San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers Week 14 Preview and Prediction
While the Steelers may have salvaged their season by beating the Ravens last weekend, things cannot get much worse for Norv Turner and his San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers were defeated 20-13 by the visiting Bengals last Sunday, marking their fourth consecutive loss and second straight game in which they wasted a fourth-quarter lead. One more defeat and the Chargers will suffer its first losing season under coach Turner.
Philip Rivers has been grinding during the four-game slide, with a dismal 6/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio while losing 5 fumbles.
Part of Rivers’ struggles are directly related to the offensive lines’ woes, giving up 14 sacks over the past three contests. Adding to the offenses’ difficulties is the near disappearance of the running game which is averaging 63.3 yards over that same span. Making matters even worse, the o-line could now lose tackles Jeromey Clary and Mike Harris and guard Tyronne Green to injuries.
“If we go in there with three new starting offensive linemen, guys that I haven’t met yet, and we’re playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh, it will be a challenge,” said Norv, 0-6 all-time against the Steel Curtain.
Turner’s once vaunted offense has been unable to score 20 points in last two games for the first time since his initial two games when he took over as head coach in 2007. Since November 11, the Chargers’ 18.3 points and 320.0 yards per game are 25th and 26th in the NFL, respectively.
While Turner’s tenure is all but over in San Diego, Mike Tomlin’s position as Pittsburgh’s third coach in team history seems firmly in place after he guided a depleted roster to victory in enemy territory last weekend in Baltimore. Last week’s pivot, Charlie Batch, is the only Steeler backup quarterback to produce a victory over the Ravens since Big Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004. The Steelers now look to build on that huge victory and improve their playoff chances with Roethlisberger probable to return to the lineup for Sunday’s meeting with the Chargers.
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers -7 (betting prediction)
As I predicted last week, things have spiralled even further out of control in San Diego. Their offense cannot gain traction and Rivers has seemingly all but packed it in under his long-time head coach. Were it not for a defense that has somehow not given up, the Chargers would be getting blown out of the water.
After last weeks’ heroics by Batch and a defense that bent but would not break, you can guarantee Heinz Field will be rocking with Big Ben back under center for the Steel.
Let me break it down:
Norv is just 2-6 against the spread over his last 8 games. He is also just 1-4 his last 5 games in what was a once-lucrative role as underdog.
The Chargers are 0-10 ATS since December 8, 2002 as an underdog when they failed to score touchdowns on at least three red zone trips the previous game.
Things look very bleak in San Diego. I look to fade Norv and his Chargers the remainder of the NFL regular season schedule.
I see a final score of 20-10 in a victory for the returning Roethlisberger and his Black and Gold.
Get out the Terrible Towels, I’m taking the Steelers -7.
Play: Pittsburgh Steelers -7 (5dimes.eu)
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NFL Record: 9-3-1