Steelers Hold On

The Steelers beat the Chiefs in overtime but are awaiting news on QB Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury.

From the notebook of a sportswriter whose job this game is to write on the run:

* Wouldn't it be nice of the Steelers to put this one away in the third quarter and make my job easier?

* Just saw a pre-game factoid that the Chiefs are on a league record-pace because they've been behind 81 percent of the time this season.

* The 1985 Bears were ahead 81 percent of the time. That makes the '12 Chiefs the exact opposites of the '85 Bears.

* But as bad as the Chiefs are, for as many turnovers as they've made on their way to 1-7, the worry here is that the worst turnover producing defense in Steelers modern history won't force at least one turnover per half.

* As Mike Tomlin just said to Jon Gruden, if the Chiefs don't continue to turn the ball over "at an alarming pace," the Steelers will "have to win it the grimey way."

* Time to grime.

* Shaun Suisham makes the tackle on The Opening kickoff. Gritty kicker? Or soft coverage unit?

* Straight at Ziggy Hood to open the game. Blew him right off the ball for a 9-yard gain. I know. I know. Hood's a 4-3 tackle being pounded into a square hole here.

* I asked Brett Keisel earlier in the week how the defense can be No. 1 without sacks or turnovers. "Three and outs," he said. Well, Keisel's third-down sack forces an out.

* First Steelers play they double-team Tamba Hali and throw to Heath Miller. Such a simple play. Run it again.

* But it's the Chiefs who hit their tight end for a 38-yard gain. It's going to be another nail-biter, isn't it?

* Jamaal Charles blew through Hood again for the Chiefs' first first-quarter touchdown of the season. Doesn't look like it's going to be an early, or easy, night.

* With Miller in blocking and Antonio Brown out recovering, no one's open for Ben Roethlisberger on third down.

* Brown's out for the game, of course, but Jonathan Dwyer might be the spark the Steelers need on offense. They need to stop throwing so much anyway.

* Charles on first down with another 7-yard run through the left side of the Steelers' defense. Aaron Smith, where art thou?

* LaMarr Woodley, where art thou?

* Ryan Clark just broke up a third-down pass, but the Steelers need more than a 33-year-old free safety who specializes in kill shots back there making plays. In the Texans-Bears game the night before, those secondaries were thick with playmakers.

* A phantom hold should be cursed, as should fumbling to the Chiefs, Isaac Redman.

* In a 10-0 hole, the Steelers will need an MVP type of performance from Roethlisberger, but the hope here is that he'll just hand it off to Dwyer instead. At least for a while.

* Is Chris Rainey clapping because the kickoff went out of bounds? Or because he didn't have to test those cracked ribs?

* Max Starks is doing far better against Hali tonight than he did last year. But it won't matter if the wide receivers don't start getting open.

* And Maurkice Pouncey's is having his way with a frustrated Dontari Poe in the middle. But it won't matter if Dwyer's not going to cut it up and go. It looks like his leg's still bothering him.

* Emmanuel Sanders, like I tell my daughter after every basketball game, you must come back to the ball. That was the difference between 7 and 3 in this instance.

* A fumble and then a bumble welcome back the real Chiefs on the ensuing kickoff at 10-3. The awful return resulted in the Steelers opening their next possession on the plus side of midfield. A tie game is at hand.

* The run that put Roethlisberger over 1,000 yards rushing for his career didn't remind anyone of Bobby Douglass. Be thankful for that.

* I take back all of the bad things I've been writing about this Antonio Brown-less receiving corps with that diving touchdown catch by Mike Wallace's knees.

* The left side of the Steelers' defensive line is getting its arms out and finally settling the point of attack. But no one in the Steelers' secondary is threatening to make a play on the ball as the Chiefs drive in the final minutes.

* At 10-10, the Chiefs have to be disappointed at the break.

* Heinz Field looks half empty. Can't say I blame the fans. Being at the ball yard ain't what it used to be.

* Without the crowd noise, the field mikes are picking everything up. Watch your mouths, fellas.

* I like that Redman's not being punished for fumbling, but I'd prefer Dwyer in the game. Remember, the Chiefs give up 4.6 per carry.

* And there goes Roethlisberger with a shoulder injury. Not impressed with Todd Haley's game so far.

* Matt Cassel scrambles to convert one third down and Peyton Hillis stiff-arms Woodley in the open field to convert another one. The Chiefs came out of the locker room with more desire. Again.

* Branden Albert's yelling at officials for calling a hold that brought back a Chiefs touchdown, but that was clearly more of a hold than Colon's was earlier.

* A nullified touchdown followed by a missed field goal. That surely will deflate these pesky Chiefs, won't it?

* A 15-yard celebration penalty after the officials erroneously ruled Byron Leftwich's pass a fumble? The reversal should've wiped out the penalty, but I'll let the Chiefs squawks about the Steelers' cheap first down.

* I'm watching Roethlisberger without his pads and jersey on, getting his shoulder checked, and I'm wondering why anyone would start a campaign to name him the MVP after only eight games. Didn't this city learn anything after naming Andrew McCutchen the MVP on the 4th of July?

* Steelers stopped on fourth-and-1 at midfield but I liked the call. Then again, I'm not the one making the big bucks here.

* On the other hand, I question putting David Gilreath back at his own 10 to field a punt on his first NFL play. Steelers lucky that wasn't a fumble.

* I thought Brandon Flowers couldn't run Wow, but that was the knock on him coming out of Virginia Tech. An excellent tackler, Flowers is running deep with Wallace, too.

* Sanders on Javier Arenas is the matchup you want. The 31-yard catch by Sanders could very well be the turning point of a game Tomlin certainly called right: grimey.

* Yeah, there's a PI on Arenas. The Steelers have found their go-to guy.

* It looks like the Chiefs are putting Hali over Mike Adams in the fourth quarter. Good move. The Steelers had better get some help over there.

* Suisham gives the Steelers their first lead after 81 percent of the game is complete.

* Or something like that.

* Ike Taylor makes a play on the ball to stop Jon Baldwin and Ziggy Hood blows up a Chiefs run in the backfield. What goes around comes around, I guess.

* Lawrence Timmons is the difference-maker on defense tonight. Reading screen is one thing. Getting there so quickly is another. But bringing down Hillis in the open field shows that Timmons has the entire package.

* Will Allen read that third-and-1 run like he was Troy Polamalu or something.

* Troy who?

* Aw, just kidding.

* I understand Leftwich is playing and not Roethlisberger, but the Steelers can't turtle here with 7:00 left and only a 13-10 lead.

* Went back to Mr. Arenas on third down. No flag this time and the Chiefs get the ball back. Can the Steelers' defense get its first turnover here?

* Second sack by Keisel tonight. One more will tie him for the team lead – all in one game.

* How do you not call Flowers for a defenseless hit on Redman when it happens right in front of you, Mr. Head Linesman?

* A third-and-7 conversion pass by Leftwich to Jerricho Cotchery from the Steelers' goal line very well could be the dagger into the Chiefs' heart.

* Not only was the spot poor on Will Johnson's second-down catch, so was the spot on Dwyer's third-down run, forcing the Steelers to punt.

* And forcing the Steelers into overtime after a fourth-and-15 conversion followed by a field goal.

* Whoa, and finally the turnover. I asked for one per half, but they got the big one in overtime. No one deserves to keep that ball more than Timmons. Put that one on the mantel, L.T. This game's over.

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