By Adam Teicher, The Kansas City Star –
PITTSBURGH — The 1929 Buffalo Bisons are able to rest comfortably again, their NFL record for futility at the start of an NFL season safe despite the efforts of the 2012 Chiefs.
That’s not much consolation for the Chiefs, who took their first lead of the season against the Steelers in their ninth game. They couldn’t hold the lead, losing 16-13 in overtime on a cold, rainy night.
Pittsburgh’s Shaun Suisham kicked a 23-yard field goal 51 seconds into the extra period, one play after Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel’s pass and returned it to the 5.
The Chiefs scored the game’s first 10 points, saving them from surpassing the NFL record set by those 1929 Bisons for longest stretch to begin a season without having a lead during a game.
But the Chiefs were unproductive offensively the rest of the night. The Steelers tied the game at 10-10 by halftime, and the Chiefs had some chances to go ahead. They couldn’t take advantage.
Then, after Pittsburgh went ahead 13-10 early in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs went three plays and out on their first three fourth-quarter possessions.
The Chiefs took their first lead of the game midway through the first quarter – or, to be more precise, 494 minutes and 51 seconds into their season. Cassel got the drive moving by passing 38 yards to Tony Moeaki, who broke a tackle to get to the Pittsburgh 25.
Jamaal Charles finally gave the Chiefs a lead two plays later when he scored on a 12-yard run.
A 7-0 lead wasn’t enough for the Chiefs. They pushed it to 10-0 early in the second quarter on Ryan Succop’s 22-yard field goal, but the fact the Chiefs had to settle for three points instead of getting seven would prove to be a momentum-changer.
The Chiefs’ Allen Bailey recovered a Pittsburgh fumble at the Steelers’ 10, but two runs by Charles and one by Peyton Hillis moved the Chiefs only to the Steelers’ 4, and Succop kicked the field goal.
Succop then sent the kickoff out of bounds, setting up the Steelers with good field position at their 40. Pittsburgh drove to its first score, but the Steelers settled for a 35-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham rather than a touchdown after Eric Berry and then Jalil Brown broke up passes to end the drive.
Pittsburgh tied the game at 10-10 later in the second quarter. Mike Wallace made a spectacular catch in the end zone, initially gaining control of the ball with his legs. He eventually held on to complete the 7-yard score.
The Chiefs wasted a chance to take another lead in the third period. They moved into Pittsburgh territory and appeared to score a touchdown when Dwayne Bowe took a screen pass 22 yards to the end zone. But the play was brought back because of a holding penalty.
Succop eventually came on to try a 33-yard field goal, but it went wide right and the score remained tied at 10-10.
After Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the game because of a shoulder injury, he was replaced by veteran backup Byron Leftwich. The Chiefs appeared to take the lead again when Justin Houston picked up a Leftwich fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. But after a video review, officials ruled Leftwich’s arm was going forward and the play was an incomplete pass and not a fumble.
The Steelers eventually went ahead 13-10 early in the fourth quarter on Suisham’s 31-yard field goal.