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Steelers Outscored in 42-37 shootout loss to Kansas City

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Patrick Mahomes had a historic campaign, tossing six touchdowns on 326 yards passing, while leading his Kansas City Chiefs over Pittsburgh in a 42-37 shootout at Heinz Field for the Steelers' home opener Sunday afternoon.

It was a day where the sun shined brightest on offense in Pittsburgh.

That natural light burned out on the Steelers.

Kansas City (2-0) cemented an immediate tone in Sunday's game, running up three unanswered touchdowns on Pittsburgh (0-1-1), never losing the lead, and taking an early-but-pivotal game from the home team.

We didn't kick enough ass. It's as simple as that. I'm not going to sit over here and sugarcoat it,” said a frustrated Cam Heyward, who watched his defense surrender 449 total yards, while coughing up six touchdowns—all through the air.

Pat Mahomes shredded the Steelers, going 23 of 28 for 326 yards, becoming the first rookie quarterback to toss for a combined 10 touchdowns in his first three career starts.

I don't know if anything surprised me,” said Mahomes. “We had a good look at the film about what they were going to do. They were switching up coverages and they got me a couple of times on their blitzes and I just got the ball out of my hands and guys were getting open.”

Pat has great awareness, great feel in the pocket and sure enough he was able to throw that thing all over the field,” said tight end Travis Kelce, who grabbed a pair of touchdowns with 109 yards on seven catches. “It was a day to exploit matchups and today, I guess I was open more than usual.”

Mahomes' efficiency was visible through third down, where the Chiefs only faced five, including their first one, late in the first quarter, when the gunslinger hit Kareem Hunt for a four-yard score to make it a 21-0 advantage, forcing a Heinz Field crowd into impatient groins and boos.

We don't hear that. We're focused on getting back in the game,” said Anthony Chickillo. “You can't let noise from the fans get to you. We don't let it get to us.”

The Steelers echoed Chickillo's sentiments unequivocal, when an unphased offensive unit rattled off 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to knot things up at the half.

We finally got it going and we were clicking,” said Juju Smith-Schuster, who capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive with a two-yard snag for the Steelers' second score midway through the quarter. Smith-Schuster led the team with 121 yards on 13 catches.

Ben Roethlisberger had a day, throwing for 452 yards on 39 of 60 passing with three touchdowns.

We just have to start faster,” said James Conner, who tallied just 17 yards on eight carries, while adding 48 yards through the air. “We got done 21-0 early. I mean, yeah, we tied it up at halftime, but we just got to start faster.”

The Chiefs took all momentum back in the second half, using an opening drive to burn off a 5 play, 75-yard drive capped by a Mahomes-to-Kelce 25-yard connection. Pittsburgh would tie things up again, when Conner found the end zone on a one-run yard that sealed a methodical 11 play, 75-yard answering drive midway through the third quarter.

Kansas City would add a pair of unanswered touchdowns, including a Tyreek Hill 29-yard catch-and-run to the house that made it a 42-28 visitors' advantage to start the fourth quarter.

Disappointing performance,” explained Mike Tomlin. “Just not good enough, really in all three phases. Not enough detail. Not enough big play making or execution, winning those one-on-one downs, and we didn't play penalty-free.”

The Steelers racked up 90-yards on 12 penalties, despite Kansas City finishing with the same amount of dirty laundry with 75-yards to show for it.

We just have to be better,” said Conner. “You can't have penalties, pre-snap or during the play. Something that we all need to work on.”

Pittsburgh had its silver lining defensively early in the fourth quarter, when Artie Burns tackled Hunt in the end zone, resulting in a safety, and bringing the Steelers' deficit to a dozen.

It doesn't matter. We didn't win the game,” said Heyward when was asked about the play.

Kicking troubles

It has been eight quarters without a single field goal from kicker Chris Boswell, who is now 0-2 on the season, with a 49-yard attempt missed in the second quarter of Sunday's game.

It comes with every sport,” said Boswell of his current struggles, “career, season, life, there's ups and downs. These last two games were a little bit up but a lot of down. It'll bounce back and even itself out. I just have to keep working and being patient with it. Next kick.”

Haden, DeCastro Inactive

Cornerback Joe Haden (hamstring) and guard David DeCastro (fractured hand) both were inactive on Sunday.

The Steelers took a defensive back-by-committee approach with Mike Hilton and Coty Sensabaugh filling much of the void.

We've got good guys in the defensive back room,” said Terrell Edmunds of the confidence in the defensive backfield sans Haden Sunday. “Once one person goes down, the next person got to step up. We wouldn't say that it was because we didn't have Joe that the outcome was what it was.”

After the Spread

The Steelers are now 0-2 ATS this year, losing as a consensus -4.5-point home favorite, while also losing the first half spread, which was set at -3.

The over is 2-0 in Steelers games this year, with Sunday's total of 52.5 (highest in the NFL on Week 2) sailing over at the 7:12 mark of the third quarter, after Conner's one-yard dash to the end zone.

Up Next

The Steelers will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers on Monday night. Kickoff is slated for 8:15. Pittsburgh is an early -2.5-point road favorite in the game.

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