In the history of the National Football League entering Sunday there had never been an 11-10 final score. Until now. And it wasn’t pretty by any means, but for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they will gladly walk out of Hinez Field with a 7-3 mark after a rather ugly 11-10 win over the San Diego Chargers. The Steelers offense was three Jeff Reed field goals, the last one with 11 seconds left, and a second quarter safety.
The now 4-6 Chargers had their chances, but the Steelers D answered the call each and every time, and at the end of the day, they were able to score just one TD and a field goal that gave them a 10-8 lead with 6:41 to go. They had 216 yards of offense against the number one ranked defense and 15 first downs, but were not able to get much going with QB Philip Rivers throwing for 162 yards and two interceptions.
Ben Roethlisberger, who went through a tough week after a bad outing vs the Colts that cost the team the game last Sunday, was much better vs the Chargers, going 31-for-41 for 308 yards. He led the teams final drive even after a couple of bad penalties and got the team close enough for Reed to hit the chip-shot 32-yard field goal to seal the one-point win.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was so irate after the game that he refused to talk about the refs, who called a whopping 13 penalties on the Steelers for 115 yards, and flagged the Chargers just once for five yards. There was a report that he even had a bit of a tantrum in the hallway after the game as he yelled at the refs for the lopsided calls and they also took away a last play Steelers TD as they called the Chargers for an illegal forward pass, when it appeared just the other way as the Steelers Troy Polamalu took what was a loose ball for a score on the games last play.
The Steelers D did a great job on LaDainian Tomlinson, who did have the games only TD in the first quarter, but otherwise had just 57 yards on 18 carries (3.2 per carry). Willie Parker on the Steelers side played hard despite coming off an injured shoulder and had 115 yards on 25 carries. Hines Ward led the Steelers with 11 catches for 124 yards, including a few big ones on the game-winning drive.
The win gives the Steelers a one-game lead in the AFC North after the Ravens lost to the Giants Sunday, and they can extend that lead with a win Thursday night against the 1-8-1 Bengals at home. For the Chargers, their season is slowly slipping away, and now they go home to take on the red-hot Colts next Sunday night.
Click below to hear Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s post game comments: