The Pittsburgh Steelers will welcome back Ben Roethlisberger Sunday as they take on the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh’s top quarterback missed the last three games after suffering a dislocated rib against Kansas City in Week 10.
The Steelers have gone 1-2 in that stretch, but came up with a huge 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens last week.
Charlie Batch has started the last two games in Roethlisberger’s place, and against the Ravens went 25-for-36 for 276 yards with a touchdown and a pick.
Down by seven halfway through the fourth quarter, Batch led Pittsburgh down field and hit tight end Heath Miller for the game-tying touchdown.
Kick Shaun Suisham would nail a 42-yard field goal as time expired for the win, as the 7-5 Steelers cling the AFC’s final playoff spot.
While Pittsburgh still has high hopes for their season, the Chargers are already looking to next year.
Reports surfaced this week that San Diego will fire head coach Norv Turner and and general manager A.J. Smith at the conclusion of the season.
San Diego is now 4-8 after losing seven of their last eight games, including last week’s 20-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Chargers held a 13-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, but were shut out in the final period. Quarterback Phillip Rivers went 26-for-48 for 280 yards and one interception, and San Diego could only muster 46 rushing yards.
This is not a good time for their offense to struggle, as the Steelers defense is first against the pass and fifth versus the rush.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Pittsburgh is favored by 9 points
Over/Under: 40 points
Prediction: Roethlisberger may still be sore, but the Steelers defense will carry the bulk Sunday’s game and Pittsburgh should beat the falling Chargers.
Predicted Score: Pittsburgh 23, San Diego 14