Chiefs rout Steelers, secure sixth straight division title AFC West

Patrick Mahomes passed for 258 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs claimed their eighth straight victory and clinched a playoff berth with their sixth consecutive AFC West title by throttling the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10.

The Chiefs rout  (11-4), who came in allowing an average of 13.3 points a game during their winning streak, secured three takeaways and did not allow the Steelers (7-7-1) to score a touchdown until 2:54 remained.

Chiefs rout

Kansas City overcame a rash of COVID-19 inactives, including Travis Kelce, Nick Bolton and Harrison Butker.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The chances that the Kansas City Chiefs would spend Sunday night celebrating their record sixth straight AFC West title seemed slim last week when Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce headlined an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team.

Turns out the NFL’s hottest team was just fine.

Chiefs rout

Patrick Mahomes was masterful in throwing for 258 yards and three touchdowns, Byron Pringle and a cast of fill-ins rose to the occasion, and the defense dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 36-10 drubbing at Arrowhead Stadium.

Chiefs rout

“This is the type of week where it’s so great to have an experienced coach like Andy Reid, somebody who is so steady — somebody who has seen virtually everything that the NFL can throw at them,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said. “This was a different challenge, but his preparation is so thorough that they were able to get the guys who were able ready to play.”

The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions and generated 381 total yards for the game while maintaining their positioning for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

Mahomes completed 23 of 30 passes, finding Byron Pringle for two scores. Pringle caught a team-high six passes for 75 yards. Kansas City added 127 yards rushing but lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a collarbone injury.

Ben Roethlisberger never got in sync with his Pittsburgh receivers, going 23 of 35 for 159 yards. Najee Harris rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries. Chiefs rout

Chiefs rout Steelers

The Chiefs (11-4) remained a game ahead of Tennessee for first place overall in the AFC with their eighth straight win. That would give them the conference’s lone first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a touchdown run for Kansas City before leaving early in the second half with a collarbone injury. Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore carried the load the rest of the way, Williams running for 55 yards and Gore adding 43 yards on the ground and three catches for 61 yards.

“The guys all played together, which I don’t think you can avoid talking about,” Reid said. “The way they supported each other when there was a problem, when something didn’t work — everybody just hung together.”

Andy Reid earned his 102nd victory as the Chiefs’ coach, passing Marty Schottenheimer for the second-most wins in franchise history, trailing only Hank Stram (124).

Mahomes drove the Chiefs to three first-half touchdowns and a 23-0 margin at the break. Kansas City gained 112 yards in the first quarter, using 14 plays on a methodical 73-yard drive that Edwards-Helaire capped with a 1-yard burst.

Charvarius Ward then intercepted a pass by Roethlisberger on the next play from scrimmage, and the Chiefs sailed 49 yards as Mahomes fired a 5-yard touchdown to Pringle.

chiefs rout raiders

An 8-yard TD strike to Mecole Hardman with 2:13 left in the half came after a 44-yard field goal by Elliott Fry. That gave the Chiefs a streak of seven straight scoring drives dating to their overtime win last week over the Los Angeles Chargers. chiefs rout raiders

Mahomes passed for 205 first-half yards, while Roethlisberger countered with only 88. The Chiefs posted a 17-6 advantage in first downs for the half.

INJURIES

Steelers: RG Trai Turner (knee) and C Kendrick Green (calf) were banged up during the game.

Chiefs: Edwards-Helaire left after two carries to start the second half. … FS Tyrann Mathieu left in the fourth quarter with a quad injury. He had been hobbled while in coverage earlier in the third quarter.

COVID-19 CASES

Chiefs LB Nick Bolton and RT Lucas Niang were activated from the COVID-19 list along with Kelce on Saturday in hopes they would test out of protocol by kickoff; none did. Fry handled kicking duties with Harrison Butker in the protocol, and Johnny Townsend handled punting duties for his brother, Tommy, who also tested positive. Chiefs rout

The Steelers were missing LB Devin Bush and four other backups to positive COVID-19 tests.

UP NEXT

The Steelers return home to face Cleveland on Jan. 3.

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