QUALCOMM STADIUM (10/12/2015) Returning from a four-game suspension, Antonio Gates caught nine passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, but it was all for nothing as the San Diego Chargers (2-3) suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) 24-20.
On the final play of the game, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell took a direct snap 1 yard to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
“It was a tough loss,” Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said. “But we have a short week, we have to move on.”
The Chargers hit the road next Sunday to take on the undefeated Green Bay Packers.
After forcing the Steelers to punt on the opening drive, the Chargers finished an 84-yard drive in 5 plays with a 12-yard touchdown strike from Phillip Rivers to Gates.
The touchdown catch marked the 100th of Gates’ career, making him the second tight end in NFL history to reach the milestone.
The Bolts led 7-3 at halftime, but the Steelers' took the lead after Rivers’ pass was picked off by Antwon Blake and returned 70 yards to the end zone.
After rookie kicker Josh Lambo tied the game with a 40-yard field, Rivers found Gates for their second touchdown connection of the game. The 11-yard strike gave the Chargers a 17-10 lead with 8:02 left to play.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Michael Vick found Markus Wheaton for a 72-yard touchdown strike to tie the game 17-17.
Lambo nailed a 54-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 20-17 lead, but the Steelers drove 80 yards in 12 plays to steal the win.
Rivers finished the game completing 35 of 48 passes for 365 yards, two touchdowns, and a critical interception. Jeremiah Attaochu led the Bolts defense with nine tackles (two for loss).