The Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) will host the San Diego Chargers (9-8) on Sunday January 11th in the AFC playoffs divisional round. The #4 Chargers defeated the #5 Indianapolis Colts 23-17 Saturday night and this afternoon the #6 Baltimore Ravens defeated the #3 Miami Dolphins 27-9. The Steelers and Chargers met once this season with the Steelers winning 11-10 at Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards and the Steelers outgained the Chargers 410 -213 but the Steelers did not manage a touchdown. The Steelers relied on three Jeff Reed field goals and the defense provided a safety. The Steelers flustered Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers who threw for 164 yards and two interceptions.
The Chargers are the only team in NFL history to qualify for the playoffs after starting 4-8 and the first 8-8 division winner in 23 years. On Saturday night they ended the Colts 9 game winning streak behind the performances of running back Darren Sproles and punter Mike Scifres. Sproles accounted for 328 all-purpose yards and Scifres averaged 52.7 yards per punt against the Colts. All six of Scifres punts went inside the Colts 20, the first time in playoff history. The Chargers will have a tough task ahead of them as they struggle on the east coast but what Pittsburgh needs to be worried about is special teams. Field position will play a strong factor in this game and Scifres clearly has the edge on Steelers punter Mitch Berger.
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