Week 14: San Diego Chargers At Pittsburgh Steelers

San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Winner Philip Rivers is a talented quarterback but an erratic leader. The Chargers are almost certainly going to clean house in the offseason and they may be tempted to move Rivers because he seems frustrated in his position. Rivers can make all the throws, but he is an angry leader and his team has lost seven of eight games.
Winner The Steelers are hoping Ben Roethlisberger can return from his rib injury for this game. However, they are coming off their most inspired effort of the season in beating the Ravens 23-20 with Charlie Batch at quarterback. While Batch was awful in the Week 12 loss at Cleveland, he bounced back by completing 25-of-36 for 276 yards in Week 13.
The running game was productive early in the year, but the Chargers are not getting much from Ryan Matthews at this point in the season. That puts even more pressure on Rivers and his receivers. Danario Alexander can go downfield and make plays and he is coming off a 102-yard receiving game against the Bengals in Week 13. Malcolm Floyd is also dependable, but Rivers does not always get the ball to him.
Winner The Steelers can move the ball on the ground, but they can also leave it on the ground as well. That’s what happened in the Week 12 loss to the Browns, but they rebounded by holding on to it against the hard-hitting Ravens. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman are hard-nosed backs who will initiate contact. Mike Wallace can be gamebreaking receiver while tight end Heath Miller will catch everything he can reach.
The Chargers often play well defensively for long spurts, but fall apart when the game is on the line. That was the case once again in Week 13 when they held Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to 211 passing yards. However, they gave up 10 points in the final five minutes and the Chargers lost again. Defensive back Corey Lynch had 10 tackles and an interception against the Bengals.
Winner As good as the Steeler defense has been, it can’t do the job without a complementary offense. The Steelers got a lift in their Week 13 upset at Baltimore with the return of Troy Polamalu. The All-Pro defensive back had missed the previous seven games with a calf injury. He should be much stronger against the Chargers. The Steelers have the top-ranked defense in the league.
Special Teams
Winner Nick Novak has been solid for the Chargers since replacing the departed Nate Kaeding. Novak has made 13-of-15 FG attempts this season. Punter Mike Scifres has above average leg strength and averaged 46.0 yards on five punts against the Bengals.
The Steelers have gotten a solid performance from placekicker Shaun Suisham this year and he was at his best in the Week 13 win over the Ravens. He was 3-of-3 on his FG attempts – all over 40 yards – including the game-winning 42-yarder with no time left on the clock. Punter Drew Butler averaged 38.5 yards on four punts against the Ravens.

The Winner Is

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Winner Steelers
3 out of 4

The Steelers are simply a much tougher team than the Chargers. San Diego can’t handle the lead late in the game and they regularly make key errors in the second half of most games. The Steelers are battling hard to overcome previous injuries and they will likely punish the Chargers whether Roethlisberger is at full strength or they have to go with Batch once again.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Los Angeles

KNX 1070 Newsradio
Follow Us On Twitter

Listen Live