Sat Aug 17 11:45pm ET
By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) makes a touchdown catch in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels (38) runs the ball as Kansas City Chiefs defensive back D'Montre Wade (40) tries to tackle him in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) is hit as he plays against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) runs away from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor (97) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright wears a "DD" sticker on the back of his helmet before a preseason NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Pittsburgh. The team will wear the stickers to honor receivers coach Darryl Drake who died last week. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Mason Rudolph guided a long first-half touchdown drive to perhaps nudge ahead of Josh Dobbs in the race to be the backup behind Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 17-7 on Saturday night.
Rudolph finished 10 of 15 for 77 yards while Dobbs completed 6 of 11 for 95 yards with a red-zone interception on a night the Steelers (2-0) opted to keep several key starters on the sideline, from quarterback Roethlisberger to Pro Bowl offensive linemen David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey to rookie linebacker Devin Bush.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid suggested Patrick Mahomes would play most of the first half.
The reigning NFL MVP - who directed a touchdown in his lone drive in Kansas City's preseason opener last week - did little during two series of work following a thunderstorm that forced the opening kickoff to be pushed back nearly an hour.
Mahomes completed just 2 of 5 passes for 11 yards, a far cry from his previous visit to Heinz Field, when he threw for six touchdowns in a Week 2 win last September that served as a harbinger of the season to come.
Mahomes' best play during his cameo may have been his decision to slide during an 8-yard scramble, something he didn't do a week ago when he lowered his shoulder against Cincinnati rather than step out of bounds.
Chad Henne found Mecole Hardman for a 17-yard touchdown late in the first half for Kansas City (1-1), which managed a lone touchdown a week after putting up 38 against the Bengals. Hardman, a second-round pick, has two touchdowns in two weeks and his rapid emergence could give Reid another option to play with in what could be the NFL's most potent offense.
Pittsburgh chose to give the 37-year-old Roethlisberger the night off. Rudolph, a third-round pick a year ago who is hoping to supplant Dobbs as the top backup, was given the start instead. Playing with a group that included Pro Bowl running back James Conner and star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, Rudolph struggled early to gain some momentum.
It wasn't until Rudolph found himself playing with the reserves that he started to get going. He directed a 14-play, 89-yard drive in the second quarter, a series that ended with a 14-yard sprint to the end zone by Jaylen Samuels.
Dobbs started off brilliantly, hitting Washington for a 40-yard gain. He couldn't sustain the momentum, thanks in part to an interception in the end in which he overthrew Diontae Johnson. The ball sailed into the arms of Kansas City's Charvarius Ward to cut short a scoring chance late in the first half.
Johnson, a third-round pick, ended up scoring in the fourth quarter when he made a diving grab in the end zone on a heave from fourth-stringer Devlin Hodges.
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Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree is entering the season with a significant amount of pressure after Pittsburgh opted to pick up his fifth-year option but have not approached him about signing a long-term deal. Dupree provided a spark, sacking Mahomes and Henne and knocking down a pass.
A difficult week that began with the sudden passing of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake at age 62 ended with the Steelers making sure Drake's legacy won't be forgotten.
Coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert and their wives attended Drake's funeral in Gallatin, Tennessee. The wide receivers took the field for warmups with shirts emblazoned with the phrase ''Shut out the noise,'' the credo Drake adopted for his group for the 2019 season.
Dozens of Steelers knelt for a prayer shortly before kickoff and the team will wear ''DD'' stickers on their helmets this season and a moment of silence was held just before the national anthem.
The Chiefs didn't escape Heinz Field unscathed. Safety Tyrann Matthieu left with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Deon Yelder went down with a knee injury and Marcus Kemp exited with a knee injury. Linebacker Breeland Speaks suffered a knee injury in the second half and did not return. Quarterback Chase Litton was taken out in the final seconds after taking a hard hit shortly after releasing a pass.
Chiefs: Host San Francisco next Saturday.
Steelers: Expect to give Roethlisberger his only reps of the preseason next Sunday when they visit Tennessee.
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) has suffered multiple concussions during his career, and some in the Redskins organization as well as around the NFL are worried that Reed may not be able to play again, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if Reed will be cleared to play again at some point. Vernon Davis will continue to serve as the starting tight end for the Redskins but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has caught 3-of-6 targets for nine receiving yards through two weeks. He has fallen into the touchdown-dependent desperation-play territory as he just isn't seeing enough usage to be fantasy-relevant. The Vikings are big favorites (-9) at home, so it seems likely that Rudolph will be run-blocking much more often than running routes. He is still playing every offensive snap so the chance at a random red zone touchdown is there, but there are higher-upside TE2 options than the unexciting Rudolph.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (calf) is active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: It is not known if McCoy will be in the starting lineup, but he should receive a decent amount of touches against the Baltimore Ravens. He can be considered at least a flex option in most leagues.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Mack will receive most of the carries in the running game despite the injury and has played well in the first two games of the season. He can be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues this week.
Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is active for Week 3's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton has shown solid chemistry with Jacoby Brissett over the first two weeks and will continue to be the focal point in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
After being a healthy scratch through the first two weeks of the season, New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris will make his NFL debut on Sunday with James White (personal) out. Harris isn't likely to see enough snaps to be fantasy relevant this week, but if he looks good in his limited role it could bode well for his chances of cracking the rotation moving forward.
The New York Jets have declared QB Sam Darnold, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE John Franklin-Myers, LB Jordan Jenkins, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jordan Willis and LB C.J. Mosley inactive for Week 3.
The Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, QB Jacob Dolegala, OT Mike Jordan, OT Cordy Glenn, CB B.W. Webb, DT Ryan Glasgow and DL Kerry Wynn inactive for Week 3.
The Green Bay Packers have declared OT Cole Madison, OL Adam Pankey, WR Jake Kumerow, RB Dexter Williams, CB Ka'dar Hollman, DT Montravius Adams and LB Oren Burks inactive for Week 3.
The Oakland Raiders have declared OT David Sharpe, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Trevor Davis, DL Corey Liuget, OG Gabe Jackson and WR Ryan Grant inactive for Week 3.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (groin) is active for Week 3's game against the Denver Broncos.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) is not active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (foot) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Andrews has been a big part of the passing game over the first two games and will continue to receive plenty of targets. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy is active for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. With Damien Williams out and rain in the forecast, Shady should see a fairly sizable workload. He should be a low-end RB2 for this matchup, but with the upside to outperform that in this Andy Reid offense. Darwin Thompson will get some snaps at running back but isn't a huge threat to McCoy.
The Indianapolis Colts will have running back Marlon Mack (calf) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) will both play against Atlanta in Week 3. Both players were game-time decisions but will be good to go. Fantasy owners should feel comfortable playing Mack, though he's likely to see fewer snaps than he does most weeks. Hilton, meanwhile, is in an offense that isn't nearly as prolific without quarterback Andrew Luck and should be considered a WR3 most weeks, with the quad injury adding in a good amount of uncertainty this time around.
The Indianapolis Colts have declared LB Jabaal Sheard, LB Darius Leonard, OT Le'Raven Clark, DL Jihad Ward, S Marvell Tell, RB Jonathan Williams and TE Hale Hentges inactive for Week 3.
The Miami Dolphins have declared WR Albert Wilson, SS Reshad Jones, S Doug Middleton, RB Myles Gaskin, DL Tank Carradine, OG Chris Reed and OT Isaiah Prince inactive for Week 3.