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Winners and Losers from the Steelers' 36-10 loss to the Chiefs


(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Winners:


Corliss Waitman - Waitman had a solid performance for his first NFL start, as he had a 60.5 average on two punts.


Najee Harris - Harris finally ripped off an explosive run today, as he had a gain of 21. His longest run of the year is 23 yards. Harris finished the game with 93 yards rushing on 19 carries. Harris also had five receptions for 17 yards. The offensive line continues to be a mess, so for Harris to pickup 93 yards on the ground is truly amazing. The Steelers are going to have to invest heavily in the offensive line this offseason. This is just not fair to Harris. That's really all I got for winners from this dreadful performance. Minkah Fitzpatrick racked up 12 tackles, but he also had a terrible miss tackled on Byron Pringle's 16-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the third quarter. Chase Claypool had four receptions for 41 yards, but it wasn't enough to write home about.


Losers:


Matt Canada - The Steelers have now gone five straight games without scoring a touchdown in the first half. That's the Steelers longest streak since 1940, when they were held without a first half touchdown in six straight games. Seriously, how does Matt Canada come back in 2022? The Steelers have also been outscored 114-19 in the first half in their last six games. This offense just has no identity under Canada. I know the offensive line is horrendous, but Canada's play-calling has also been terrible. I just can't see it getting any better in the future, even with a mobile quarterback. Canada was an awful hire by Mike Tomlin. He was high on Canada because he had success at Pitt and Maryland. Canada was a disaster at LSU. He had no experience calling plays at the NFL level. Canada's worst play-call of the game came near the end of the second quarter when he called a toss to Harris to the right side that went for a loss of three yards on fourth-and-1. The Chiefs took over at the Steelers' 34-yard line and ended up missing a field goal, and went into halftime with a 23-0 lead. Harris was asked about the toss play after the game and said, "I'm not answering that question." I wonder what Harris really thinks.


Ben Roethlisberger - Canada's play-calling was atrocious, but Roethlisberger didn't have a good game, either. Roethlisberger completed 23 of 35 passes (65.7%) for 159 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and had a quarterback rating of 73.4. It was Roethlisberger's second-worst quarterback rating of the season. The worst was against the Bengals in Week 3 (70.9).


Kendrick Green/Offensive Line- Kendrick Green just gets worse as the season progresses. He had just four career starts at center while at Illinois. He's not a natural center. He shouldn't be starting. Kevin Colbert and the Steelers mishandled this whole situation. They should have had better insurance policy incase Green didn't work out. Tomlin said Green left the game with a calf injury, as J.C. Hassenauer started the rest of the fourth quarter. Coincidentally, Green got beat for a sack that resulted in Roethlisberger fumbling the ball on the play prior to being sidelined. Jarran Reed recovered the loose ball and returned it 10 yards to the Steelers' 7-yard line. The Steelers ended up getting a stop and forced a Chiefs field goal, which put Kansas City up, 36-3. Green got beat like a drum on the sack. Minus right guard Trai Turner, the rest of the O-line also struggled, as Dan Moore Jr., Chuks Okorafor and John Leglue allowed multiple pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Turner was the only offensive lineman not to allow a pressure and received an 81.3 pass-blocking grade upon first review.

Diontae Johnson - Coming out of halftime and down 23-0, Johnson fumbled after a 2-yard reception and Tyrann Mathieu recovered the loose ball. Johnson didn't even get touched on the play, he just lost possession of the ball due to not securing it properly. He also had a drop, but it was negated because of an offsides penalty. Johnson just had a lot of mental lapses today.


Ray-Ray McCloud - For some reason, McCloud got snaps over James Washington and was targeted eight times. That was the second-most on the team. McCloud had just four receptions for 25 yards. I don't know why the Steelers are treating McCloud like he's a WR1. He also was called for a taunting penalty when the Steelers were down 30-0. It was a weak call, but McCloud shouldn't be even attempting to do a first-down signal, especially when getting blown out. It just makes no sense.


Pass Rush - The Steelers sacked Patrick Mahomes just twice and had thee quarterback hits. T.J. Watt was dealing with cracked ribs and had just one tackle while playing 53.7% of the snaps. Mahomes often had all day to throw. Just watch this 5-yard touchdown pass to Pringle in the first quarter. Mahomes had 7.2 seconds to throw on the touchdown pass, which is the third longest on a touchdown pass in his career.

Run Defense - The Steelers have allowed over 100 yards rushing in eight straight games, as the Chiefs put up 127 yards rushing on 35 carries. The Chiefs are not even a dominating run team, but anyone can run on the Steelers these days.


Tackling - The tackling was subpar today. All around, the Steelers just lacked in regards to the fundamentals. On Pringle's 16-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter, Cam Sutton and Fitzpatrick missed tackles. And Robert Spillane over pursued. Just brutal. Robert Spillane and Alex Highsmith also missed a tackle on Clyde Edward-Helaire in the first quarter, which resulted in a touchdown.


















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