PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers became the only home
team this weekend to win a divisional playoff game by shaking off
an early 7-0 deficit to beat the San Diego Chargers 35-24 in an AFC
Willie Parker ran 27 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns as
the Steelers erupted for three straight touchdowns. Ben
Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) shook off his late-season
concussion to throw for a score and lead an efficient offense. Big
Ben was 17-for-26 for 181 yards and one TD. Santonio Holmes
contributed a 67-yard punt return in the first half to start the
Pittsburgh's defense was stout. It held the Chargers to 15 yards
rushing. Philip Rivers was forced to abandon the run and completed
21 of 35 passes for 308 yards and three TDs.
San Diego played without All-Pro running back LaDainian
Tomlinson, out with a groin injury. Backup Darren Sproles, coming
off his all-around 328-yard game against the Colts, wasn't a factor
despite a 63-yard kickoff return and a 62-yard TD catch in the
final two minutes after Pittsburgh had opened a 35-17 lead. Sproles
was held to 15 yards on 11 carries after rushing for 105 the week
Now the Steelers get to stay home and will host Baltimore in the
AFC title game next Sunday evening. The Steelers beat the Ravens
twice this season.
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