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Steelers kick their way to the AFC Championship game with 18-16 win over Chiefs

The Pittsburgh Steelers did it the unconventional way, but they punched their ticket to the AFC Championship game on the leg of Chris Boswell’s 6 field goals.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs met for the second time this season, but the last of the two meetings came in the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, but due to inclement weather the game time was pushed back to 8:20 p.m. ET. Either way, the two teams were vying for the chance to advance to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots the following week.

Pittsburgh won the opening coin toss, and elected to take the ball. The offense drove down the field inside the Kansas City 5-yard line, but had to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal. On their first drive, Alex Smith took little time moving the Chiefs into the red-zone, and capping it off with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson to give Kansas City a 7-3 lead.

After another Boswell field goal, the Chiefs were forced to punt, and Pittsburgh tacked on another field goal to take the lead, 9-7. On the next Kansas City drive, Bud Dupree was able to hit Alex Smith’s arm while he was throwing, and Ryan Shazier picked off the pass, giving the Steelers their best starting field position of the game.

However, a tipped Ben Roethlisberger pass was intercepted by Eric Barry in the endzone, but Kansas City was unable to even get a first down off the turnover. Pittsburgh continued to move the ball with ease, but stall in the red-zone. Boswell tacked on another field goal to give the Steelers a 12-7 lead which was the score at halftime.

The Chiefs received the ball to start the second half, but were held to a short 3-and-out, and per the script, the Steelers rode Le’Veon Bell deep into Kansas City territory, only to settle for Chris Boswell’s 5th field goal to take a 15-7 lead.

After Kansas City answered with a Cairo Santos field goal to make the score 15-10, Pittsburgh started the 4th quarter with the ball, and Boswell hit his 6th field goal of the game to give Pittsburgh a 18-10 lead.

Kansas City took their next possession, and was able to put a touchdown on the board for the first time since their first offensive drive. The Spencer Ware touchdown made the score 18-16, and the Chiefs would go for the two-point conversion, and after a holding penalty nullified a successful try, Sean Davis broke up the Smith pass on their second try to keep Pittsburgh in front 18-16 with 2:38 left in the game.

The Steelers needed just one first down to win the game, with the Chiefs out of time outs at that point, and Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for the biggest first down of the season, and it clinched the win for the black and gold.

The Steelers will play the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game next Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in Foxboro.