In fact, it's hard to say if Pittsburgh misses the three-time Pro Bowl player on the field with Conner putting up strikingly similar numbers in his first season as a starter. This time, it was blocked, but again the Steelers jumped offsides. With the last meeting against the Chargers taking place over three years ago, much has changed for both teams.
Rivers threw for 299 yards on the night with a good chunk of that going to Keenan Allen, who caught 14 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown. Desmond King added a 73-yard punt return for a score as the Chargers bolstered their postseason chances by winning in Pittsburgh for just the fourth time in 19 tries. Roethlisberger hit Brown for a 9-yard gain on Pittsburgh's second play from scrimmage and again for 46 yards on the following snap.
The Steelers running back did not return to the game after suffering a lower leg injury late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's matchup.
Roethlisberger and Brown are among the most productive quarterback/wide receiver tandems in the league but that didn't stop Roethlisberger from publicly tweaking Brown following a loss to Denver last week, though the star wide receiver stressed he understood it was nothing personal. It certainly didn't seem to have an impact on their play.
Conner, who had 60 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, left the field in obvious pain.
For Pittsburgh, it was the team's largest blown lead since 1981, and the Steelers' largest blown lead at home in franchise history. "Just how we came back and battled through adversity in the second half, and came out with a "W" here in Pittsburgh in December". The Steelers have dropped two straight for the first time this season and seemingly had no answer for the Chargers in the second half.
With 1:04 to go in the first, Rivers hit Benjamin down the right sideline on a 46-yard touchdown to close the gap to 13-7. This penalty, if called, would've sent the game to OT. Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for a season-high 154 yards and a touchdown.
A attractive 28-yard dart from Roethlisberger to Brown pushed Pittsburgh's lead to 23-7 at the break but Los Angeles ripped off the next 23 points thanks to a bit of luck some dynamic playmaking. Rivers threw a pass into double coverage in the end zone, and it looked like cornerback Joe Haden had an interception.
Jackson's 18-yard scoring run with 8:09 left in the game gave Los Angeles a 30-23 lead, but Samuels' 10-yard scoring reception with 4:10 left tied it for the Steelers.
While the Steelers had plenty of other things to worry about with the Chargers surging in the second half, turnovers - for once - weren't one of them.
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