Chargers get a passing grade

It wasn't easy – at first. The Pittsburgh Steelers overloaded the line and the San Diego Chargers offense could not pick up the blitz. That changed as the game neared the half. Even if the running game was stale, they played a big part in the win.

The Chargers offense was held to negative two yards of total offense in the first quarter. Their initial first down came a minute into the second quarter. Tomlinson had just nine yards rushing on seven carries in the first half with a long of eight.

The Bolts would go on to amass 343 yards of offense over the final three quarters, outscoring the Steelers 23-3 over the final 32 minutes.

The success came from an offensive line that gave Philip Rivers time and the success of the tailbacks and tight ends in picking up the blitzing linebackers.

"They did a great job up front," said Rivers. "They are the players of the game. Those guys up front, including out backs and tight ends. When you are bringing linebackers and safeties and those guys have to pick them up and they did and I was able to find the receivers in those big zones."

Rivers set a new career-high for pass attempts on Sunday with 37, set a new high with yards, 242, and tossed two touchdowns, his first multi-TD game.

Rivers hit Malcom Floyd from nine yards out on a fade route and Antonio Gates from 22 yards out to put the Chargers ahead for the first time in the game 17-13. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

"We were running a fade and Philip put it in a good spot and I attacked it," said Floyd.

"When you have Gates in one-on-one it was like tossing him an ally-oop," Rivers said.

Malcom Floyd has four receptions on the season and two have gone for touchdowns. Both scores have come on fade routes. Floyd so another pass head his way – in the end zone – but the Steeler defensive back made a nice play to get a hand on the ball. Floyd would net his second reception of the game on a slant route for nine yards near midfield.

Rivers had just 12 yards rushing on the year coming into the game but collected 15 yards on one rush in the fourth quarter and had 25 yards rushing for the game.

Head coach Marty Schottenheimer called his 15-yard scamper one of the plays of the game. "He did a terrific job but the very best play was that run. He made a run for a first down along the way. That was a huge play in that drive."

For the second time this season, Michael Turner was the Bolts leading rusher. Since LaDainian Tomlinson became a San Diego Charger in 2001 no one had ever rushed for more yards than him twice in the same season. Turner has accomplished the feat over a four-game span.

Turner has 277 yards rushing this year and the tandem of Turner and Tomlinson (336) are on pace to collect 2,452 yards on the ground with each surpassing 1,000 yards.

The two backs were on the field together much more on Sunday than ever before with Tomlinson lining up wide and being used as a decoy.

"We throw new wrinkles in there every week," said Turner. "The more we throw at them the more they have to study."

SD Super Chargers Top Stories