 yards and 1 touchdown, overcoming four drops in the sloppy wet conditions at Heinz Field. Heath Miller led the receiving corps with four receptions for 47-yards.
Defensively, it was another injury, a potential concussion to safety Ryan Clark that could haunt the defense moving forward. Still, the team must sure up their run defense as the explosive Charles is cutting them up with 23 carries for 100 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense did manage two sacks and the one interception, while holding Cassel to 11-of-26 passes for 156 yards and one interception.
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