TVC E. The Pittsburgh Steelers did not spend much time in the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium in Sunday’s AFC divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, it was the home team that scored the game’s only touchdowns.
But the Steelers had the strong right leg of kicker Chris Boswell, along with the athletic limbs of running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown, and it was enough to beat the Chiefs 18-16.
The victory sends the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game next Sunday against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.
It will be the 16th time the Steelers have advanced to the AFC Championship Game. They won eight of the previous 15 games, including their most recent appearance in the 2010 season when they beat the New York Jets 24-19 at Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh faced New England twice before in the title game (2001, 2004), losing both times at Heinz Field. Overall they are 2-2 on the road in the AFC’s deciding game.
This season, the teams met on Oct. 23 in Pittsburgh, with the Patriots grabbing a 27-16 victory.
While the Kansas City defense could not handle Bell and Brown, the Chiefs’ offense was out of synch and unable to produce any touchdown opportunities – save their first and last possessions in the game.
Quarterback Alex Smith connected with wide receiver Albert Wilson on a 5-yard pass nine minutes into the game.
The Chiefs picked up the game’s second touchdown with just 2 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, when running back Spencer Ware scored on a 1-yard run.
They went for two points after the TD, and Smith completed a successful pass to tight end Demetrius Harris. But Kansas City left tackle Eric Fisher was called for holding, wiping out the tying score.
On their next attempt, Smith’s pass sailed incomplete through the end zone. Their only other points came when kicker Cairo Santos made a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Boswell connected from 22, 38, 36, 45, 43 and 43 yards. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continually led the offense down the field, but could not crack the K.C. end zone.
On five different possessions, Pittsburgh moved to the K.C. 20-yard line or closer. The Steelers kicked field goals on four of those, losing another when the Chiefs intercepted a deflected pass in the end zone.