Chiefs vs. Steelers: Biggest Takeaways From Kansas City’s Overtime Win


Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs finally won a preseason game, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-20 in overtime. Yes folks, this preseason game went into overtime.

The win was meaningless from a record standpoint, but this was a huge game for the Chiefs, and Kansas City looked good. There was a lot on the line from an evaluation and execution standpoint, and a ton of players stepped up.

In particular, the first offense made some great strides, and Alex Smith responded after a down week against San Francisco.

Smith undoubtedly established himself as the leader of this offense, if not as the leader of the whole team. He was hit hard by Troy Polamalu late in the second quarter but bounced right back up and led Kansas City to a touchdown score with 21 second left in the first half. Kansas City’s under two-minute offense was efficient, and multiple players including Dwayne Bowe made some big plays. Junior Hemingway was the guy who came away with the touchdown, but Bowe’s night was one to remember.

Not only did he grab his first reception of the preseason, but he finished with six receptions for 73 yards.

Overall, Kansas City has a lot it can build on heading back to Arrowhead to face the Packers in preseason game No. 4.

Here are a few takeaways from this game.

Donnie Avery Looks Like A No. 2 WR

Kansas City desperately needed a receiver to step up across from Bowe and make plays. The Chiefs went to Donnie Avery early and often, and he responded in a big way. If you noticed, Bowe’s first catch came after Avery snagged a few.

If Avery can establish himself as a solid No. 2, that’s going to force defenses to respect to the other side of the field. They won’t be able to roll coverage over Bowe, and that’s just going to allow him to make more plays. Avery caught six passes for 54 yards.

Jamaal Charles Is Healthy

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jamaal Charles ran the ball seven times for ten yards. The numbers weren’t great, but Charles looked healthy out there. He was able to cut and move at full speed, and really that’s the best takeaway a Chiefs fan could ask for.

Alex Smith Is The Chiefs Quarterback

I knew heading into the game that we’d meet the real Alex Smith tonight. Good players respond to bad play, and they always find a way to bounce back. Let’s not sugar coat it. Smith didn’t look good against San Francisco, so I personally could not wait to see how he responded to that bad game.

Smith answered the bell.

He went 17-of-24 for 158 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t put up huge numbers, but he was extremely efficient and led the offense. He got the ball to the playmakers, and that’s really all he’ll need to do to be successful in Kansas City.

Smith had a big 38 yard run that really gave the Chiefs some momentum, and his drive at the end of the second quarter was a thing of beauty.

I know there have been questions about Smith this offseason, but it’s my opinion that he answered those questions. He’s the quarterback of this team.

Special Teams Will Win Games For Kansas City In 2013

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If there was a preseason MVP and coaches could win it, special teams coordinator Dave Toub would undoubtedly be the winner.

Toub has Kansas City’s special teams unit believing it can truly impact and win games for the Chiefs in 2013. In the process, they’ve made a ton of plays.

Special teams continued to shine in preseason game No. 3.

Tysyn Hartman blocked a field goal in the first half, and Knile Davis took a kick return 109 yards for a score in the second half.

Special teams will win at least one game for Kansas City this year.