Milestone fails to appease Steelers' Miller
By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 23, 2009
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KANSAS CITY — Heath Miller set a personal record on a day in which he caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Yet the Steelers' tight end couldn't stop thinking about the pass he didn't catch following a 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.
It came on the third play of the third quarter when Miller couldn't hang onto a Ben Roethlisberger pass and resulted in an interception near midfield.
Seven plays later, the Chiefs scored the touchdown that allowed them to trim the Steelers' 17-7 halftime lead to three points.
"It was a good ball," Miller said. "It hit me in the hands. It's a play I've got to make."
Miller has caught 54 passes this season — six more than the career high he established in 2008. It puts him on pace to exceed 86 catches this season.
Not that the big numbers he put up against the Chiefs nor the new standard he set for himself was much consolation to Miller after the Steelers lost their second consecutive game.
"I was way below the standard," Miller said of his play. "That's unacceptable."
• Chris Kemoeatu sprained his knee in the Steelers' 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the starting left guard did not play after halftime.
Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Kemoeatu sustained a medial collateral ligament sprain.
"I don't know the extent of the injury," Tomlin said. "We will see when we get back."
Strong safety Troy Polamalu missed four games earlier this season with a similar injury.
Rookie Ramon Foster, who signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent, played in place of Kemoeatu.
Aside from Kemoeatu, who has started 29 consecutive games, and Roethlisberger (head), Tomlin said the Steelers didn't have any injuries of note.
• Charlie Batch completed 1 of 2 passes for 17 yards after taking over for Roethlisberger on the Steelers' only possession in overtime.
Playing in a regular-season game for the first time since December of 2007, Batch completed a 17-yard pass to Santonio Holmes to put the Steelers' on the Chiefs' 43-yard line.
The Steelers had to punt when the drive stalled on the Chiefs' 38-yard line.
"It's unfortunate to go in (to the game) in that situation, but you've got to go in there and try to make plays," Batch said. "That's what I tried to do."
• Polamalu (knee) and defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf) didn't play yesterday because of injuries.
Joining them on the Steelers' inactives list were wide receiver Shaun McDonald, fullback Carey Davis, offensive tackle Tony Hills, guard Kraig Urbik, defensive end Sunny Harris and quarterback Dennis Dixon.
• By throwing for 398 yards yesterday, Roethlisberger tied a Steelers record for most 300-yard passing games (four) in a season. He shares the record with Neil O'Donnell (1995) and Tommy Maddox (2003). Roethlisberger has the Steelers record for most career 300-yard passing games (11) ... The players were given today off, and they won't report back for practice until Wednesday ... Hines Ward has now caught at least one pass in 172 consecutive games.
"The team that played better won. To sit here and say the Kansas City Chiefs are a better football team, that would be hard. That might make me a jerk, and I don't mean to be, but I still like our chances when we play against the Chiefs." — Steelers free safety Ryan Clark on losing to a team that entered yesterday's game with a 2-7 record.
173 — Passing yards quarterback Matt Cassel had on the Chiefs' final four possessions of the game.
248 — Cassel's total passing yards yesterday.