PITTSBURGH -- Their franchise quarterback on his way to the hospital, the momentum firmly on the other side of the field after a stunning last-minute rally by one the NFL's worst teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers appeared lost.
"We just stayed positive," Timmons said. "It's easy to get down on yourself, but we are not like that. We stand up, face adversity."
Good thing, because there's plenty to go around.
Coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't speculate on the severity of Roethlisberger's injury and his status for Sunday's showdown with AFC North leader Baltimore is uncertain.
"It didn't seem like a tough hit ... but he came to the sideline and next thing you know he was gone," Pittsburgh left tackle Max Starks said. "I'm hoping it was nothing serious. Honestly it didn't seem like it."
Veteran backup Byron Leftwich came on in relief and completed 7 of 14 passes for 73 yards in his first regular season game in nearly two years.
"It wasn't a pretty body of work by any of us, but his consistency remains the same in terms of being a stabilizing force for us," Tomlin said.
The Chiefs had their chances, taking their first lead in regulation all season in the first half then overcoming a series of embarrassing miscues to tie the game at 13 at the end of regulation.
"I thought our guys played and competed all night long," Cassel said. "We went up against a good football team and unfortunately we weren't able to pull it out in the end but I thought the way the guys handled the environment of Monday Night Football was great."
Kansas City's only other victory this season came in overtime, a stunning upset in New Orleans in September. Any chance at a repeat faded when Cassel's pass on the second play of extra period landed in the hands of Timmons, who returned it 23 yards to set up Suisham's second game-winning field goal of the season.
"We got the one that count baby," linebacker Larry Foote said. "We got the one that count. They did a good job tonight, but we got the one that was big time."
Roethlisberger is in the midst of a career year but struggled through a so-so first half and was 9 of 18 for 84 yards and a touchdown when he tried to buy time in the pocket hoping to convert on third-and-4. Hali and Houston swarmed in and sent him into the turf, driving his throwing shoulder into the ground.
Enter Leftwich, who managed to lead the Steelers on one scoring drive early in the fourth that gave them a 13-10 lead.
"After four or five plays, it was like riding a bike," Leftwich said. "I took a few hits. I hadn't hit the ground in awhile. It was a whole lot of things I hadn't done in awhile. It was good."
Funny, Pittsburgh certainly looked distracted at the start of a raw, soggy night at Heinz Field.
The Chiefs didn't take long to erase one bit of misery in their lifeless, luckless season, taking their first lead since New Year's Day during a spirited first half in which they avoided the kind of gaffes -- turnovers, penalties, assignment breakdowns -- that have plagued them all year.
With Charles gashing Pittsburgh's defensive line and Cassel avoiding mistakes, Kansas City raced in front 10-0. Cassel hit Tony Moeaki for 38 yards on the Chiefs' second drive, setting up a 12-yard touchdown run by Charles to give Kansas City its first lead since a 7-3 victory over Denver in the 2011 regular-season finale.
The lead grew to 10-0 after an Isaac Redman fumble deep in Pittsburgh territory led to a 22-yard field goal by Succop.
"I think we played well in all phases," Cassel said. "That was the first time we played well together this year."
Like any brief flirtation with success for Kansas City, it didn't last. The Steelers pulled even at halftime on a 35-yard field goal by Suisham and a remarkable 7-yard touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone. The ball slid through Wallace's hands, but he secured it with his legs -- and controlled it -- before rolling out of bounds.
There would be no second-half carryover, however. Whatever energy the Steelers had vanished the second Roethlisberger trudged to the sideline holding his right shoulder.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press