Chiefs move ahead in AFC West

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The Independent Online

Tony Gonzalez caught six passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday and the Kansas City Chiefs won their fourth straight game, 35-19 over the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

Tony Gonzalez caught six passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday and the Kansas City Chiefs won their fourth straight game, 35-19 over the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

The victory pushed the Chiefs (9-5) into a half-game lead in the American National Football League's AFC West Division over Seattle, which plays at Denver today. Kansas City visits Seattle next week.

The game was one of two on Saturday as the NFL broke into its late-season schedule. Carolina beat San Francisco 41-23 later to keep alive its playoff hopes.

In Kansas City, Missouri, the loss was the sixth straight for the troubled Steelers (5-9), their longest skid since 1988.

Gonzalez, who came into the game leading AFC tight ends with 614 receiving yards, set a team record at his position with his 10th touchdown of the year. He even threw the last key block on an 82-yard run by Derrick Alexander that put the Chiefs on top 28-13 late in the third.

The Steelers scored 10 points on their first two possessions and added a field goal at the end of the half, but then were shut out until Mike Tomczak's 11-yard touchdown to Bobby Shaw with 34 seconds left.

Linebacker Donnie Edwards intercepted two of Tomczak's passes, returning the first one 28 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter as Tomczak lost his third straight start in place of Kordell Stewart.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Steve Beuerlein overcame an the embarassing mistake of not being able to find his center and passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Panthers.

Beuerlein completed 27 of 38 passes on an afternoon when his biggest problem appeared to be figuring out where he was midway through the second quarter. The Panthers broke from the huddle on a third-and-6 from their own 31-yard line and Beuerlein, a 13-year NFL veteran, lined up under left guard Matt Campbell. When an embarrassed Beuerlein finally realized his error, the play clock had nearly expired and he had to call a timeout.

It didn't matter. By that stage, the Panthers had already built a 24-10 lead, thanks largely to the work of wide receivers Muhsin Muhammad and Patrick Jeffers.

Muhammad had 11 receptions for 126 yards, including scoring passes of 8, 14 and 7 yards.

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