KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Pittsburgh Steelers never scored a touchdown Sunday night, but they did enough to steal home-field advantage from the Kansas City Chiefs and move on to next Sunday's AFC championship at New England.
Pittsburgh's Chris Boswell set an NFL postseason record with six field goals, and the Steelers eliminated the second-seeded Kansas City Chiefs 18-16.
The loss marks the fifth straight playoff loss at Arrowhead Stadium.The Chiefs last home playoff win was 23 years ago in Jan. 1994.
The Steelers will go on to play the Patriots for the AFC Championship Sunday, Jan. 16 at New England.
The Patriots beat the Steelers 27-16 on Oct. 23 when Pittsburgh was without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury.
After Sunday's game, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce went off on the referee who called a holding penalty on Eric Fisher late in the game after the Chiefs scored a touchdown to make it 18-16 and went for a 2-point conversion. Alex Smith's pass to Demetrius Harris was caught, and it appeared the Chiefs tied the game, but Fisher was called for holding. The penalty pushed the 2-point conversion back 10 yards.
The Chiefs had another shot, but this time Smith's pass fell incomplete.
"With the ref literally taking it out of our hands, that hurts," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said. "You try and play this game with integrity to the end of the whistle, and when refs want to take over the game and make it their own platform, there's nothing you can do about it. That wasn't a hold on my guy Eric Fisher, and sure enough I hope 72 doesn't go all off-season and thinking it was his fault."
Kelce says the referee should never be allowed to referee again.
"As much as I'd want to sit here right now and apologize to my teammates, you know, I don't think they'd want that," Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher said. "We're a tight-knight group in this locker room, and the support we have for each other. And we have each others' backs. We don't point fingers around here."
Other post-game thoughts from the Chiefs:
"It takes a while to kind of believe what happened," Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "This is the best football team I've played on by far. You know, it's just a sucky feeling, but you know, we have nobody to blame but ourselves."
"Everybody just be honest with their self" Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. "Look in the mirror and ask their self if they did everything they could to win this game."
"Unless you're holding the trophy, there's an empty feeling to it," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "Not a lot of teams, got this far, though."
Super Bowl LI will air on FOX 4 Sunday, Feb. 5.