1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Three-peat for Chargers as Steelers await _ again

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=txchargerssteelers&amp;prov=st&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Alan Robinson

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/photos/2008/11/16/SMHchargers292350x008_t600.jpg?42b0fb247f69dabe2ae440581a34634cbc5420f3"><img title="Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is sacked by Jacques Cesaire. SEAN M. HAFFEY / Union-Tribune" src="http://media.signonsandiego.com/img/photos/2008/11/16/SMHchargers292350x008_t600.jpg?42b0fb247f69dabe2ae440581a34634cbc5420f3" alt="Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is sacked by Jacques Cesaire. Union-Tribune Photo" width="212" height="144" /></a></div>

    PITTSBURGH(AP)-When the NFL schedule was released last spring, <span>Philip Rivers,</span> <span>LaDainian Tomlinson,</span> <span>Antonio Gates</span> and their teammates probably shared the same thought.

    Pittsburgh? Again?

    When the Chargers step onto the Heinz Field turf Sunday night for a game that could make their season and break Pittsburgh's, they will have played there as many times since November as the Pitt Panthers.

    The Oakland Raiders once went 20 years without playing in Pittsburgh, and the Kansas City Chiefs have played there once in the last 20, but this will be the Chargers' third game there in 11 months.

    Even worse for the Chargers than the long flights, and the wear and tear of taking on one of the NFL's most physical teams, is their 0-13 record in Pittsburgh during the regular season. Their postseason ended there last season, too, with a 35-24 loss on Jan. 11.

    Dan Fouts' Chargers never won a regular-season game in Pittsburgh. Neither did <span>Junior Seau's. </span>Rivers' Chargers now get another chance, and they know they can't get much closer to winning there than they in losing 11-10 on Nov. 16 - the only such score in NFL history.

    11-10. 0-13. Never quite seems to work out for the ‘Bolts in the ‘Burgh.

    "It's a tough place to play," Tomlinson said. "They are very good at home."

    At least the Chargers (2-1) won't have to worry about the swirling snow flurries and frigid temperatures that confronted them in Pittsburgh last season, or Steelers defensive star <span>Troy Polamalu,</span> who remains out with a knee injury.

    No, the Chargers' worry is finding a ground game to go against what was the NFL's second-best rushing defense last season. With Tomlinson (ankle) injured the last two weeks, the Chargers fell to No. 31 in rushing, although Rivers kept the offense going by throwing for 436 yards against Baltimore and 303 against Miami.

    No doubt Rivers noticed that <span>Jay Cutler</span> of Chicago and <span>Carson Palmer</span> of Cincinnati both mounted late scoring drives the last two weeks that ended with the Steelers losing in the final 15 seconds. The Steelers were outscored 24-0 in those fourth quarters.

    "It's been tough, it's been hard to deal with," linebacker <span>James Farrior</span> said. "It's something that we're not used to, giving up scores at the end of the game that cause our team to lose."

    That secondary hasn't been as good without Polamalu - no surprise there - and now must go against a quarterback who doesn't shy away from making any throw at any time.

    "If you watch them on film, I thought it was a highlight reel because they were going deep so much," safety <span>Ryan Clark</span> said.

    The Steelers are learning again that being the Super Bowl champion means they're getting everybody's best game - they hadn't lost in Cincinnati since 2001, for example, until last week. Even their lone victory, 13-10 over Tennessee, resulted partly from a fortunate overtime coin flip.

    "You look at stats, we win the stats, that's not even a question," wide receiver <span>Hines Ward</span> said. "But certain situations we didn't have all 11 guys on the same page."

    That was evident when Super Bowl MVP <span>Santonio Holmes</span> ran a wrong pass route against Cincinnati, causing a <span>Ben Roethlisberger-thrown</span> interception that was returned for a touchdown. Still, the quarterback has thrown for 497 yards the last two weeks, with rookie <span>Mike Wallace</span> making seven catches for 102 yards against the Bengals.

    Normally one of the NFL's most run-driven teams, the Steelers are having nearly as much trouble on the ground as the Chargers. <span>Willie Parker,</span> who ran for 146 yards and two scores against San Diego in the playoffs and 115 yards during the season, has a turf toe that might keep him out.

    <span>Rashard Mendenhall,</span> a first-round pick a year ago, so troubled coach Mike Tomlin with his practice work last week that he never carried against Cincinnati. Mendenhall no doubt wants to make up for that embarrassment.

    "We know they're going to come out and try to pound the ball," Chargers cornerback <span>Quentin Jammer</span> said.

    The Steelers don't need to be told how difficult it might become if they lose three in a row for the first time since 2006, despite the fact their next two games are against Detroit (1-2) and Cleveland (0-3).

    "If we lose this one, it's not going to be looking good for the Steelers," Farrior said.

    There's also this ray of hope for the Chargers: Since 2002, they are 5-0 against the team that won the Super Bowl the previous season.

    "The feeling right now is: Why do we have to go back to Heinz Field?" Jammer said. "We just came back from there, twice. I don't think we've ever won in there. - So it's important to go up there and come out 3-1 before the bye week."

Share This Page