The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs took part in the home opener at Heinz Field, and the Steelers presented their loyal fan base with a big, fat, ugly loss. The 42-37 defensive stink-fest was nothing to write home about, yet there were some good performances at least worthy of recognition.
During the game, some perform well while others fall short of the standard. This is where the Winners and Losers column comes in. After the game, when the dust settles, we decipher who falls into which category.
As always, feel free to comment on the list in the comment section below. Be part of the conversation!
Stat Line: 13 receptions, 121-yards, 1 TD, 19 targets
Don’t look now, but Smith-Schuster is becoming a star before our very eyes. Maybe he’s a beneficiary of the extra attention going to Antonio Brown but, whatever the reason, he’s taking advantage of his opportunities. He may not be the fastest receiver in the league, but he looks every bit the part as he has now gone over 100-yards receiving in back-to-back games.
Stat Line: 5 catches, 138-yards, 1 TD, 5 targets
Steelers need a tight end, you say? Jesse James just showed what he was capable of by catching every pass thrown his way and cashing in on his opportunities. Like Smith-Schuster, he may not be the best or most athletic at his position, but that doesn’t make him less valuable. Great game by ‘The Outlaw’.
Stat Line: 39/60, 455-yards, 3 TDs, 2 rushes, 9 yards, 1 TD
Roethlisberger chucked the ball around the yard 60 times and only completed 39 of those. He looked a bit off at times, missing some open receivers, but Roethlisberger kept the Steelers in this game — not to mention helping to bring them back from 21 points down in the first half. The Steelers lost, but not because of Ben.
Stat Line: This team is a hot mess
I’m a staunch Tomlin supporter, but this is getting ridiculous. This team might be one of the most undisciplined in recent memory, and the defense — which should be Tomlin’s forte — is anything but good. Time for the team and Tomlin to put-up or shut-up — and you can feel a seat getting warm.
Keith Butler & Randy Fichtner
Stat Line: This team is a hot mess
Tomlin deserves a lot of blame, but so do the coordinators. The plan for both sides of the ball coming into this game was as bland and ill-advised as any I can recall. When the offense scraps its game plan in the first quarter, that tells you the defense has collapsed and the offensive plan is failing in every sense of the word. Unacceptable.
The entire defense
Stat Line: Patrick Mahomes threw more TDs than incomplete passes
There isn’t enough space on this platform to write about how poor the entire defense played on Sunday. One sack and the lone turnover — a Cam Heyward-forced fumble — happened after three missed tackles by the Steelers. Just read the stat line over and over again — this defense was awful from top to bottom. No exceptions.
Stat Line: 5 punts, 46.4 average, 59-yard long, saved by the 59-yard punt
Sure, Berry had a great 59-yard punt which led to a Chiefs’ safety, but Berry’s performance this season hasn’t been good. Wouldn’t be shocked to see the Steelers bring in a few punters to make a change, or kick-start Berry.
Stat Line: Hasn’t made a field goal yet this season
What is the deal with Boswell? Last year he missed three field goals all season, this season he is 0/2 on field goals, and he’s already missed an extra point as well. Like a golfer struggling off the tee, it looks like Boswell doesn’t know where the ball is going when he kicks it. Boswell is in a bad place right now.
Stat Line: 9 receptions, 67 yards, 17 targets — stormed off like a little baby after the game
Brown’s stat line isn’t horrible, but if you witnessed his demeanor and early exit out of the locker room, you’d assume he hadn’t caught any passes vs. the Chiefs. I don’t care about sideline antics. Tom Brady yells at his coordinator and is dubbed a “fiery competitor,” but when others do it they’re “divas” or “pouting.” What bothers me, though, is Brown not facing the music after the game. You think anyone connected to the Steelers actually wanted to talk about this game after the fact? Nope, but they did anyway. Brown still has a lot to learn.