Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

REPORT CARD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

REPORT CARD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

QB QUARTERBACK D After missing the previous three games with rib and shoulder injuries, Ben Roethlisberger's return was less than astute. He threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns, but most of that came after the Chargers built a 34-10 lead. Roethlisberger had both turnovers and they were costly: His lateral pass was deflected and recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, and his interception in the fourth quarter set up San Diego's final touchdown.

RB RUNNING BACKS F It's probably a safe bet Rashard Mendenhall will return in Dallas after the way the running backs performed. Especially when Roethlisberger almost finished as the leading rusher with 31 yards on five carries. Jonathan Dwyer had 32 yards on eight carries, including a 14-yard run, and had three catches for 18 yards. But all you need to know is that he and Isaac Redman couldn't gain 1 yard on back-to-back attempts on third and fourth down at the Steelers 47 in the second quarter.

WR WIDE RECEIVERS D- There were more dropped passes and flubbed plays than production. Mike Wallace's performance looks good on paper -- 112 yards receiving and two touchdown catches, including a 40-yarder -- but he had another big drop on a deep pass in the second quarter that could have changed the landscape of the game. Antonio Brown had four catches and a touchdown and tight end Heath Miller had five catches, but a lot of that came after the Chargers had a comfortable lead.

OL OFFENSIVE LINE F After protecting Charlie Batch so well for two games, the line failed to do the same with Roethlisberger. He was sacked only two times, but he was under constant pressure in the first half and forced to scramble a season-high five times for 31 yards. That's one of the reasons the Steelers managed to rush for 69 yards on 17 attempts. On top of that, they probably lost left guard Willie Colon for the rest of the season when he aggravated his left knee injury.

DL DEFENSIVE LINE D+ The line did a decent job against the run, holding the Chargers to 29 of their 94 rushing yards in the first half and allowing an average of 2.6 yards per attempt. But, on the 17-play scoring drive to start the third quarter, the Chargers gained 52 yards on nine rushes to help eat 9:32 off the clock. …

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