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James Harrison, Cameron Heyward top Pro Football Focus grades for Week 16 win over Chiefs

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An excellent all-around game from the Steelers' defense set up a divisional title game Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It was as if James Harrison went back in time.

His performance against the Chiefs in Week 16 was eerily reminiscent of his earlier years and, without it, it's unlikely the Steelers would have held the Chiefs - a high-powered rushing team - to just 39 yards, which is a little less than 100 yards under their season average. Harrison owned the offensive left edge, choking out the visiting Chiefs in Pittsburgh's playoff-clinching 20-12 victory in Week 16.

Pro Football Focus, an NFL plays-evaluation web site, gave Harrison a 5.9 grade, by far the highest grade he's had this season and in the last few seasons. In fact, the last time the site gave Harrison such a high mark was Week 9 of the 2011 season against the Baltimore Ravens.

It wasn't only him, though. Defensive end Cameron Heyward may have played his best game as a Steeler, registering 1.5 sacks, a slew of hurries and a 4.9 grade, the second-highest of his career.

The two highlighted a Steelers' defense that made the Chiefs' rushing attack miserable in a game that moved Pittsburgh into the post-season. But it was a hard-fought game and the relatively even numbers on both sides are evidence to that. The Steelers' third-highest graded player was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who notched a 3.6 for his efforts. Jason Worilds had two sacks, and with it, a 2.4 grade. Antonio Brown had a 1.5 to round out the offense.

Left guard Ramon Foster (-2.0) and safety Will Allen (-2.2) had the lowest scores on the offense and defense respectively. Linebacker Ryan Shazier (-1.6) played just 20 snaps, earning the second-lowest score on the defense.

It was a defensive win for the Steelers in many ways, and the individual performances of Harrison and Heyward speak to that. The Steelers defense appears to be hitting its stride as they'll take on the Bengals for the AFC North championship in Week 17.

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