The Pittsburgh Steelers get a huge conference win over the San Diego Chargers Monday Might 24-20 on a one yard Le’Veon Bell touchdown on a direct snap from the wildcat formation as the gun sounded. Michael Vick had a huge fourth quarter leading the Steelers on the tying touchdown at 17 after a pass to Markus Wheaton after having an interception and three and outs in their previous four second half drives. Josh Lambo of the Chargers then put the Chargers ahead with a 54 yard field goal with just under three minutes remaining. That is when vintage Vick showed up on the final 12 play 80 yard drive when he ran for 24 yards on 3rd and 6 and three plays later hit Heath Miller for 16 yards to the Chargers 1 to get up the game winning score.
Bell rushed for 111 yard on 21 carries with the touchdown, Vick went 13 for 26 203 yard with one touchdown and one interception. Phillip Rivers went 35 for 48 for 365 yards, two touchdowns and a momentum swinging pick six to Antonio Blake that put the Steelers ahead 10-7 in the third quarter.
All of the credit will go to Vick and Bell and that is due, but the heroes of this game for the Steelers had to be the defense. The Changers running game was nonexistent and Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree put the heat on Phillip Rivers all night and despite the numbers that Rivers put up they gave the offense time to get in rhythm and what Coach Tomlin like to say “Get them out of the stadium”. Although San Diego was without Two of their starting offensive lineman King Dunlap (concussion) and Orlando Franklin (ankle) the Steelers controlled the line of scrimmage and made the necessary stops and got a couple of turnovers.
The Steelers won in San Diego (2-3) despite being outgained by the Chargers 406-349 and lost the time of possession battle 33:43-26:17, but they won the turnover battle and they had the ball last. I thought they needed to score a touchdown on that drive because if the game had gone into overtime and the Chargers had the ball they would have most likely have scored a touchdown and won the game in my opinion. The Chargers were starting to wear down the Steelers defense with the dink and dunk passing attack and the Steelers were fortunate because of penalties and poor execution on the part of the San Diego Chargers.
I personally loved the play call on the final play, and the kicker was the Chargers saw it coming! They called a time out and got their proper personnel and Bell still grown maned that yard. This was a season saving yard for the Pittsburgh Steelers especially with their upcoming schedule. If they have lost they would be three games out of the Cincinnati Bengals lose out on a potential tiebreaker to a potential wild card contender. Now with this win they are only two games out with both meetings with the Bengals on the horizon (Week 8 at home and Week 14 away). Ben Roethlisberger is said to be on track to return of that November 1st matchup at Heinz Field.
Bottom line is the Steelers got outplayed, but they made the key plays when they matters on both sides of the ball and got out sunny California with a win and their goals still in front of them.
Steelers: vs. Arizona Sunday 10/18 1:00 on FOX
Chargers: at Packers Sunday 10/18 4:25 on CBS