Le’Veon Bell scored a touchdown from the one foot line as time was expiring to put his Pittsburgh Steelers ahead for good on Monday night, by a final score of 24-20.
The TD was set up by a 12 play 80 yard drive by the Steelers (3-2) led by quarterback Michael Vick, who was subbing for the still injured Ben Roethlisberger. Vick had the biggest play of the drive, a 24 yard scramble to get his team down to the San Diego 17 yard line.
The go ahead TD was a real thriller. An illegal hit on a defenseless player penalty on San Diego put the ball at the 6 inch line. With 5 seconds left on the clock and 1 timeout left, Coach Tomlin decided to come out in the wildcat formation and snap the ball directly to Bell, who took his time and picked his way through the left side of the defense and barely got the ball over the goal line before his knee went down.
It was the NFL’s version of a walk off win.
This was a crushing loss for the Chargers (2-3), who were in control for most of the game due to the lack of a productive Steelers offense. Philip Rivers had a masterful game with 365 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and an INT, and looked much like a coach on the field. Antonio Gates had 2 TD receptions in his comeback from a 4 game suspension. His first score marked the 100th of his career, and his second put San Diego up 17-10 with 8:02 left in the game.
Rivers’ one interception was huge however. Antwon Black took it to the house for Pittsburgh in the 3rd quarter for his teams’ first touchdown.
After that pick the Chargers came back with a field goal and the second of Gates’ touchdowns, only to watch Michael Vick throw a 72 yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton to tie the score at 17-17. That one completion nearly matched Vick’s passing output to that point in the game.
It looked like Rivers was going to notch another touchdown on his last drive, but all his offense could muster was another field goal, leaving the door open for Pittsburgh to take the lead.
Michael Vick finished with 203 yards on 13-26 passing, with that 72 yard touchdown toss and also one INT. Le’Veon Bell ran 21 times for 111 yards to go with his last second score.
Antonio Gates didn’t miss a step after suspension, and had 9 catches for 92 yards and 2 scores in the losing effort.
on twitter @abso_luke_ly
NFL Analyst for Spark Sports