Notes & Quotes – Big Ben Thumbs Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

His right thumb is broken, or more accurately fractured. It’s encased in a splint and then Ben Roethlisberger put on a glove and went out Sunday night and threw the ball 31 times.

For a quarterback who has dealt with a series of injuries over his career, this one was not quite as big a problem as it sounds when you say fractured thumb on his passing hand.

“It was a little chilly out there and it was our first real cold game of the year; it will probably be a little sore tomorrow, but right now I’m alright,” Roethlisberger said after the Steelers 13-9 victory over the Chiefs.

On the night, Roethlisberger completed 21 of 31 passes for 193 yards, with the game’s only touchdown and he threw an interception to Chiefs CB Travis Daniels. It wasn’t a classic Big Ben passing night, but it was more than good enough to win this game.

“I didn’t think it was a factor,” Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said. “In terms of his execution we didn’t have any discussions regarding it. It was a non-issue.”

Pittsburgh’s offense struggled against the Chiefs defense, as they were able to produce only one touchdown and couldn’t get their running game going.

“I’ve been saying that we’ve been steadily improving every week,” said Roethlisberger. “Tonight I think we had our first setback. I don’t think it’s anything to panic over. It’s one game against a good defense in a hostile environment.”

ATMOSPHERE REPORT

It was Heinz Field West on Sunday night at Arrowhead as the stadium was invaded by Steelers fans. There were black and gold clad fans waving their Terrible Towels in every section of the stadium on every level. They were loud even in the pre-game warm-up when they cheered wildly every time a Steelers player came running out of the tunnel.

“Our fans are great,” said Roethlisberger. “They follow us everywhere.”

The Chiefs announced 72,173 as paid attendance, but there is no word on whether that total included the free upper level tickets they provided their suite holders and club level ticket holders last week. Yes, the Chiefs were giving away tickets to this game.

As for the Steelers fans, I’d say the crowd was a 60-40 split in favor of the Chiefs.

ZEBRA REPORT

Mr. Muscles, referee Ed Hochuli and his crew worked the game and handled it in a fairly efficient manner. They ended up walking off 10 penalties for 70 yards with four of those going against the Chiefs.

Flag

Offender Penalty

Yards

1.

B. Carr Pass interference Offsetting

2.

T. Hali Offside Declined

3.

B. Flowers Illegal contact

Declined

4.

D. Johnson Defensive holding

Minus-5

5.

J. McGraw Defensive holding

Minus-5

6.

T. Hali Offside Declined

7.

J. Horne Running into punter Minus-5

8.

J Gaither False start Minus-5

Todd Haley used his red flag one time, challenging a scramble by Roethlisberger where the ball appeared to come out as he was tackled. Replay showed the ball had been jostled loose before the quarterback was done, but he never lost control of the ball until after his knee touched down.

SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT

K Ryan Succop – He was 3-for-3 on his field goals, and now has a streak of 15 consecutive FGs. Distance on kickoffs dropped considerably due to the cold weather. His kicks went to the 9, minus-2, goal line and 3-yard line. They were returned for an average of 19.3 yards.

P Dustin Colquitt – Only three punts on the night for Colquitt, kicking for 46, 35 and 31 yards, an average of 37.3 yards per kick, with a matching net average.

Returner Javier Arenas – One punt return for 14 yards.

Returner Dexter McCluster – One punt return for seven yards and a fair catch.

Returner Jeremy Horne – One kickoff return for 20 yards.

Coverage – Not many opportunities as they did not face a punt return and gave up a 19.3-yard average return. Tackles were credited to Reshard Langford, Cameron Sheffield, Andy Studebaker and Sabby Piscitelli.

MEDICAL MATTERS FILE

All the injury problems during the game were on the Steelers side of the field. The Chiefs were without LG Ryan Lilja, who was inactive because of a concussion suffered on Monday night against New England. Late in the game, LT Branden Albert had to be helped from the field with a minor injury in the fourth quarter, but he ended up not missing a play.

PERSONNEL FILE

Rookie Rodney Hudson got his first NFL start, filling in for Lilja at left guard. OT Steve Maneri played in his first game with the Chiefs, coming in as a tight end and even catching a pass that went for just one yard. However, the play led to Troy Polamalu leaving the game with a concussion when he tackled Maneri and his head hit the receiver’s knee.

Inactive players for the Chiefs were QB Kyle Orton, DB Donald Washington, LB Demorrio Williams, TE Jake O’Connell, DL Brandon Bair and NT Jerrell Powe.

Inactive players for the Steelers were QB Dennis Dixon, LB Stevenson Sylvester, OLB LaMarr Woodley, DE Al Woods, OT Jamon Meredith, NT Chris Hoke and WR Arnaz Battle.

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