Yet here they were, in Arrowhead Stadium preparing for a Wild Card game against the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The double-digit underdog Steelers came into this game with nothing to lose. Their 9-7-1 regular season record being worn like a badge of honor for the bumps and bruises accumulated, and the turbulence survived throughout the grueling 17-game season. Could the team, and Ben Roethlisberger, find a way to win their first playoff game since 2017? It wouldn’t be easy, and after winning the opening coin toss, the Steelers elected to receive the ball.
Shockingly, both the Steelers and Chiefs both started the game with three-and-outs for their opening possessions. Pittsburgh’s offensive inconsistencies continued, but the Chiefs offense also was slow to start and only gained one first down in their first two drives.
Another Pressley Harvin III punt, Mecole Hardman took the punt back 49 yards to set up the Chiefs offense on the cusp of the red-zone. Looking as if it was the play which would equate into the first points of the game, Patrick Mahomes’ pass was tipped into the air and intercepted by Devin Bush.
Pittsburgh’s offense was able to get a first down, their first of the game, off the turnover, but nothing more.
The Chiefs were still unable to move the ball on the Pittsburgh defense, and the Steelers received the ball via punt to end the first quarter.