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Steelers take down Chiefs to advance to 2017 AFC Championship game

The Steelers defeated the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and will advance to the AFC Championship game, where they’ll face off against the Patriots.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It came down to a two point conversion, but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense covered up a poor performance from the offense to beat the Kansas City Chiefs and advance to the 2017 AFC Championship game.

During the first half, the Chiefs’ defense spent a lot of time bending, but they never broke. Pittsburgh had to settle for four Chris Boswell field goals in the first half. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s offense didn’t do much of anything. They scored on their opening possession, but after that they stalled out. Touchdown, punt, interception, punt, fumble. That was how the Chiefs' five first half possessions ended. That's rarely going to win you a game and it would be even more rare for a playoff win to see those sort of first half results.

The Chiefs only ran the ball 14 times during the entire game, which is out of character for them. Alex Smith threw the ball 34 times and totaled just 174 yards with one touchdown and one interception, which was caused by his arm getting hit by Bud Dupree and Ryan Shazier then grabbing the ball. Travis Kelce, aside from one catch and run on the first drive, was held in check. He also had a huge drop in the third quarter that would’ve put the Chiefs in the redzone. Kelce also got involved with the Steelers’ mind games when he pushed over Ross Cockrell after the whistle was blown. He was penalized and the announcers referred to him as a hothead, not considering why he may have done what he did. The Steelers are always involved in these altercations. When will the national media start realizing it can’t always be the team playing the Steelers.

The Steelers’ offense never reached the end zone. Instead, Chris Boswell kicked six field goals, an NFL record for the most field goals in one postseason game. Considering the conditions, it wasn’t an easy accomplishment. But the only way the Steelers scored on Sunday night was with Boswell’s leg.

Le’Veon Bell continues to be the offensive piece that keeps the Steelers afloat. Bell finished with 170 yards rushing, which is a single postseason game record for a Steelers’ running back. His patient style took up an insane amount of attention from the defense. It was probably one of the reasons Steelers tight end Jesse James, who finished with five catches for 83 yards, was so open on a recurring basis.

There was a disappointing moment in the closing minutes of the game. As the Chiefs were driving to score their final touchdown, Steelers rookie safety Sean Davis hit Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley with a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit. Flags immediately flew. In Steelers style, fellow rookie Artie Burns ran over to celebrate with Davis. It’s weird they were celebrating as the Chiefs were given a first-and-goal opportunity due to Davis’ obviously illegal hit.

Then came the two point conversion attempt to tie the game after the Chiefs scored a touchdown with just less than three minutes left to play. At first, Kansas City seemed to convert the opportunity, which would have tied the game at 18, but the refs called holding on Eric Fisher and the Chiefs were moved back to the 12 yard line. There, they failed to convert and ultimately lost the game. The holding call was a bit suspect for it being a game-defining play. Usually you see the refs let the players do their thing on plays like that toward the end of such an important game. But, we are dealing with the Steelers, after all.

The Steelers are now set to play the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game in Foxborough on Sunday. The Steelers and Patriots have a well-documented history and already played once during the 2016 season. The Patriots won that game, 27-16, though it was Landry Jones, not Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback for the Steelers in that matchup.

So, without further ado, go Patriots... as painful as that is to say, it’s certainly better than rooting for the Steelers.