2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chargers avoid mistakes, upset Steelers 34-24

By CHRIS ADAMSKI - Associated Press
    2012-12-09 17:59

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Norv Turner looked nothing like a man who earlier this week was reportedly certain to be fired at the end of the season.

His San Diego Chargers played nothing like a team that had won only once since September.

Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, and the Chargers snapped a four-game losing streak by shocking the Steelers 34-24.

``They hung together, and I think that starts because they care about each other,'' Turner said. ``They play for each other. They've not been distracted by a lot of the things going on outside, and continued to prepare.''

The Chargers have been one of the NFL's biggest disappointments after a 3-1 start evaporated into a 1-7 slide, That fueled speculation Turner and general manager A.J. Smith could be fired at season's end.

The Chargers (5-8) didn't necessarily win this one for Norv, Rivers said. And the franchise's first win in Pittsburgh in 15 regular-season tries probably just delayed the inevitable when it comes to their elimination from the playoffs.

But San Diego dominated from the outset, never letting Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month.

``In these situations, it's easy to be distracted as a staff,'' Turner said. ``These guys want to have a career. They want to have a job. They want to have a chance to be successful.''

The Chargers certainly were on Sunday, playing with a focus and discipline they've lacked for much of this season. The injury-ravaged offensive line kept Rivers out of harm's way and helped him convert 12 of 22 third downs, allowing San Diego to chew up the clock and keep Roethlisberger from getting going while the game was still competitive.

Right tackle Kevin Haslam made his first career start, Reggie Wells started at right tackle five days after signing with San Diego, and Rex Hadnot made only his second start of the season at center.

Also signed earlier this week, Colin Baxter was pressed into action on the line, too.

``This isn't necessarily the team we thought we'd have on the field in December,'' said Rivers, ``but this is the type of performance we thought we'd put together.''

Roethlisberger, less than a month removed from a punishing hit against Kansas City that nearly sent one of his ribs into his aorta, completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and three second-half touchdowns. But he also threw an interception and had a botched screen pass turn into an easy San Diego score as Pittsburgh (7-6) hardly looked like a team readying for a postseason run.

``We felt like we missed a lot of plays out there,'' Roethlisberger said. ``I missed a lot of throws. I threw it to them once. We all have to play better.''

San Diego took a 13-3 lead during an ugly first half that made it difficult to tell which team was trying to get back into the postseason and which was simply playing out the season.

``We'll enjoy the heck out of this because it's a heck of a win,'' Rivers said. ``But then when you have the time of reflection at the end of the year, we'll be sick we didn't find a way the last two weeks because we'd be right in the thick of it.''

The Chargers repeatedly pinned the Steelers deep in their territory during the first half and eventually took advantage. Playing conservatively while trying to protect Rivers behind that patchwork offensive line, San Diego got going late in the half.

Rivers hit a wide-open Alexander on a 39-yard touchdown pass and Nick Novak added a 39-yard field goal to make it 13-0.

``We obviously don't have enough urgency, much consistency,'' Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said. ``We have to pick it up. We have to.''

Pittsburgh briefly rallied, getting across midfield for the first time during a last-second drive. Shaun Suisham made a 49-yard field goal at the halftime gun.

Any boost for the Steelers disappeared during the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, when San Diego converted five straight third downs during a 17-play drive capped by a 3-yard pass from Rivers to Floyd.

``Best drive of the year,'' Rivers said. ``That one will be fun to watch over and over again.''

The possession chewed 9:32 off the clock to give San Diego a 20-3 lead. The Chargers needed barely 10 seconds to put the game away.

Backed up yet again, Roethlisberger tried to hit Brown on a screen pass. It caromed off tight end David Paulson's rear and rolled into the end zone, where Quentin Jammer fell on it.

The play appeared to be overturned on review. Pittsburgh's offense ran back onto the field when referee Scott Green popped out from under the hood.

Instead, Green pulled a switcheroo, confirming the score to give the Chargers a 27-3 lead and a brief moment of joy in a year full of chaos.

Turner played like a coach who had nothing to lose. Late in the third quarter, leading by 17 and inside their own 30, the Chargers converted a fake punt when Eric Weddle took a direct snap for a 4-yard gain.

``One thing about our team,'' said Antonio Gates, ``yeah, we've been struggling the last five weeks. But at the end of the day, it only came down to one or two plays in those games we lost. Today, we just were playing the way we were capable of playing, the way we know how to play.

``To do that and keep moving forward, that speaks a lot about this team and the character of this team.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jalen SaundersAug 19 09:43a

New York Jets WR Jalen Saunders (undisclosed) is out indefinitely after suffering a 'medical event' that led to a one-car accident.

Mike EvansAug 19 09:37a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans was named a starter, alongside WRs Vincent Jackson and Chris Owusu, by head coach Lovie Smith. Owusu will start in the slot.

Mike PattersonAug 19 09:23a

New York Giants DT Mike Patterson (shoulder) and TE Daniel Fells (knee) returned to practice in full Monday, Aug. 18.

Shonn GreeneAug 19 09:23a

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene (knee) returned to practice Monday, Aug. 18. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) and OT Taylor Lewan (ankle) did not practice.

Odell Beckham Jr.Aug 19 09:13a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) caught a pass in 7-on-7 drills Monday, Aug. 18, and burst up the field. When he ran into a defender, he [ More ]

Ryan NassibAug 19 08:53a

New York Giants QB Ryan Nassib reclaimed the backup quarterback spot from QB Curtis Painter. Nassib was forced into the two-minute drill in the second preseason game and turned it into the game-winning drive.

David WilsonAug 19 05:23a

Former New York Giants RB David Wilson, who had to retire from the National Football League due to neck issues, is in training for the triple jump event at [ More ]

Blaine GabbertAug 19 04:53a

After another poor outing by San Francisco 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert, sources indicate there has been some talk about QB Josh X. Johnson being moved to the No. 2 slot behind QB Colin Kaepernick.

Johnny ManzielAug 19 12:03a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed two of his six pass attempts for 16 yards during the team's preseason game Monday, Aug. 18, and QB Johnny Manziel completed seven [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuAug 18 11:33p

Arizona Cardinals CB Tyrann Mathieu (knee) will come off the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 19, and there is optimism that he will be ready for the team's season opener.

Tracy PorterAug 18 10:53p

Washington Redskins LB Robert Jackson (shoulder) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) left the team's preseason game Monday, Aug. 18. Jackson is questionable to return, and Porter is out for the game.

Cordy GlennAug 18 10:23p

Buffalo Bills OT Seantrel Henderson started at right tackle and OT Erik Pears started at right guard during practice Monday, Aug. 18, with OT Cordy Glenn (illness) returning from [ More ]

Darnell DockettAug 18 10:02p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (knee) will need season-ending surgery after an MRI on his right knee Monday, Aug. 18, revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Darius ReynaudAug 18 09:52p

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent RB Darius Reynaud (Jets) and free-agent CB Peyton Thompson (Redskins) to one-year deals Monday, Aug. 18. In a corresponding move, the team waived LS [ More ]

Blake BortlesAug 18 08:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles worked with the first-team offense for the first time during practice Monday, Aug. 18, taking three snaps in 11-on-11 drills.

Marquess WilsonAug 18 08:33p

Chicago Bears WR Marquess Wilson (collarbone) could be out until at least midseason after undergoing surgery to repair a broken collarbone, a person with knowledge of the injury said Monday, Aug. 18.

Sammy WatkinsAug 18 08:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) is day-to-day after tests confirmed that he suffered bruised ribs in the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 16, according to a person close to the situation.

Matt SchaubAug 18 07:53p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub will start the season-opener at the New York Jets. Despite a shaky start to his preseason, Schaub has the confidence of the coaching staff, [ More ]

Josh MorganAug 18 06:52p

Chicago Bears WR Josh Morgan will work as the No. 3 wide receiver during practice this week and could also fill that role during the third preseason game, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Henry MeltonAug 18 06:43p

The Dallas Cowboys would like DT Henry Melton (groin) to play during the preseason because he missed the last 13 games of the 2013 season with a knee injury. [ More ]

Darnell DockettAug 18 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (leg) was carted off the field during practice Monday, Aug. 18, after suffering an apparent leg injury.

Cordy GlennAug 18 06:22p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) has been cleared to participate in team drills, according to head coach Doug Marrone. The team will see how he performs during practice [ More ]

Buster SkrineAug 18 05:43p

Cleveland Browns CB Buster Skrine (thumb) recently underwent surgery on his injured thumb. He is still slated to play Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Richard QuinnAug 18 05:33p

The New Orleans Saints have released TE Richard Quinn from the Reserve/Retired list.

Korey LindseyAug 18 05:23p

The Dallas Cowboys placed Korey Lindsey (hand) on no-recall waivers from Reserve/Injured Monday, Aug. 18, with an injury settlement.

Brandon BostickAug 18 05:02p

Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick (leg) will probably miss the remainder of the preseason and could miss the team's Week 1 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Bostick is not expected to need surgery.

Owen DanielsAug 18 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels (legs) is being counted on to play Saturday, Aug. 23, against the Washington Redskins. Daniels is experiencing fatigue in his legs that should be [ More ]

Jimmy SmithAug 18 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (chest) underwent an MRI that showed bruising and bleeding from his lungs, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh said the injury isn't serious [ More ]

Ricky WagnerAug 18 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens OT Ricky Wagner has won the starting right tackle job, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh said Wagner earned the job.

Doug WorthingtonAug 18 04:12p

The San Diego Chargers waived/injured DE Damik Scafe (undisclosed) and signed free-agent DE Doug Worthington (Redskins) to an undisclosed deal Monday, Aug. 18.

Pat McQuistanAug 18 04:03p

The Atlanta Falcons placed OT Sam Baker (knee) on Reserve/Injured with a torn patellar tendon and signed free-agent OT Pat McQuistan (Titans) to an undisclosed deal Monday, Aug. 18.

Jon BeasonAug 18 03:53p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot), RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring), TE Kellen Davis (undisclosed), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (undisclosed) and CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group