Breaking down the tape: The longest yard

A look back at the Steelers' 24-20 win at San Diego via the magic of the DVR:

IN-AND-OUT BURGER: Steelers QB Mike Vick didn't get outside of the pocket very often against the Chargers but when he did he was able to make things happen.

Vick attempted five passes after vacating the pocket and completed three of them for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also bolted for 24 yards on his only carry and was chased down from behind for a sack on one occasion.

When he stayed in the pocket Vick wound up completing 10 of 20 attempts for 90 yards and was sacked twice. His lone interception was thrown from the pocket but that deserves an asterisk given that it was a last-play-of-the-first-half "Hail Mary."

Vick's passer rating in the pocket was 41.6 (65.7 if you recalculate minus the meaningless interception).

The number when Vick was outside the pocket was 143.8.THE LONGEST YARD:

Some details about RB Le'Veon Bell's last-play, game-winning, 1-yard touchdown run on a direct snap out of the Wildcat formation:

-LB Manti Te'o was engaged by TE Heath Miller and G David DeCastro and still managed to submarine through and grab at Bell from the ground.

-DeCastro pulled from right to left and got a piece of Te'o and just enough, as it turned out, of LB Denzel Perryman.

-FB Roosevelt Nix executed a front-side block and wound up on top of FS Eric Weddle.

-TE Matt Spaeth had DT Corey Liuget, OT Kelvin Beachum was on NT Sean Lissenmore, G Ramon Foster got to LB Jerry Attaochu, C Cody Wallace engaged DE Ricardo Matthews and OT Sean Gilbert took on DE Kendall Reyes.

-Bell was able to jump-step away from Te'o and Weddle reaching up from the ground, push forward and stretch the ball over the goal line just ahead of being tackled from behind by LB Donald Butler, who had followed Te'o into the hole.GATES BEING GATES:

Recognition/communication had been an issue when TE Rob Gronkowski scorched the Steelers for five catches, 94 receiving yards and three TDs on Sept. 10 at New England.

There were no such problems associated with Chargers TE Antonio Gates' nine-catch, 92-yard, two-touchdown performance.

"He's just extremely difficult to cover," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed. "We tried to use a variety of people. We tried to use some man (-to-man coverage), some zones. That's why he and Philip Rivers are the tandem that they are."

SS Will Allen, SS Robert Golden, FS Mike Mitchell LB Sean Spence, LB Lawrence Timmons and CB Antwon Blake were among those in the vicinity of Gates when the ball was thrown his way.

In his first game back from a four-game suspension Gates beat man-to-man and zone-coverage with apparent ease thanks to his ability to find open areas, run a variety of routes and vary his routes.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California to face the Chargers in Week 5.

The best defense against him may have been at the front end of Rivers' passes.

One of the two incompletions that resulted when Gates was targeted occurred when DE Cam Heyward drove G J.D. Walton all the way back into Rivers, which prevented Rivers from being able to step into his delivery.

It also helped that Gates only played 43 of 69 offensive snaps.DIFFERENCE OF OPINION:

Vick's performance through two-and-a-half quarters did not impress ESPN color analyst Jon Gruden.

"Just too much going on on Michael Vick's plate right now," Gruden observed. "If I'm Mike Tomlin I might think about Landry Jones (at QB). At least he's been in the program for a period of years."

Vick went 5-for-11 passing for 106 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions after Gruden's interjection.

Tomlin was eventually asked about Gruden's suggestion.

"The commentator?" Tomlin replied. "I don't take advice from those guys."

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