September 29, 2009
CHARGERS' NEXT OPPONENT
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
5:20 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field
It's beginning to look a lot like 2006 for the Steelers, who “defended” their Super Bowl championship that season by starting 1-3, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs. Pittsburgh has lost its last two games, at Chicago and at Cincinnati, after leading both games with less than 10 minutes to play. And while the Steelers played without All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu in both games (and will again Sunday), they did have him in their opener and still won arguably by the flip of a coin at the start of overtime.
Pittsburgh's downfall has been the fourth quarter, where it's been outscored 24-0 the past two weeks, although it didn't help that Limas Sweed dropped a TD pass Sunday (which likely will buy him a place on the inactive list this week). The Steelers haven't run the ball well, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, and Ben Roethlisberger has thrown four interceptions. The defense, which had 29 takeaways last season, has not forced even one the last two weeks, and Pittsburgh has just five sacks this season after getting 51 last year.
– Jay Posner