What went right, wrong at San Diego

* On a third-and-3 from the San Diego 33-yard line, Phillips Rivers was trying to get the ball down the field to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman who was being covered by Lawrence Timmons, but Jarvis Jones was able to hit Rivers as he was in the process of throwing the ball, and it was wide of the mark.

  • It was a 25-yard run by Le'Veon Bell down to the San Diego 28-yard line, and it was helped considerably by a nice block out on the edge by Antonio Brown.
  • The two plays immediately following Le'Veon Bell's 25-yard run combined to lose 8 yards, and then after a dump-off pass to Bell on third down it set up the first opportunity for newest kicker Chris Boswell. He drilled it from 47 yards out, and the Steelers cut the Chargers lead to 7-3 with 4:24 to go.
  • Boswell followed up that field goal with a kickoff that Jacoby Jones wanted to bring out, but it was deep enough that he stepped on the end line as he caught the ball for a touchback.
  • The Chargers offensive series following the Steelers field goal included a sack by Jarvis Jones, and then on third-and-long, Cam Heyward bull-rushed his man all the way back to make contact with Phillip Rivers as he released the ball, and it fluttered incomplete to force a punt.
  • Nice play by Jarvis Jones to force a fumble by Melvin Gordon on a third-and-2 play near midfield at the start of the second half. Shamarko Thomas recovered and got up and ran to the end zone, but he was ruled down by contact.
  • Good defensive series on San Diego's second offensive possession of the second half by the Steelers included Bud Dupree's third sack of his rookie season followed by a blatant holding penalty on Cam Heyward on an incomplete pass. A punt followed, San Diego's fifth of the game to that point.
  • It was a series that didn't necessarily begin well for Antwon Blake, but it ended with a 70-yard pick-six that gave the Steelers a 10-7 lead with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. On an earlier play in the drive, Blake over-ran Keenan Allen on a short reception that was turned into a 14-yard gain. But three plays later, Blake undercut a deep post pattern intended for Malcolm Floyd and returned it for his first NFL touchdown.
  • The Steelers offense wasn't moving the ball consistently at all during the second half, but on the series following the Antonio Gates touchdown that gave the Chargers a 17-10 lead, lightning struck. On first down, after a play-action fake, Mike Vick found Markus Wheaton on a double-move behind Brandon Flowers for a 72-yard touchdown that tied the game at 17-17.
  • The Steelers weren't highly successful on third downs over the course of the game – just 5-of-14 for 36 percent – but on the game's deciding possession, Mike Vick converted 3-for-3. On a third-and-1, he completed a 15-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey; on a third-and-6, he ran 24 yards to the Chargers 17-yard line; and then on a third-and-10 from there, he completed a 16-yard pass to Heath Miller.

* Not a good start by the Steelers defense. The first two plays were both completions to Antonio Gates – for 10 yards and then 12 yards. On the third play, the Steelers blitzed and the Chargers had them outnumbered on the perimeter and so a quick slip screen to Danny Woodhead gained 31 yards, with a facemask penalty on Ross Cockrell adding another 15. After a short run by Melvin Gordon, Phillip Rivers went back to Gates, who caught a 12-yard pass for a touchdown. It seemed as though Will Allen was the guy on Gates on each of those receptions. Five minutes into the game, the Chargers held a 7-0 lead.

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

  • The Steelers got a defensive stop on San Diego's second series, but on the punt return Antwon Blake was flagged for holding and so the offense had to start at the Pittsburgh 13-yard line.
  • Jordan Berry's third punt was going to end in a fair catch at the San Diego 10-yard line, but a 15-yard penalty for fair catch interference allowed the Chargers to start the possession at their own 25-yard line.
  • A punt return of about 30 yards by Antonio Brown was wiped out by a needless block in the back by Jordan Todman. Instead of starting the possession at the Chargers 41-yard line, the Steelers started at their own 24-yard line with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
  • More penalties on punt returns. Just outside the two-minute warning, Darrius Heyward-Bey was flagged for holding, and so instead of starting the possession out near the 40-yard line, the Steelers were backed up to their own 26-yard line.
  • When you're called upon to blitz, you have to get there. On a 32-yard completion to Malcolm Floyd early in the fourth quarter that moved the ball to the Steelers 27-yard line, safety Robert Golden blitzed but wasn't able even to get close to Phillip Rivers. Ross Cockrell had no help over the middle and it was an easy pitch-and-catch.
  • Another blitz that didn't get there later on the same possession allowed the Chargers to take a 17-10 lead. This time it was Ross Cockrell coming off the corner, and while he was unblocked he had too much ground to cover and wasn't a factor on the play. Phillip Rivers was able to drop a pretty pass to Antonio Gates in the back corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score.
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