Despite a 7.5 point advantage in the spread, expect a lower-scoring, tightly competitive game between San Diego and Pittsburgh in Week 14.
Time: Noon ET
Date: Dec. 9, 2012
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Match-ups: Steel City Insider
TV Schedule: CBS national broadcast
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (color)
Radio stream: Steelers Radio Network WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Odds: Steelers -7.5
Weather: 38 degrees, winds 13 m.p.h. east/southeast
Entering the last quarter of the 2012 NFL season, the Steelers are in aggressive pursuit of their fifth playoff berth in the last six seasons. San Diego's chances of playing at least one extra game are on life support.
Beware the dying animal.
San Diego has nothing to play for; their head coach and general manager are going to be fired as soon as the season ends, and a massive structural overhaul awaits them. It's the kind of game where a quarterback with the talent of Phillip Rivers simply recognizes there is no longer any pressure on him, and he wants to taste victory, if for no other reason, than for the simple act of enjoying a win.
Those wins have been hard to come by for the Chargers over the last two months. Losers of seven of their last eight games, the Chargers have battled teams closely, not having really been blown out often, and letting a few would-be victories slip out of their hands.
They couldn't pick a more difficult venue for them, historically. The Chargers are 0-14 in Pittsburgh during the regular season, and they'll travel across two time zones to take on the Steelers, who will have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back, along with what could be the least injury-decimated team they've fielded in the last four weeks.
This will be a competitive, tightly contested game. While the Steelers are 7.5 point favorites, points will come at a premium in this game and turnovers will be the ultimate factor.