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Patrick Mahomes stars as Chiefs send Ben Roethlisberger into retirement

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were too good for the Steelers. (AP Photo/Travis Heying)
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The Kansas City Chiefs put what they hope will be another run deep into the NFL’s postseason into motion and, by all appearances, ushered Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into retirement.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdown passes as the Chiefs beat the Steelers, 42-21, on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., in an opening-round AFC playoff encounter that almost certainly was Roethlisberger’s final NFL game.

10:45 p.m.
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Nicki Jhabvala: The Chiefs got off to a slow start, but, unlike the Steelers, turned it around quickly to score five unanswered touchdowns before Pittsburgh finally crossed its own 45-yard line.Consider that Patrick Mahomes averaged only 3.75 yards per attempt in the first quarter. In the second and third, the Chiefs picked up chunk play after chunk play as Mahomes averaged 13.7 yards per attempt.In the second quarter, he was 13 of 16 for 196 yards, three touchdowns and a 157.3 rating. And somehow, he got even better in the third. He was literally perfect: 10 of 10 for 161 yards, two touchdowns and a 158.3 rating, the highest possible mark.
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
9:56 p.m.
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Nicki Jhabvala: What could be Ben Roethlisberger’s last game is shaping up to be one of the worst of his career.His first-half numbers certainly are.Among all starts, including the postseason, his 35.7 percent first-half completion rate is the sixth-worst of his career, his 24 passing yards are tied for second-worst and his 1.7 yards per attempt is the second-worst.Pittsburgh punted on all seven first-half possessions, which tied a franchise record for the opening two quarters, and totaled only 45 net yards for an average of 1.7 per play. T.J. Watt ended the half with twice as many fumble return yards (26) as Roethlisberger’s net passing yards (13).While Pittsburgh’s defense was able to hold off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the first quarter, it couldn’t contain them in the second. Kansas City racked up 237 yards and three unanswered touchdowns to jump to a 21-7 lead.
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
9:00 p.m.
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Nicki Jhabvala: Pittsburgh’s offense had four possessions and produced only 12 net yards in the first quarter, and yet it’s still in it against one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses. Ben Roethlisberger can thank the Watt brothers (Derek Watt had a special-teams tackle that saved a touchdown on a punt return, and T.J. Watt deflected a pass that was intercepted by Devin Bush) and his unrelenting defense for that.The problem for the Steelers’ offense? Mostly everything so far, and it starts up front. Their offensive line is getting worked, as evidenced by Tershawn Wharton speeding through the middle of the line untouched to get to Roethlisberger. They opened with three three-and-outs, then finally got a first down on their fourth possession, only to be set back by a false start penalty on receiver Diontae Johnson.The Steelers are 0-4 on third downs, in part because they’ve struggled on second downs:*Second and eight: run stuff, minus-two yards*Second and 10: run, two yards*Second and five: pass, three yards*Second and six: pass, seven yards*Second and eight: incomplete pass
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
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