Offense has not been the problem for the Steelers as of late, as once again Sunday night the black and gold put together a big first half, but this time they had enough in the second half as well to close out the Chargers with a big 35-28 win at Heinz Field.
Playing without Willie Parker, the Steelers were paced in the run game by second-year back Rashard Mendenhall, who ran for a career-high 165 yards on 29 carries, including a score to start the game on the Steelers first possession and another later on. Ben Roethlisberger also had a huge night, going for 333 yards on 26-for-33 passing with two scores, one to Mewelde Moore and another to Heath Miller.
Moore also threw a TD, as he hit Miller with a 6-yard score with 7:18 to go to give what seemed like a comfortable 35-14 lead. Then the Chargers came back though, as Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates with a score, then after a successful onside kick, the Chargers scored again to make it 35-28 with 4:31 left.
The offense though did what it is supposed to do, putting together a nice drive that showcased more of Mendenhall, who had a big 22-yard gain in the drive as the team was able to put the finishing touches on a win that puts them to 2-2 on the season.
The team dominated the game in the first half, as Roethlisberger hit passes early and often, taking the team on a 6-play, 79-yard drive to take 7-0 lead. Then later in the quarter they went 11 plays, 75 yards and Moore caught a TD pass to make it 14-0.
With the Chargers doing nothing, the Steelers scored again in the second quarter, this time a 13-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a Mendenhall score to make it 21-0. The lead went to 28-0 in the third quarter when Miller caught the first of his two scores from six yards out to make it 28-0. That’s when the Chargers frantic comeback began.
All in all, the Steelers had their way with San Diego, beating them on the line of scrimmage with ease for the third time in 11 months. They beat them helmet to helmet, and established themselves with a run game that hasn’t been seen since the playoff win over San Diego a season ago.
The team will look to go over .500 next week as they travel to the place where they won their fifth Super Bowl – Detroit, as they take on the 1-3 Detroit Lions.