|Last 3 Games||0-3||-3.1||0-2||1-2||16.3||10.0||284.7||(4.7)||1.7||22.0||9.0||389.3||(5.2)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||21.5||13.2||19.4||32:04||25-95||(3.8)||23-35||65.3%||227||(6.4)||60-322||(5.4)||(15)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24||12.2||20.3||31:50||28-118||(4.3)||22-35||62.8%||244||(7)||62-363||(5.8)||(15.1)|
|Offense Road Games||22.7||14.2||19.0||32:18||26-88||(3.4)||23-35||67.0%||237||(6.8)||61-324||(5.3)||(14.3)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.4||8.6||19.5||29:05||25-95||(3.8)||23-37||63.0%||241||(6.5)||62-335||(5.4)||(15.7)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.3||10.9||19.9||30:40||26-109||(4.1)||22-36||61.9%||249||(6.9)||62-357||(5.7)||(15.4)|
|Defense Road Games||22.7||11.2||19.2||27:41||24-93||(3.9)||22-37||60.8%||239||(6.5)||61-332||(5.5)||(14.7)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.7||2.0||-0.2||14-5||38.7%||1-0||37.5%||2-58||(24.1)||2-12||(6.1)||6-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.6||1.8||13-5||38.0%||1-0||50.4%||2-54||(23.9)||19-2||(8.9)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.0||0.5||1.5||0.2||14-5||36.9%||1-0||25.0%||3-59||(22.2)||2-17||(7.8)||6-49|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.9||1.8|| ||13-6||42.2%||1-0||42.9%||3-56||(21.6)||3-24||(9.3)||6-49|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||38.6%||1-0||54.7%||3-66||(24.3)||24-2||(10.1)||6-51|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.8||0.8||1.7|| ||13-5||38.3%||1-0||40.0%||2-40||(21.7)||2-15||(7.5)||6-47|
|Last 3 Games||1-2||+0.1||1-1||2-1||15.7||9.0||306.3||(5)||4.7||17.7||12.0||242.0||(4.3)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||21.2||11.7||19.7||33:33||27-102||(3.8)||23-37||63.2%||240||(6.5)||63-342||(5.4)||(16.2)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24||11.9||20.4||31:03||28-119||(4.2)||22-35||62.1%||241||(6.9)||63-360||(5.7)||(15)|
|Offense Home Games||19.2||12.0||19.8||33:34||28-114||(4)||21-34||59.9%||204||(5.9)||63-318||(5.1)||(16.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.2||10.6||16.4||26:31||24-93||(3.8)||17-30||55.2%||167||(5.5)||55-260||(4.7)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.4||10.6||19.8||30:31||27-116||(4.3)||21-35||60.7%||235||(6.7)||62-351||(5.6)||(15.6)|
|Defense Home Games||12.4||7.2||15.6||26:37||25-89||(3.6)||15-30||51.3%||153||(5.1)||55-242||(4.4)||(19.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||1.1||1.9||-0.9||14-6||44.8%||1-0||45.5%||3-68||(26.2)||3-19||(6.9)||6-64|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.7||1.6||1.8||13-5||39.2%||1-0||52.0%||3-64||(24)||21-2||(9)||7-55|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.2||0.6||0.8||0.0||15-6||39.7%||1-0||20.0%||2-42||(21.2)||2-14||(5.9)||6-59|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.6||0.4||1.0|| ||12-4||33.8%||1-0||85.7%||3-82||(25.2)||2-19||(10.9)||6-53|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.9||0.7||1.6|| ||13-5||37.1%||1-1||55.9%||3-77||(24.6)||23-2||(10.2)||6-55|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||0.2||0.6||0.8|| ||12-3||26.2%||1-1||83.3%||4-90||(23.8)||2-29||(12)||6-59|
|Average power rating of opponents played: SAN DIEGO 19.2, PITTSBURGH 19.2|
|11/11/2012||@ TAMPA BAY||24-34||L||3||L||46.5||O||26-103||29-37-323||2||22-74||14-20-205||0|
|12/9/2012||@ PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||@ NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||OAKLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/4/2012||@ NY GIANTS||24-20||W||3||W||48.5||U||35-158||21-30-191||2||22-68||10-24-114||1|
|12/9/2012||SAN DIEGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|SAN DIEGO: Offensive line coach Hal Hunter picks up the offensive coordinator title after Clarence Shelmon's retirement, but this remains head coach Norv Turner's offense. They want to establish the power running game between the tackles, though Ryan Mathews gives them the versatility to mix in some zone blocking as well. With Mike Tolbert gone, newly acquired veteran Ronnie Brown will pick up some carries. But hybrid back Le'Ron McClain could end up more closely replicating Tolbert as the power change-of-pace to Mathews. While Mathews figures to play a lot of the red zone snaps, McClain seems likely to step in on the goal line. Turner is an Air Coryell disciple who gets the ball downfield. Protection issues were at the root of Philip Rivers' mid-season struggles in 2011, but they seem to have gotten things straightened out with Jared Gaither stepping in at left tackle. Rivers reads deep-to-short, with Robert Meachem taking over for Vincent Jackson as the primary deep target. Antonio Gates will continue to run a lot of intermediate crossing routes as the No. 2 option, with Malcom Floyd occasionally targeted as a deep threat. The Chargers use their backs often in the passing game and they really missed Darren Sproles last year. But the arrival of Eddie Royal in the slot could fill some of Sproles' old catch-and-run playmaking. When they throw in the red zone, Gates is overwhelmingly the top target. The Chargers' defense experienced quite a drop-off in production last season, allowing 75 more yards per game than in 2010. They brought in some solid veterans to help in 2012, but no real game-changers. First-round draft pick DE Melvin Ingram will need some seasoning before he becomes an elite pass rusher. Eric Weddle now plays more of a centerfield role rather than downhill in the box. This reduced his production in the tackle department and seemed to hurt the San Diego run defense a bit last season, but Weddle's seven interceptions in 2011 were more than he had in his previous four seasons combined. |
|PITTSBURGH: Much was made about former coordinator Bruce Arians' aversion to the running game, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley (who was the head coach of the run-heavy Chiefs) seems to have been brought in to correct that. The Steelers have a big, man-blocking line and Haley prefers the committee approach. With Rashard Mendenhall recovering from a torn ACL, Isaac Redman will get a heavy workload early in the season. Jonathan Dwyer figures to take a chunk of the early down reps. Redman can handle third down duties, though Baron Batch could push him for that role. Batch might have held that role a year ago had he not torn his ACL. Haley used to oversee the Cardinals' offense, so he's not lost in the passing game. Expect a lot of three-receiver sets and spread principles, with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown on the outside and Emmanuel Sanders in the slot. Ben Roethlisberger's trademark is improvising and stretching out plays. Wallace might more often be the primary target, but Brown has shown more of an ability to shake open once the play breaks down. Sanders will be the primary target in the middle of the field. Tight end Heath Miller often stays in to protect. When the Steelers throw near the goal line, it's often play-action to someone in the middle of the field (Miller or the slot receiver, possibly Sanders now). Wallace's and Brown's roles are usually minimized once the Steelers drive deep into opponent territory, unless Roethlisberger is buying time on a broken play. The Steelers were tied for ninth in the league in sacks despite a rash of injuries to their linebackers. Although they forced an NFL-low 15 turnovers in 2011, Pittsburgh still led the league in scoring defense and yardage defense'the schedule is kind enough to allow for a repeat of these numbers. Lawrence Timmons' numbers were down last year because of a move to outside linebacker for about a third of the season. He'll play inside full time in 2012, and his numbers could revert closer to where they were in 2010. Troy Polamalu, meanwhile, looked a half-step slow by the end of last season due to all the nagging injuries he's been dealing with. He appears to finally be on the decline. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (SAN DIEGO-PITTSBURGH) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Roethlisberger to start)
*Chargers-Steelers Preview* ===========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
An unlikely victory without Ben Roethlisberger may have helped the Pittsburgh Steelers salvage their season last week.
The San Diego Chargers look like a team beyond repair.
Roethlisberger's return could help the Steelers further tighten their grip on an AFC wild-card spot Sunday against San Diego, which is 0-14 all-time at Pittsburgh and will be eliminated from playoff contention with one more loss.
It seemed the Steelers' playoff hopes were in trouble two weeks ago as they dropped two straight divisional games after losing Roethlisberger - and later backup quarterback Byron Leftwich - due to injury. But after a 23-20 win last Sunday in Baltimore, Pittsburgh (7-5) is within two games of the first-place Ravens in the AFC North and owns the final wild-card spot in the conference.
Pittsburgh's outlook appears even brighter with Thursday's news that Roethlisberger will start this game. He had missed the last three with a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib. Roethlisberger said he felt "good" after practicing for the second straight day Thursday.
It certainly appears his team is confident he's ready. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said he believes Roethlisberger can make all the necessary throws. Tight end Heath Miller said he hasn't noticed any drop off in velocity from Roethlisberger, who took "90 percent" of the snaps with the first team Thursday.
"He's still getting back into his rhythm," receiver Emmanuel Sanders said a day earlier. "... We're very optimistic about the direction he's going to go."
Without Roethlisberger, last Sunday's game in Baltimore - where the Ravens had won 16 consecutive games - seemed like a daunting challenge for a Pittsburgh team using its third-string quarterback. Charlie Batch, who turned 38 on Wednesday, easily outplayed Joe Flacco while the Steelers' league-best defense lived up to its billing.
Pittsburgh will still need the Ravens to lose two more games to have any shot at the division title, but they don't see gaining home-field advantage in the playoffs as a necessity.
Wild-card teams have won three of the last seven Super Bowls, including the Steelers in 2006.
"We've just got to get a ticket," linebacker Larry Foote said. "The last few years, the Giants have done it, and Green Bay has done it."
While Roethlisberger is expected to take the field, veteran cornerback Ike Taylor's streak of 135 consecutive games played will definitely end after he fractured his right ankle on the second Baltimore. Taylor has started 119 games for Pittsburgh since 2003.
The Steelers looked fine without Taylor as the league's top pass defense (166.7 yards per game) limited Flacco to 16-of-34 passing for 188 yards and sacked him three times. They got a boost from the return of safety Troy Polamalu, who hadn't played since Oct. 7 because of a strained calf, and he should receive more work this week as the Steelers gradually ease him back.
Taylor will likely miss two games, with second-year players Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown seeing more responsibility in his absence.
"They're both talented young guys who are continuing to improve and prove that the stage isn't too big for them," Tomlin said. "Obviously, we need them to answer the bell as we continue to push into a territory that we haven't been in."
San Diego (4-8) is one loss away from uncharted territory - a losing season under Norv Turner. The Chargers have yet to beat a team with a winning record, and last Sunday's 20-13 home loss to Cincinnati marked their fourth straight defeat and second in a row where they squandered a fourth-quarter lead.
Philip Rivers has struggled during the four-game skid with six touchdown passes compared to five interceptions while fumbling five times.
The offensive line has had trouble over the last three contests, as Rivers has been sacked 14 times while the rushing game has all but disappeared, averaging 63.3 yards. That unit now could be missing tackles Jeromey Clary and Mike Harris and guard Tyronne Green due to injuries.
"If we go in there with three new starting offensive linemen, guys that I haven't met yet, and we're playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh, it will be a challenge," said Turner, 0-6 all-time versus the Steelers.
The Chargers have failed to score 20 points in back-to-back contests for the first time since Turner's first two games as their coach in 2007. Since Nov. 11, San Diego's 18.3 points per game rank 25th in the NFL and their 320.0 yards per game are 26th.
"We're fighting like crazy to score," Rivers said. "We're in a rut and all we can do is keep playing."
Falling in Pittsburgh for the 15th time in as many regular-season trips would leave San Diego with its first losing season since going 4-12 in 2003.
These teams haven't met since 2009, when Roethlisberger threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-28 home win. He's 3-1 with a 97.7 passer rating against the Chargers.
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 2:25:03 AM EST|