Justin K. Aller
It was a tough one all around, but the Steelers scrapped together enough in the fourth quarter for a big conference win over Kansas City.
LB Lawrence Timmons - The way the game was going, he easily could have dropped that interception. But he didn't. On a defensive play call similar to his interception against Tennessee, Timmons made the play of the game, and as it may play out, the play of the second half of the season. The Steelers' offense was sagging without Ben Roethlisberger, and the Chiefs were just starting to make enough plays to get in scoring range.
DE Brett Keisel - He delivered several big hits on Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, including his first two sacks of the season. He was disruptive inside and outside, and helped the Steelers' pass rush quietly have one of its best games of the year.
FS Ryan Clark - He could have accentuated it with an interception in the second half, but he couldn't hang onto the ball. Outside of that, the Steelers' run defense was a bit more susceptible than it has been in the first part of its four-game winning streak, but Clark still kept the Chiefs running game under relative control. They didn't break a run longer than 12 yards.
Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery - The Steelers' receiving group did not create separation, and made very few plays after the catch. They accentuated the absence of Antonio Brown, bringing into light the playmaking ability of the unit, unless quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a clean pocket.
LG Willie Colon - Stop "cursing at the officials," Willie. Seriously, though. Stop. The game clearly was going toward the slug-it-out defensive route, and taking two penalties for 20 yards on one play won't help.
Pass Protection - The entire Steelers offensive line was confused and overpowered by an inspired Chiefs team. It led to the injury of Roethlisberger, and Byron Leftwich was hit on his first throw. It greatly limited the offense the entire game, and while one player can't be singled out for it, it was a general failure throughout the Steelers' protection plan.
DE Ziggy Hood - It's one thing for a team to plan to run your direction for an entire game, but it's another to have had several opportunities to make plays but only making one or two. The Steelers run defense wasn't as bad as is likely being felt Tuesday morning but Hood represents something that could have been much better. And much worse.