STEELERS PREVAIL BUT LOSE ROETHLISBERGER
Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel two snaps into overtime, setting up a 23 yard game winning Shaun Suisham field goal in OT as the Steelers prevailed 16-13 over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night at Heinz Field, earning their fourth straight win.
Despite the disappointing performance, the Steelers improved to 6-3 on the season but coming out of tonight’s game, all eyes are on the health of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger left in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury and the injury was serious enough where Roethlisberger left the stadium with a sling over his right shoulder to be further evaluated at a local hospital. As of midnight he was still in the hospital being evaluated.
Roethlisberger was sacked by Justin Houston to end Pittsburgh’s first possession of the second half with the game tied at 10-10. Roethlisberger was 9 of 18 for 84 yards and a touchdown at the time of the injury.
Roethlisberger off to the second best start of his career, admitted this summer that he suffered a slight right torn labrum against the Ravens last November and played with the injury last season. The team right now believes Roethlisberger has a sprained shoulder and that he could have further damage as tests are on-going.
Some Quick Hits out of tonight’s win
— In what has been a continuing trend, Pittsburgh again played down to their competition, letting a bad Chiefs team hang around but the Chiefs pretty much being the Chiefs played a big part in the Steelers getting the “W”….. Concerns that popped up again for the Steelers was on the defensive line where the Steelers struggled mightily in the first half in stopping the run. Kansas City made a decision prior to the game to attack the Steelers left side, most notably Ziggy Hood and OLB LaMarr Woodley who are below average run-stoppers…..Jamaal Charles who had a game-high 100 rushing yards, rushed for 44 yards on his first 6 carries of the game and Pittsburgh was so focused on trying to stop the run that they got undisciplined early in the game. On the Chiefs second possession of the game following a Charles 7 yard run to open the series, Keenan Lewis got caught biting the run and Matt Cassel hit a wide open Tony Moeaki for a 38 yard gain, the Chiefs biggest passing play of the game, setting up a 12 yard Charles TD run a few plays later…… Pittsburgh though got better as the game went on stopping the run and as the Chiefs continued to hang around, what this game was going to come down to was whether Matt Cassel could beat the Steelers, and in the end he couldn’t, despite giving the Steelers a scare late.
— Cassel was 6 of 13 for 90 yards going into the Chiefs final possession of the fourth quarter and he delivered in the final seconds setting up a game tying field goal. On a 4th and 15 at the Chiefs 45 yard line, Cassel eluded pressure from LaMarr Woodley and stepped up in the pocket hitting Dwayne Bowe who beat Ike Taylor in coverage for a 28 yard reception in the middle of the field to the Steelers 27 yard line. Cassel spiked the ball with three seconds left and Ryan Succop kicked a 46 yard field goal to force overtime. Cassel’s big plays on the game tying drive would not translate to overtime as Timmons picked him off just two plays into OT.
— Byron Leftwich was 7 of 14 for 73 yards in relief of Roethlisberger and he only appeared comfortable throwing crossing routes…… Two that standout was when Leftwich connected with Emmanuel Sanders for 31 yards on a 3rd and 9 at the Pittsburgh 15 late in the third quarter and then in the fourth quarter, Leftwich hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 22 yard gain on 3rd and 7 at the Steelers 11…..While this will surely be a discussion all week, the Steelers just always seem much more comfortable with Charlie Batch at the helm and Leftwich’s inability to get the ball out quickly in Todd Haley’s offense is going to be problematic….
— Isaac Redman quickly found his way into Mike Tomlin’s doghouse after a first half fumble.Redman had just 21 rushing yards on 8 carries…..Jonathan Dwyer led the team with 56 yards on 19 carries. Neither player ran the ball particularly well and the stage remains set for Rashard Mendenhall to take over the starters role as early as Sunday night against the Ravens. The coaching staff has made it known to Dwyer and Redman that Mendenhall is the guy when healthy…..
TIDBITS: Ryan Clark appeared to suffer his second concussion in consecutive weeks. Clark who has flying around the field, led the Steelers with 10 tackles…Mike Wallace had 3 receptions for 14 yards but came up with one of the best touchdown catches of the season in the second quarter with the Steelers trailing 10-3 in the second quarter……Brett Keisel had 8 tackles, 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hits in the win. Keisel’s first quarter sack was his first sack since October 30, 2011….