Bolts Notebook: Season Finale

The San Diego Chargers defied the odds when they battled back from a 4-8 start to win the AFC West. Unfortunately, they defied their recent winning ways by melting down against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Samantha Fillerup shares her postgame notes from the final game of the season.

--The Chargers five-game winning streak was the longest active winning streak among the teams in the Divisional Round. With the loss, the Chargers fall to 10-15 in the postseason, including 2-1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

--The Chargers are now 12-2 in December and January with Coach Norv Turner at the helm. San Diego is the only team to win its division title the last three seasons.

--San Diego played nine night games this season and went 5-4 when under the lights. The Chargers had won three straight night games -- beating the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts -- before falling to the Steelers.


QB Philip Rivers
Chris Graythen/Getty

--The temperature at kickoff was 26 degrees, which seemingly worked against the So Cal team. However, the Chargers have a history of winning cold-weather games and are now 5-4 in outdoor games where the weather is 42 degrees or cooler at kickoff.

--Philip Rivers fared much better than when he faced the Steelers in Week 11, when he completed 15-for-26 passes for 164 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. On Sunday, he went 21-of-35 for 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

--Darren Sproles caught a 62-yard TD pass, his eighth score over the final six games of the season. Also bagging a noteworthy score was Legedu Naanee, whose 4-yard catch marked the first touchdown of his career.

--Eric Weddle led the defense with nine tackles and the Bolts' only sack. However, he was flagged for a 44-yard pass interference penalty and was involved in a muffed punt when Mitch Berger's kick bounced off his head.

--The Chargers' defense limited TE Heath Miller to three receptions for 37 yards, but he managed to score Pittsburgh's only passing touchdown, continuing San Diego's season-long inability to cover opposing tight ends.

--Time of possession and penalties each played a role in the Bolts' loss. The Steelers had the ball for 36:30 compared to San Diego's 23:30, marking the second consecutive meeting in which the Steelers held a 13-minute edge in time of possession. Most of the differential came in the third quarter, when the Chargers ran only one offensive play. As for the penalties, the Chargers were flagged eight times for 104 yards; the Steelers were penalized seven times for just 44 yards.


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