Game Report: Steelers lose James Conner, big lead to the Chargers

Game Report: Steelers lose James Conner, big lead to the Chargers

Blame the refs if you want, but the Pittsburgh Steelers' collapse on Sunday night was much more than that.

Steelers: Travel to Oakland to play the Raiders next Sunday. When that happens, everyone is to blame.

In fact, the Cowboys were called for one earlier in the year, and it cost them a win.

However, in the second half, the Chargers showed the kind of grit, determination and resiliency that fans just haven't been accustomed to seeing. The defense suddenly couldn't get a stop.

The Chargers will be without running back Melvin Gordon, who is dealing with a knee injury.

This game was definitely the tale of two halves.

The Chargers are just a game behind the Chiefs (10-2) in the battle for the AFC West.

There are disappointing losses and there are ones that seem to tick everyone off. Maybe they were due to be on the right side of one. They were handling the Chargers offense, which was limited withou Gordon, and Ben Roethlisberger had all day to throw.

False starts are not reviewable, so the Chargers caught a huge break, while the Steelers were left livid over the blown call. The Chargers hit a long touchdown pass on that play.

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Late in the third quarter the Steelers still hadn't put the game away, and then it started to seem like weird things might be happening. Rivers went on to complete 26 of his 36 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns.

The wild grab added six points to the scoreboard before Rivers found tight end Antonio Gates for the ensuing two-point conversion. This time, it was blocked, but again the Steelers jumped offsides. Three of the Chargers' four possessions ended with a punt - one a three-and-out -and the fourth was cut short for halftime. Los Angeles' Justin Jackson ran for a touchdown, and Desmond King returned a punt for another.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin called it "unfortunate" but declined to criticize the officials.

Pittsburgh's offense, which looked great in the first half, had totally stalled.

The Steelers were able to pull themselves out of the quicksand. The game was tied again.

While comparing Ekeler to Conner would be unfair, the Chargers won't get the same production from their replacement as the Steelers are from theirs. Rivers moved the Chargers downfield with little issue.

Keenan Allen was in the right place at the right time for a wild touchdown grab during the third quarter of the Chargers' matchup with the Steelers.

Down 23-7 at the half, the Chargers (9-3) became the first visiting team to win in Pittsburgh after trailing by 16. For the Steelers it was a historic night, in the worst way possible.

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