The Steelers can hope that Ben Roethlisberger's second half is what they will get out of their quarterback for the rest of the season.
The first half, and the early part of the third quarter, was mostly a nightmare for Roethlisberger, who was coming back from a serious injury and looked rusty. The outcome for the Steelers was a complete nightmare.
Facing a Chargers team counting down the days until it can hit the golf course, the Steelers laid an egg at home and lost 34-24 in a game that wasn't that close. The Chargers led 27-3 when Roethlisberger finally started to heat up.
Before then, he rivaled Mark Sanchez's infamous "butt fumble" with his own "butt pass."
Roethlisberger dropped back and threw a pass that bounced off the hind end of his tight end, who was blocking. The ball was considered a backward lateral, which the Chargers recovered in the end zone. That put San Diego ahead 27-3.
Roethlisberger had a serious rib and shoulder injury. The Steelers managed to win a game without him last week against Baltimore, but gave back that momentum on Sunday. Pittsburgh is 7-6 and probably needs to win its Week 16 game against Cincinnati to make the playoffs.
Roethlisberger was 9 of 20 for 105 yards in the first half and did not look comfortable. He finished 22 of 42 for 285 yards. For the final quarter-and-a-half he looked like the player the Steelers need down the stretch. Pittsburgh can't afford any more bad performances from him.
Related NFL video on Yahoo! Sports:
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Robert Griffin III suffers knee injury; Redskins rally
• Dodgers, Ryu Hyun-jin reach agreement
• Juan Manuel Marquez gets closure against Manny Pacquiao | Photos
• Y! News slideshow: Funny, over-the-top holiday cards