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There is no defense for the Steelers defensive effort against the Chiefs

The defenseless Steelers fell to 0-1-1 following a 42-37 loss to the Chiefs at Heinz Field on Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

For the second time in as many games at Heinz Field, the Steelers found themselves down, 21-0, before the end of the first quarter, as they took on the Chiefs in their regular season home opener on Sunday afternoon.

The last time Pittsburgh found itself in such a hole at home was eight months earlier, in a game that ended in a 45-42 loss to the Jaguars in the divisional round of the playoffs on January 14th.

Unlike the playoff game, the Steelers did manage to crawl their way back to tie the score at 21-21 before halftime. Unfortunately, just like the playoff game, Pittsburgh couldn’t count on its defense when it needed them to hold the Chiefs, as Kansas City marched right down the field on three successive touchdown drives to open the second half.

The Steelers’ offense, meanwhile, could only answer with a short James Conner touchdown run during that stretch.

Actually, if we’re being honest, the Steelers couldn’t count on their defense throughout the entire game, as Kansas City racked up 449 yards and hit pay-dirt on six of its 12 offensive series — second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes tossing six touchdown passes over and through a secondary that made him look like Dan Marino circa 1984.

No matter how you slice it, the Steelers’ defense didn’t look good on Sunday. In fact, if you want to erase the Week-1 performance in the slop of Cleveland, the defense really hasn’t looked good against offenses not run by the Browns during this entire calendar year.

Pittsburgh’s defense, a unit that sacked Tyrod Taylor seven times just a week earlier, only registered one sack against Mahomes. And, yes, the Chiefs were only two-of-five on third downs, but that’s because they didn’t need to convert very many.

Mahomes averaged a sickening 11.6 yards per pass attempt and no Chiefs’ scoring-drive even consumed four minutes on the clock.

If the Steelers have the best offense in the NFL based on reputation, Kansas City has the best one based on merit.

As for Pittsburgh’s defense, it did plenty on Sunday to earn a reputation as a unit that can’t stop any offense but one run by the Browns.

Not only did the Steelers allow 40-plus points in their second-straight home contest, they only registered one takeaway, giving them two in the past three games of consequence.

And perhaps the most disturbing statistic was Stephon Tuitt’s pass defensed on a play where he deflected a Mahomes toss at the line of scrimmage.

Why was this disturbing? It was the only pass broken up by the defense the entire afternoon.

When a team scores a combined 79 points in back-to-back home games and loses them both, that’s on the defense.

The Steelers’ defense only has one more game against the Browns’ offense before the 2018 season is complete. If Keith Butler can’t find the answers sooner rather than later, the 2018 season may turn out to be one of the most disappointing in recent memory.