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Chiefs rout Steelers, secure sixth straight division title

Sportsnaut
Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Taco Charlton (98) reaches for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) as he scrambles in the back field during the first quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Taco Charlton (98) reaches for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) as he scrambles in the back field during the first quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes passed for 258 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs claimed their eighth straight victory and clinched a playoff berth with their sixth consecutive AFC West title by throttling the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10.

The Chiefs (11-4), who came in allowing an average of 13.3 points a game during their winning streak, secured three takeaways and did not allow the Steelers (7-7-1) to score a touchdown until 2:54 remained.

Kansas City overcame a rash of COVID-19 inactives, including Travis Kelce, Nick Bolton and Harrison Butker.

The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions and generated 381 total yards for the game while maintaining their positioning for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

Mahomes completed 23 of 30 passes, finding Byron Pringle for two scores. Pringle caught a team-high six passes for 75 yards. Kansas City added 127 yards rushing but lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a collarbone injury.

Ben Roethlisberger never got in sync with his Pittsburgh receivers, going 23 of 35 for 159 yards. Najee Harris rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries.

Andy Reid earned his 102nd victory as the Chiefs’ coach, passing Marty Schottenheimer for the second-most wins in franchise history, trailing only Hank Stram (124).

Mahomes drove the Chiefs to three first-half touchdowns and a 23-0 margin at the break. Kansas City gained 112 yards in the first quarter, using 14 plays on a methodical 73-yard drive that Edwards-Helaire capped with a 1-yard burst.

Charvarius Ward then intercepted a pass by Roethlisberger on the next play from scrimmage, and the Chiefs sailed 49 yards as Mahomes fired a 5-yard touchdown to Pringle.

An 8-yard TD strike to Mecole Hardman with 2:13 left in the half came after a 44-yard field goal by Elliott Fry. That gave the Chiefs a streak of seven straight scoring drives dating to their overtime win last week over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Mahomes passed for 205 first-half yards, while Roethlisberger countered with only 88. The Chiefs posted a 17-6 advantage in first downs for the half.

–Field Level Media