In a game that was expected to be a blowout, the fans were not disappointed. Of course, the blowout was expected to be by the 7-6 Pittsburgh Steelers, not the 5-8 San Diego Chargers. The Chargers showed up more animated than I have seen them in months. The Chargers were not expected to win in Pittsburgh, since they have not beat the Steelers in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh and were on a four-game losing streak. The key to the Chargers win was not letting big Ben get comfortable. Even though Roethlisberger completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and had three touchdowns the defense was intent on knocking him down.
Knock him down, they did, racking up two sacks for 14 yards lost. On the whole, the defense, as usual, played well. But what we haven’t seen for a while is that they played well for the entire game. The Steelers didn’t even cross midfield until the last drive before the end of the first half. That drive ended with a 49-yard Suisham field goal. Then, the Chargers had the Steelers backed up yet again and Roethlisberger tried to hit Brown on a screen pass. The ball smacked into tight end Paulsons back side and rolled into the end zone, where Quentin Jammer fell on it for the touchdown.
The offense decided to show up too, putting up numbers that we haven’t seen since week three. Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes in only 200 yards and zero interceptions. The injury-ravaged offensive line kept Rivers out of harm’s way and Rivers was only sacked once. Having confidence in the line and more time in the pocket allowed Rivers to convert 12 of 22 third downs.
Special teams made the game extra special with antics such as a fake punt to Weddle that made me think who are these guys?? I noticed a lot of posts on twitter wondering the same thing.
All in all, I give the Bolts an A on this performance. Something I didn’t think I would be giving again until we were under a new GM and new head coach.
The Chargers are home next week against the Panthers. I hope they are the same guys who dominated the Steelers.