Sunday, December 9, 2012
Wrap-up: Chargers 34, Steelers 24
By Bill Williamson
A look at an impressive 34-24 win for the San Diego Chargers:
What it means: The Chargers finally played like a winning team Sunday. They had lost seven of eight games going into this game and looked incapable of winning. But they went on the road and hammered a team with designs for the playoff. San Diego is 5-8 and has faint playoff hopes. It was the first time San Diego has won at Pittsburgh in the regular season after going 0-14 there.
Doesn’t change much: The win very likely won’t change the fact that coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will probably be fired after the season. There have been multiple reports that ownership will make a change. Turner was saved by the team’s strong play at the end of the previous season. That likely won’t work this year, but it's a nice win for Turner.
Rivers is sharp: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers had a good day. He threw three touchdown passes and did not commit a turnover despite playing without three starting offensive lineman and without center Nick Hardwick at times.
Yardage woes continued: The Chargers had 294 yards of offense, marking the fourth straight game they had fewer than 300. The last time that happened was 1999.
Running game still lacking: Last week, the Chargers ran the ball just 11 times. They went back to the run this week as they ran for 94 yards on 36 carries. Ryan Mathews had just 65 yards on 25 carries.
Alexander continues to shine: Receiver Danario Alexander, signed off the street earlier this season, had 88 yards on seven catches. Alexander has a chance to be a big part of the Chargers’ future. He has 33 catches for 555 yards in seven games. Newly signed Michael Spurlock had seven catches for 64 yards. Big-ticket free-agent pickup Robert Meachem? No catches. He hasn’t had a catch in the past three games and he has just 14 catches this season. And yes, his contract is guaranteed next season.
What’s next: The Chargers go home to face Carolina and former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera in Week 15.