Big Ben tosses five TDs as Steelers cruise past Chiefs

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) took charge early and never looked back against the Kansas City Chiefs (2-2), riding big-play Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell to a 43-14 win on Sunday night.

1. With Le'Veon Bell in tow, the Steelers' offense finally played up to the high expectations its roster has warranted over the past three years. Ben Roethlisberger tossed five touchdown passes, four of which came in a dominant first half, on a defense that had given up just two in its first three games. Bell came back into the fold, shifting like his old self through the Chiefs' front seven to 178 total yards on 23 touches. Antonio Brown schooled the Chiefs' secondary with two touchdowns, per usual. Even Darrius Heyward-Bey notched a score. If Pittsburgh can perform at this level against the few defenses tougher and smarter than the Chiefs, then the AFC is in trouble.

2. After Markus Wheaton dropped the ball (multiple times) in Pittsburgh's Week 3 loss, the Steelers have turned to deep threat Sammie Coates as their new No. 2 wideout. Coates, who is good for at least one 40-plus-yard gain per game -- he has a league-leading five in four games -- delivered against emerging cornerback Marcus Peters. The second-year wideout had a career-high six catches for 79 yards. Coates' emergence signals Big Ben's continued comfortability with the "big-play" offense that has carried Pittsburgh so far this season; Roethlisberger connected on three scoring plays of 30 yards or more on Sunday night.

3. One week after ravaging the Jets with eight takeaways, the Chiefs were undone by their own turnovers. Kansas City surrendered the ball twice in the first quarter inside its own 30-yard line on a Spencer Ware fumble and a tipped Alex Smith pick; the Steelers turned those two turnovers into 15 quick points, a lead Pittsburgh would never relinquish.

4. Cameron Heyward is healthy and hungry. The Steelers defensive end had yet to record a sack this season since suffering a high ankle sprain in the third week of the preseason, but exploded for three against the Chiefs. Alongside Heyward dancing in Kansas City's nightmares will be fellow linebacker Vince Williams, who totaled a career-high 16 total tackles and a sack.

5. Jamaal Charles' return to game action was short-lived. The Chiefs running back, who hadn't played since Week 5 of 2015, tallied just two rushes for seven yards before being pulled. Charles, whose snaps the Chiefs wanted to limit, was reluctantly reinserted into the game in the fourth quarter after Knile Davis was evaluated for a concussion.

6. A word of advice for Chiefs rookie cornerback D.J. White, who was victimized by Brown and Wheaton early and often Sunday night: This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.

7. Down 36 points in the fourth quarter, Smith led Kansas City on an 18-play, 80-yard drive in 4:52 that resulted in zero points. The Chiefs' offense in action remains equivalent to, as colleague Kevin Patra once put it, "death by efficient paper cuts."

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