Below are my second half notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-24 loss Sunday to the San Diego Chargers. Here are my first half notes in case you missed them.
The 2nd and 9 wide receiver screen the Chargers called on their opening possession of the second half was a great call with Keenan Lewis playing so far off. Both he and Ryan Clark get blocked out of the play and it leaves the Chargers with a 3rd and short which they convert via a quick slant route in front of Curtis Brown. The Chargers convert their next 3rd and short via another out route with Cortez Allen in coverage. Allen and Jason Worilds then fail to protect the far weak-side edge on the next 2nd down run and Ryan Mathews picks up yet another 1st down as he gets the edge. The Steelers blitz on the next 3rd down and Brown is beat this time via a curl route when in press coverage. This can\’t happen. On the next 3rd and 13 is when the Steelers fail to handle the trap play to Ronnie Brown. Lawrence Timmons and Clark both play this poorly and the long drive continues. The next 3rd down results in a touchdown as Lewis gives up an easy out route to Malcom Floyd, who motioned in on pre snap. Lewis had to protect both the middle and the outside as the defense had sold out to stop the run. The 17 play drive is now over.
Cameron Heyward holds on the ensuing kickoff to back the offense up and then disaster strikes as a lateral pass from Ben Roethlisberger intended for Antonio Brown hits David Paulson in the backside as he is driven back into the passing lane at the snap. Instead of trying to fall on the ball in the end zone for a safety, Brown tries to pick it up and loses it. This of course results in a back breaking touchdown for the Chargers and the Steelers are now down 24 points just like that.
Jonathan Dwyer has two nice runs on the ensuing drive and it would be his last ones of the day as the Steelers would only run once more the rest of the game. The touchdown pass to Mike Wallace is a throw only Roethlisberger can make. Right before the throw he has his hip tugged on by the passing outside linebacker but it fails to throw his timing off and he throws the ball on a rope to Wallace in stride.
After looking like they have a three an out on the ensuing drive the Chargers run the fake punt as the Steelers double vice both of the outside gunners. The defense eventually will get off of the field, but not at the expense of more clock time and bad field position after a Brandon Johnson penalty on the punt. Cam Thomas destroys Maurkice Pouncey on second down but Roethlisberger is able to avoid the sack before making bad throw that is picked off.
Philip Rivers makes a great back shoulder high throw to Danario Alexander who has no problems out jumping Josh Victorian for the score. Victorian had good press coverage but just slightly over ran the route. He was giving up quite a bit of size to Alexander and I really thought he played it fairly well. The ball was high enough that only Alexander had a shot at it. 24 point lead for the Chargers again.
There is really no sense recapping the game from here on out as it was all garbage yardage and scoring. On to Dallas.