The Journal Gazette
Monday, January 17, 2022 1:00 am

Chiefs dismantle Steelers in Roethlisberger's final game

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Patrick Mahomes threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns, Travis Kelce caught a TD pass and threw another one, and the Kansas City Chiefs sent Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into retirement with a 42-21 blowout of the Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs Sunday night.

Byron Pringle caught touchdown passes from Mahomes and Kelce, and Jerick McKinnon and Tyreek Hill also had scoring catches as the Chiefs (13-5) began their pursuit of a third straight AFC championship in fine style.

They scored on six straight possessions at one point, shut down Roethlisberger and the rest of the Pittsburgh offense, and turned next Sunday night's divisional-round game against Buffalo into appointment viewing.

Roethlisberger, who admitted the Steelers (9-8-1) were “not a very good football team” this week, wasn't very good in his own right. The 39-year-old was 29 of 44 for 215 yards with two late meaningless TD passes.

Judging by the final score, you'd never guess the first quarter was all about defense: The Steelers ran 14 plays and went 12 yards, while the Chiefs had more punt return yards (70) than they had from scrimmage (62).

Made sense that the first points would be scored on defense, too, when receiver Mecole Hardman took a snap and attepted to get the ball to Darrel Williams, who bobbled the exchange. The ball bounced to T.J. Watt, and the Steelers' All-Pro returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.

Mahomes responded by completing his next six passes, capping a 76-yard drive with a pass to McKinnon that tied the game. Then he found Pringle in the corner of the end zone for a score, and he put an exclamation mark on the half by hitting Kelce with a 48-yard touchdown strike. 

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