QB snapshot: Ben Roethlisberger

A quick observation of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and how he played in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Roethlisberger did not throw a touchdown pass in a game for only the second time this season, but he turned in one of his better outings in throwing for 360 yards and completing just more than his 77 percent of his passes.

The poise and patience Roethlisberger showed against the Falcons, who blitzed him on 40 percent of his pass attempts, will serve the 11th-year veteran well when the Steelers try to clinch a playoff berth Sunday by beating the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are No. 2 in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 199 yards per game, but they are also one of the least opportunistic defenses in the league. Kansas City has intercepted just four passes, the fewest in the NFL, and Roethlisberger has not been picked off in the Steelers' past two games.

He has thrown 107 consecutive passes without an interception, but the Chiefs could employ a strategy that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns used earlier this season when they generally eschewed blitzing Roethlisberger and dropped extra players into coverage.

The Chiefs are certainly aware that Roethlisberger completed 60.3 percent of his passes and averaged 250.5 passing yards in those two games -- ones in which the Steelers struggled to beat Jacksonville on the road and suffered an embarrassing loss in Cleveland.

Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is tied for the NFL lead with 17 sacks and Tamba Hali can generate pressure from the other side even though the four-time Pro Bowler has only six sacks this season.

Roethlisberger has shown great patience in the Steelers' past two wins.

He will probably have to do the same Sunday at Heinz Field with the Chiefs likely to rely on four players to pressure Roethlisberger while disguising coverages to try to confuse and frustrate the NFL's second-leading passer.