A big play on defense saved the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. They'll need more of that if Ben Roethlisberger misses considerable time.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons' interception and 23-yard return set up the Shaun Suisham chip shot that allowed the Steelers to escape with a 16-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Timmons' big moment overshadowed a disappointing close to the fourth quarter for the Steelers, who couldn't stop quarterback Matt Cassell and the Chiefs from marching to a game-tying field goal as time expired. Cassel connected on a 27-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe on fourth-and-15, setting up Ryan Succop's 46-yard field goal.
Minutes earlier, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had put his faith in the defense by electing to punt on fourth-and-inches. It's hard to get on Tomlin for being conservative, not when the defense had forced four consecutive three-and-outs before the Chiefs' final possession of regulation. The field goal was a disappointing setback, but Timmons rendered it a moot point.
The road ahead is a daunting one for the Steelers. They face the rival Baltimore Ravens twice in the next three weeks, including a home matchup against the AFC North leaders Sunday night.
The Steelers have proven they can beat a subpar opponent without their franchise quarterback. A greater test could be on its way.