The Pittsburgh Steelers will face another game without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who remains out due to a sprained MCL and bone bruise. They’ll face a San Diego Chargers team who has started the season with a disappointing 2-2 record. Both teams are playing to stay afloat in their respective divisions, with the Chargers needing desperately to keep pace with the Denver Broncos. The point spread is currently favoring the Chargers at -3.5.
Monday Night Footall: San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Point Spread: San Diego -3.5 Over/under: 45.5 Date: Monday, October 12 8:30pm ET Location:Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
The Steelers were unable to win with Michael Vick under center, but a second start in a row could help the offense gel while Roethlisberger is on the mend. With San Diego ranked 19th against the run, expect running back Le’Veon Bell to have another 20 carry, 100 yard day. The option to run Vick a few times during the game is possible, but Pittsburgh will want to avoid possible injury to their back up.
A shaky defense could sink the 3.5 underdog Steelers against the Chargers, who are ranked no. 2 in passing yards, averaging 309 yards per game. San Diego hasn’t found much of a running game with rookie Marvin Gordon, which turns their focus to stopping quarterback Philip Rivers. While prone to turnovers, Rivers is capable of getting hot and putting up big numbers, should the secondary struggle.
San Diego Chargers
Several experts felt the Chargers offense would be one of the most improved in the league this year, but they’ve failed to impress. While Rivers is still a top 10 quarterback, he doesn’t have much help in the running game to help draw opposing defenders into the box. Expect a pass-first approach against the Steelers with the run game getting more involved if they can find a few seams. Pittsburgh ranks no. 20 against the run, giving up 113 yards per game, which means Gordon may have the chance to find some daylight.
Facing the Steelers without Roethlisberger gives the Chargers defense an obvious break. Pittsburgh has relegated Vick to being a pocket passer, which makes their offense more one dimensional. San Diego will have the opportunity to sell out on stopping the run without much to fear with Vick’s inaccuracy downfield. Contain Bell, get push on the line of scrimmage, and force Vick into some bad throws and the Chargers win this one.
Monday Night Prediction
Losing your starting quarterback makes it easy to pick against a team and this is especially true for the Steelers. The Chargers will take full advantage of Pittsburgh’s misfortune, who were unable to win at home last week. Facing a San Diego team on the road makes it that much harder to leave town with a win.