The San Diego Chargers came to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with a decimated offensive line and a lame duck coaching staff in tow and still managed to notch the franchises\’ first ever regular season win in Pittsburgh with a 34-24 victory Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the game with two of them going to wide receiver Danario Alexander as San Diego moved to 5-8 on the season.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in his first game back since suffering a shoulder and rib injury back in Week 10, was 22-of-42 passing for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns in the loss that dropped the Steelers to 7-6 on the season with three games left to go.
The Steelers offense converted 5-of-13 third downs in the game but were 2-of-9 on the money down in the first half. The offense also was a big loser in the field position battle as their average start was their own 19 yard-line while the Chargers average starting field position was their own 37 yard-line.
The Steelers offensive line couldn\’t hold off the Chargers pass rush in the game and it resulted in Roethlisberger being under constant pressure for much of the game.
Both of the Steelers turnovers in the game, an interception by Roethlisberger and a backwards pass ruled a fumbled lateral, resulted in two Chargers touchdowns.
Dropped passes, penalties, and poor coaching also played a huge hand in the Steelers loss.
The Steelers running game never got on track in the game as they gained just 69 yards on the ground with 32 of those yards coming on scrambles by Roethlisberger.
The Steelers secondary was without the services of cornerback Ike Taylor in this game and it showed. Second year cornerback Curtis Brown was targeted heavily when he came in to man the outside spot in the Steelers sub-package and he was eventually benched in favor of cornerback Josh Victorian, who was promoted to the 53 man roster off of the practice squad on Saturday. Brown, Victorian and Keenan Lewis were all victimized for touchdowns in the game and Cortez Allen also had a poor game in addition.
The Steelers must now lick their wounds and prepare to travel to Dallas next week to take on the Dallas Cowboys, who graciously knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals today on the road.
More recap of the game forthcoming.