Three seemed to be too much for the Chiefs defense to handle. Kansas City’s defense took advantage of second-year quarterback Alex Smith and rookie signal-caller Matt Leinart the two previous weeks. But Ben Roethlisberger, in his third year, figured it all out leading the World Champion Steelers to a 45-7 dismantling of the Chiefs Sunday.
Roethlisberger came into the game with no touchdown passes and one of the lowest quarterback ratings in the league. Many critics were starting to wonder if he had fully recovered from a June motorcycle accident and an appendectomy last month. Roethlisberger silenced those critics – even if just momentarily – completing 16-of-19 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns.
Perhaps more stunning for the Steelers was their defense and its performance Sunday night holding last year’s AFC rushing leader, Larry Johnson, to a paltry 26 yards on 15 carries. In the last two games, Johnson has combined to rush for 62 yards. Back-up quarterback Damon Huard had been on fire in relief of the injured Trent Green, but the flames were put out by Pittsburgh blitzing defense. Huard finished the game 16-of-32 for 162 yards and an interception. Brodie Croyle entered the game in mop-up duty and looked like a rookie completing 3-of-7 for 23 yards and two interceptions.
Pittsburgh’s running game was supposed to take a nose dive after the loss of Jerome Bettis to retirement. The Bus handed the rushing duties to “Fast” Willie Parker who continued to do a good job rushing for 109 yards on 21 carries and two scores.
Things do not get any easier for the Chiefs. Their next three games are against the Chargers (4-1), Seahawks (4-1), and Rams (4-2).