PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 09: Danario Alexander #84 of the San Diego Chargers makes a touchdown catch during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 9, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
San Diego Chargers showed they’re not planning on going down without a fight during their 34-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This was the first regular season game the Chargers have ever won in Pittsburgh in 15 meetings.
34 points is the most points the Chargers have scored in a game since week four in Kansas City. These 34 were against the number one defense in the NFL.
The game began as a defensive battle, and the Chargers won that fight. They held the Steelers to 61 plays, forced two turnovers and scored six points.
They forced four three-and-outs and held the Steelers scoreless until right before the first half.
San Diego got on the board with about three minutes left in the first quarter. Kicker Nick Novak came on to kick a 51-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, the offense and defense just kept wearing through the Pittsburgh team.
The Chargers scored their first touchdown in seven quarters in the second. Quarterback Philip Rivers found Danario Alexander on a 39-yard pass.
Alexander was voted the Chargers offensive player of the month for November. On Sunday he continued to prove his merit.
Alexander caught seven passes for 88 yards, averaging 12.6 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns.
Last week, the Chargers called nine running plays. This week, they called 34.
Running back Ryan Matthews carried the ball 25 times for 65 yards. Even though he only averaged 2.6 yards per carry, the consistent running game made all the difference for the Chargers offense.
Head coach Norv Turner made several uncharacteristically bold play calls, including an attempt at a wide receiver pass. Rivers flipped it out to Alexander and Alexander looked to pass the ball downfield. While that trick play did not work, the fake punt call by Turner and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia in the third quarter, did.
Safety Eric Weddle took the direct snap and ran behind tight end Randy McMichael’s block to squeeze past the first-down marker. That play extended San Diego’s drive well into the fourth quarter.
The Bolts controlled the ball for almost 37 minutes compared to Pittsburgh’s 23.
In the third quarter, San Diego scored two touchdowns in the span of 12 seconds. Following a Malcolm Floyd touchdown Pittsburgh took over on their own three. Steeler's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fumbled the ball and cornerback Quentin Jammer fell on it in the endzone. That was Jammer's second touchdown on the season.
The Chargers held the Steelers to 10 points for the first three quarters.
The last 14 points were almost giveaways because the Bolts were up 34-10 with less than 10 minutes to play. The defense sat back on their heels and was pretty much just in 'control mode'. The rest of the game it was blitz after blitz that kept Roethlisberger scrambling most of the day.
Slot receiver Michael Spurlock, who was picked up just earlier this week, also played a large role in the Chargers offense. He caught the ball each of the seven times he was targeted and averaged 9.1 yards per carry.
This win brings the Bolts to 5-8 on the season.
They take on the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton next Sunday at the Q.