Roethlisberger started slowly in his return, but finished with 22 completions for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once.
The Chargers opened up an early lead and took a 13-3 advantage to halftime. San Diego broke the game open with two touchdowns in a 12-second span early in the third quarter. Shortly after a Phillip Rivers touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd, Roethlisberger threw a pass that hit one of his linemen and was recovered in the end zone by Quentin Jammer.
The Chargers added another score in the fourth quarter and despite two late touchdowns, the Steelers could not get any closer than 10.
The Chargers improve to 5-8 on the season, while the Steelers are now just one game above .500 at 7-6.
Winners: Amid a tough season, Phillip Rivers had a strong performance, throwing for 200 yards on 21 completions. He threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander and one to Malcom Floyd.
Losers: The Steelers are in a battle for a playoff spot and this loss certainly does not help. Despite Roethlisberger's strong stats in his return, the Steelers struggled early, not scoring until the closing seconds of the first half and not getting into the end zone until late in the third quarter.
Reactions/tweets/comments from fans/media:
How uusual it is to see so many empty seats there are here at Heinz Field.— Mike Bires (@mikebires) December 9, 2012
Anybody seen that Steelers D?— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) December 9, 2012
Steelers tried an on-side kick, Chargers recovered, final score: 34-24. Looks a heck of a lot closer than it actually was.— BTSC Steelers (@btsteelcurtain) December 9, 2012
Best/worst stat of the game: The victory for San Diego was the Chargers first ever regular season victory at Pittsburgh.
Fantasy studs/duds: Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger were both strong fantasy performers, both throwing for more than 200 yards and tossing three touchdowns apiece. Ryan Matthews' fantasy owners would not be too happy with his 65 yard performance on 25 carries. For everything fantasy related be sure to visit SB Nation's Fantasy homepage.
Odds/Gambling: The Steelers were listed between seven and nine point favorites at home and clearly did not cover any of those lines in the loss. For more lines from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL Odds page.
Injury info: Neither team suffered any major injuries in the contest.