The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7 action, and the Steelers and Chiefs were both left without big play makers in their lineup heading into kickoff. Ben Roethlisberger was deemed inactive for the fourth straight game, and Jeremy Maclin was also ruled out with a concussion by Kansas City. Nonetheless, it was Landry Jones with his first career start trying to get the team's 5th win in 2015.
The Steelers won the coin toss, and elected to start with the football. On their opening drive, it was Martavis Bryant who saw the majority of attention from Landry Jones, but the drive stalled and equated to the first Jordan Berry punt of the game. The Chiefs first possession equated to a lengthy drive which ended in a 30-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to give Kansas City a 3-0 lead with 8:47 left in the first quarter.
Landry Jones and the Steelers' offense started their second drive at the 33-yard line after a nice return by Dri Archer. Jones found Antonio Brown on a crucial third down conversion to move the ball well into Kansas City territory. After a 4th and 1 conversion by DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers top ranked red-zone offense settled for a Chris Boswell 24-yard field goal to tie the game 303 with 59 seconds left in the opening frame.
The Chiefs took their second drive of the game at the 20-yard line to start the second quarter, and would matriculate the ball well into Pittsburgh territory after several big passes from Alex Smith to Travis Kelce which extended drives into the red-zone. The Chiefs' second drive ended the same way their first did, as it stalled at the 4-yard line and resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to re-gain the lead 6-3 with 8:55 left in the first half.
After a touchback, the Steelers rode Le'Veon Bell into Kansas City territory, and on the outskirts of Chris Boswell's field goal range. On a 4th and 1, rather than testing Boswell's range, Mike Tomlin elected to go for it, and DeAngelo Williams was bottled up for a loss of a yard, which resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Chiefs took advantage of the turnover and after several missed tackles moved the ball into the Steelers' red-zone for the third straight possession. The stingy Steelers' red-zone defense was able to stand tall again, and forced yet another Chiefs' field goal attempt. The Cairo Santos 27-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 9-3 lead with 1:00 left in the first half.
With only a minute to work with, Landry Jones found Antonio Brown for a big first down on the first play of the drive, but two plays later resulted in an interception by the Chiefs with 27 second left in the half. The Chiefs weren't able to to convert the turnover into points as the Santos 54-yard field goal sailed wide right. The half ended with the score 9-6 in favor of Kansas City.
The second half started with the Chiefs getting the football, and the Steelers achieving a feat they hadn't accomplished in the first 30 minutes of play. The Steelers defense forced a Kansas City punt, giving their offense the ball at their own 21-yard line for their first possession of the third quarter. Despite a first down pass to Antonio Brown, the drive stalled and resulted in a Jordan Berry punt which was downed at the Kansas City 3-yard line with 11:32 left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs continued their second half offensive struggles by going three-and-out and giving the ball back to Pittsburgh with their best field position of the game. Starting at their own 38-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Landry Jones' pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, tipped again by the intended receiver Antonio Brown and intercepted by Eric Berry.
The Chiefs were able to take their next possession and turn it into points, but not another field goal, but this time a one-yard run by Charcandrick West to make the score 16-3. The Steelers, in desperate need of an answer, turned to Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell to move the ball into the Kansas City red-zone. It was an excellent throw from Landry Jones to Martavis Bryant which cut the Chiefs' deficit to 6-points after a Boswell extra point made the score 16-10 with 1:40 left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs response was short lived as they continued to struggle against the Steelers' defense, and punted the football back to Pittsburgh. Landry Jones orchestrated a nice drive, but would stall in the red-zone and with the Chief's first sack of the game on 3rd and 7. Chris Boswell would make a 36-yard field goal to cut the Chiefs' lead in half to make the score 16-13 with 10:17 left in the 4th quarter.
Alex Smith and the Chiefs wasted little time answering as they were able to drive 85-yards in just over 5 minutes before a touchdown pass to Chris Conley and the extra point would make the score 23-13 Kansas City with 5:13 left in the game. The Steelers had only one time out left, and in the process of moving the ball down the field, a Tamba Hali sack fumble of Landry Jones resulted in Pittsburgh's third turnover of the day, and all but iced the loss for the visiting Steelers.
The Steelers would lose 23-13 on the road, which moved their record to 4-3, and 1-3 in the AFC. The Steelers prepare to begin a three-game home stand starting in Week 8 when the Cincinnati Bengals come to Heinz Field for the first of their two 2015 meetings.