Pittsburgh Steelers see play-off hopes hit by home loss to San Diego
Last Updated: December 9, 2012 10:27pm
Ben Roethlisberger: endured a tough return to action against the Chargers
The San Diego Chargers made it an uncomfortable return to action for Ben Roethlisberger, upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-24 at Heinz Field.
Making his comeback from injury, Roethlisberger threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns but was also intercepted once, as well as seeing a botched screen pass result in an easy San Diego score for Quentin Jammer.
In the end the final scoreline somewhat flattered the Steelers; at one stage in the third quarter they trailed 27-3 to a team that had lost their last four.
San Diego's first victory in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh was built around an excellent game from quarterback Phillip Rivers and some smart play-calling by under-fire head coach Norv Turner.
Wide receiver Danario Alexander reeled in two of Rivers' three touchdown passes, the first of them being sandwiched in between a pair of Nick Folk field goals that put the visitors 13-0 up.
A Shaun Suisham field goal was all the Steelers could manage in reply in the first half. It summed up their offensive issues that Roethlisberger was their leading rusher through two quarters.
Their hopes of a comeback were dealt a further blow when Rivers capped a lengthy 17-play drive with a three-yard strike to Malcom Floyd in the third quarter.
Jammer then added a defensive score when Roethlisberger's pass went backwards off tight end Heath Miller's back, before San Diego put the result beyond doubt with Alexander's second TD of the day.
Roethlisberger did find Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in the end zone to close the gap, but it was too little, too late. Pittsburgh are now 7-6 for the year.