Here's the list of Pittsburgh Steelers starters that have missed practice with an injury this week:
Mike Adams, RT
Ryan Clark, FS
Troy Polamalu, SS
Ike Taylor, CB
LaMarr Woodley, LB
Willie Colon, LG
Mike Wallace, WR
Sure, the San Diego Chargers have roughly the same amount of starters missing practice with injuries, but that definitely evens the playing field a bit more. If more than 1 of the players above ends up missing Sunday's game, it could be the opening San Diego needs to steal a victory.
The Chargers, and Norv Turner, officially have nothing left to lose this season. That should be the kick in the pants that Turner needs to do things like going for it on 4th down and maybe trying the occasional onside kick for the heck of it. Teams, and coaches, that play as if they have nothing left to lose can usually end up with 4-10 more points in games where their offense plays well (not a real stat, just something I've seen over the last few years). That could be just enough for Philip Rivers and his crew.
Stop the Run, Stop the Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger may have been having a great 2012 campaign, but this is still the Steelers and he's still coming off an injury to his throwing arm. Pittsburgh will rely heavily on their running game to carry their offense, and stopping the run has been a specialty of the Chargers' front seven.
Here's how Pittsburgh has done this season in games in which they've rushed for less than 100 yards: 3-4
Here's how Pittsburgh has done this season in games in which they've rushed for 100+ yards: 4-1
Here's how San Diego has done this season in games in which they've allowed less than 100 rush yards: 2-3
Here's how San Diego has done this season in games in which they've allowed 100+ rush yards: 2-5
This is the NFL. Any game can surprise you and a perfect gameplan by John Pagano can stop the Steelers' run game and give the Chargers a chance.