Bolts Report Card: Week 11

Give the defense an 'A' for effort, but the overall result continues to be a failure. Scout.com breaks down all the grades following the Chargers fifth road loss in six attempts.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Philip Rivers had his worst game of the season as he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that the Steelers converted into a safety. Rivers' interception in the red zone just before the half turned out to be a killer in a game in which points were at such a premium. The Chargers, and Rivers, didn't get much of a chance for many offensive opportunities, as they had only two second-half possessions. But Rivers' rating of 43.6 was no fluke, with 15 completions on 26 attempts for a season-low 159 yards. Vincent Jackson had two catches for 25 yards but also had a big drop. Surprisingly, with the tenacious Steelers' pass rush, Antonio Gates was found only twice for 10 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- The Chargers collected just 66 rushing yards, as LaDainian Tomlinson was restricted to 57 yards on 18 carries. He did break his streak of not rushing for a touchdown, which dated to the Sept. 28 game in Oakland. But the run-blocking was challenged by a stout Steelers run defense, and it showed. Darren Sproles got one carry for 0 yards -- just not many plays were to be had with the Steelers hogging the ball.


CB Quentin Jammer
Stephen Dunn/Getty

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Ben Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards, which is a lot considering the weather conditions, and the Chargers did sack him four times. But when the Chargers really needed to stop Roethlisberger, they couldn't. He completed six consecutive passes to lead the Steelers to their go-ahead field goal. S Eric Weddle had a solid game -- maybe one of his best in the NFL -- with 11 tackles. CB Quentin Jammer had a game-high 12 tackles.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Willie Parker returned to action, and despite wearing a harness to protect his injured shoulder, he ran for 115 yards as the Steelers went for 124. The Chargers continually got hurt on runs up the middle, and it was the run defense's inability to stop Parker that allowed the Steelers to keep the ball for such long stretches in the second half.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus -- P Mike Scifres continues to play at a high level -- he averaged 43.5 yards on two efforts. But it was his booming 75-yard free kick after the safety that flipped the field-position advantage back to the Chargers. Nate Kaeding converted one field goal but misfired on a 42-yard attempt in the fourth quarter that would have changed the complexion of the game. The return game was no factor.

COACHING: D -- The defense is showing some new life under Ron Rivera, as it recorded four sacks and held the Steelers to three field goals -- teams usually win games playing like that. But it also must be noted that the same defense couldn't get off the field in the second half, which limited what the Chargers' usually potent offense could do. Offensively, San Diego had a bad game, and that is more about bad decisions by Rivers and the lack of opportunity with the Steelers playing keep-away. Norv Turner will be tested over the next couple of weeks to keep the Chargers believing that they still have a chance to make the playoffs.


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