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Rookie Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos Sunday scored all of Kansas City points with four field goals. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

Rookie Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos Sunday scored all of Kansas City points with four field goals. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

KC Chiefs 2Pittsburgh, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 20-12 at Heinz Field here Sunday.
The Steelers defense kept the Chiefs out of the end zone, allowing only field goals. The Chiefs, rated high in red zone defense, twice failed in keeping the Steelers out of the end zone.
So the Steelers are now 10-5, assuring them a place in the playoffs after three years not achieving that goal. And the Chiefs are now 8-7, likely ruling them out of the playoffs unless a complex set of results next week puts them in.
pittsburgh-steelers-logoThe Steelers had first possession and in 11 plays got as close as the 5 yard line. Shaun Suisham was successful 1n a 23-yard field goal attempt. Score with 9:15 left in the first quarter: Steelers 3, Chiefs 0.
Concluding a 14-play drive that included Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith being sacked twice, rookie Kansas City kicker Cairo Santos was successful in a 35-yard field goal attempt with 2:06 left in the quarter. Score: Chiefs 3, Steelers 3.
Then, at the start of the second quarter, a 14-play drive that included a fake punt with a pass from Dustin Colquitt concluded with a 44-yard field goal from Santos with 9:25 left in the quarter.
Next, after a series of plays was to end with a three and out for Pittsburgh, a Kansas City penalty gave the Steelers a first down and Le’Veon Bell ran 1 yard for a touchdown. With PAT good, score: Steelers 10, Chiefs 6.
Next, near the end of the first half, a series of plays including a 38-yard pass to rookie Albert Wilson went to three and out. With only inches to the goal line, rather than attempt a field goal, the Chiefs went for it and failed.
As the second half started, after punts by both sides, a Chiefs drive ended with a fumble by Jamaal Charles and a Pittsburgh recovery at their own 25. Next a 10-play 75-yard Pittsburgh drive concluded with 3-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown with 34 seconds left in the third quarter. Score: Steelers 17, Chiefs 6.
In the fourth quarter, field goals by Kansas City, and then one by Pittsburgh put the score at Steelers 20, Chiefs 9 with 4:04 left in the game.
Kansas City valiantly tries to catch up, but a series of plays that includes the sixth and final sack of Alex Smith concludes with a 23-yard field goal by Santos making the score Steelers 20, Chiefs 12 with 1:37 left in the game. Final score: 20-12.
The Chiefs next close the regular season Sunday playing the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers are now 9-6 after defeating the San Francisco 49ers Sunday 38-35 in overtime.
To keep Kansas City in the running for the playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens had to lose Sunday, and the Texans beat them 25-13 Sunday at Houston, leaving the Ravens with a 9-6 record.
Of course the 8-7 Chiefs have to defeat the Chargers, and there have to be a number of other results next week favorable to the Chiefs.
Otherwise the Chiefs won’t be in the NFL Wild Card Round Jan. 3-4. And that will be it.
H.E.
(Click photos for larger view)
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith ran twice Sunday for 14 rushing yards. Smith threw 31 completed passes for 311 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith ran twice Sunday for 14 rushing yards. Smith threw 31 completed passes for 311 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson Sunday led Kansas City in receiving with five catches for 87 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

Chiefs rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson Sunday led Kansas City in receiving with five catches for 87 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

Chiefs rookie D'Anthony Thomas returns the ball on a kickoff. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs rookie D’Anthony Thomas returns the ball on a kickoff. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is sacked by Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward. Smith was sacked six times Sunday. (Pittsburgh Steelers Photo)

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is sacked by Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward. Smith was sacked six times Sunday. (Pittsburgh Steelers Photo)

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles led Kansas City in rushing with nine carries for 29 yards. He fumbled once for an interception. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles led Kansas City in rushing with nine carries for 29 yards. He fumbled once for an interception. (Kansas City Chiefs Photo)

Chiefs rookie tight end Travis Kelce runs with the ball. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs rookie tight end Travis Kelce runs with the ball. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

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