PITTSBURGH – On a windy, rainy night at Heinz Field, the Steelers won a game, but might have lost a lot more than that in the long run.
Lawrence Timmons’ interception on the second play of overtime set up a game-winning 23-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham to lift the Steelers to a 16-13 victory Monday night over the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
But the victory was tainted by an injury to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who hurt his right shoulder in the third quarter and did not return.
Though the Steelers improved to 6-3 with the win, their fourth in a row and 15th consecutive home victory Monday night, the loss of their franchise quarterback cast a pall over the evening.
Roethlisberger was injured on a sack by Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston on Pittsburgh’s opening possession of the third quarter and did not return. He was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for further evaluation of what was called a “non-traditional injury.”
His availability against Baltimore (7-2) next Sunday night at Heinz Field is questionable at best.
With the game tied at 10 when he entered, backup quarterback Byron Leftwich engineered a field goal drive early in the fourth quarter that finally gave the Steelers their first lead.
Leftwich connected with Emmanuel Sanders for a 31-yard pass on third down to get the Steelers out of their own territory.
Then, Sanders, who was starting in place of injured Antonio Brown, drew a 22-yard pass interference penalty against Javier Arenas that put the ball in field goal range.
That set up a 35-yard field goal by Shuan Suisham that gave the Steelers a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Kansas City rallied with a drive in the closing two minutes, with Matt Cassel connecting on a 27-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe on fourth-and-17 to move the ball into field goal range.
Following a spike to stop the clock, Ryan Succop kicked a 46-yard field goal to tie the game at 13-13 on the final play of regulation and send the game into overtime.
Following a run by Jamaal Charles that gave him exactly 100 yards rushing on 20 carries, Cassel was intercepted by Timmons at the Kansas City 28. He returned the interception 23 yards to the Chiefs’ 5, and Suisham booted the game-winner.
Kansas City, which had just six first quarter points entering the game, scored a touchdown on its second possession, getting a 12-yard run from Charles to cap off a four-play, 70-yard drive. Tight end Tony Moeacki picked up more than half of those 70 yards on a 38-yard catch off of play action.
The Steelers then had a disasterous series on their next possession, as guard Willie Colon was penalized twice on the same play, first for a hold, then for swearing at an official.
Facing first-and-29 from their own 9, the Steelers attempted a handoff to Isaac Redman, who fumbled at the 11. Kansas City recovered and got a field goal from Ryan Succop to take a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Succop’s ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving Pittsburgh the ball at its own 40, and the Steelers used that good field position to score on a 35-yard Suisham field goal to cut the lead to 10-3.
The Steelers forced a three-and-out on Kansas City’s next possession and after a bad punt gave them the ball at midfield, they tied the game on a 7-yard highlight reel touchdown catch by Mike Wallace from Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger lofted the pass toward the back pylon and Wallace hauled it in with one hand, trapped it between his knees as he went to the ground and controlled it as he rolled out of bounds to tied the score at 10-10 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half.
Odds and end zones
Steelers safety Ryan Clark suffered a head injury with just under one minute to play while brekaing up a pass intended for Dwayne Bowe. ... Prior to the game, the Steelers released nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu and signed wide receiver David Gilreath off the practice squad to their active roster. The Steelers were short at wide receiver with Antonio Brown out with a sprained ankle. ... Roethlisberger went over 1,000 yards rushing in his career with a 14-yard scramble in the second quarter. ... Defensive end Brett Keisel had two sacks for the Steelers, his first two sacks of the season.