Bubby Brister threw two second-quarter touchdown passes to rookie Eric Green as the Steelers' offense, held without a touchdown for the first 19 quarters of the season, scored three in a 17-minute span yesterday in defeating the San Diego Chargers, 36-14, at Three Rivers Stadium.
San Diego, 0-7 in Pittsburgh during the regular season, is 1-4 for the first time since 1986 and only the third time in the last 16 years.
The Steelers withstood the first-half injury losses of Brister, who sat out the final 34 minutes with bruised ribs, running back Tim Worley and cornerback Rod Woodson in ending the longest touchdown drought of Coach Chuck Noll's 22-season tenure.
Brister threw an eight-yard pass to Green 58 seconds into the second quarter for Pittsburgh's first offensive touchdown since Louis Lipps's scoring reception in last season's 24-23 playoff loss to Denver.
Before leaving, Brister -- nearly benched after last week's 28-6 loss to Miami -- completed 11 of 14 passes for 132 yards. The Steelers, averaging only 175 yards per game, produced 238 first-half yards in taking a 17-7 halftime lead.
Gary Anderson kicked a 45-yard field goal on the Steelers' first drive before San Diego took a 7-3 lead on Billy Joe Tolliver's two-yard touchdown pass to linebacker Gary Plummer. He lined up as an offensive lineman on a tackle-eligible play.
The Steelers, who simplified offensive coordinator Joe Walton's offense last week at Noll's insistence, then drove 77 yards on nine plays for Brister's eight-yard throw to Green.
"We came together today as an offense, but this isn't where we stop," said Merril Hoge, who had 78 yards on 14 carries. "We voted Joe the only game ball because we want to show we're behind him and we know what he's going through. We're getting confidence in this and we've got to keep it going."
Lions 34, Vikings 27: Bob Gagliano, playing in place of injured Rodney Peete, passed for 299 yards and three touchdowns as visiting Detroit left Minnesota with its first 1-4 start since 1967.
Detroit (2-3), which had lost its previous two games by three points each, beat Minnesota for the first time in eight games since 1986. The last Lions victory came in Jerry Burns's first game as Vikings coach.
Gagliano, who led the Lions to wins in their final five games last season, completed 16 of 31 passes. The Vikings led, 20-10, at halftime, but Detroit took a 24-20 lead on Gagliano's 16-yard pass to Terry Greer with 7:29 remaining.
"I always thought Gagliano was the guy they should be going with," Burns said. "He's the guy that put it all together at the end of last year. He can throw the ball very well. He took some pretty good hits in there and kept coming back."
Colts 23, Chiefs 19: Albert Bentley's second touchdown, a 10-yard run with 5:53 to go, rallied Indianapolis at home, despite Kansas City's seven sacks of Jack Trudeau.
"That's two weeks in a row," said Colts Coach Ron Meyer, whose team defeated Philadelphia last week on the game's final play. "It was a magnificent win for us. To come back that way was an outstanding performance. I guess we can use the week off just to get the adrenaline restored in our system."
Mike Prior's recovery of Christian Okoye's fumble gave the Colts (2-3) the ball at the Chiefs 21. Two plays later, Bentley ran in for the touchdown and Dean Biasucci's extra point gave the Colts a 20-19 lead.
Quarterback Steve DeBerg of Kansas City (3-2) entered the game having completed 128 consecutive passes without an interception, but the Colts intercepted him three times.
Falcons 28, Saints 27: In Atlanta, Chris Miller, having his best day as a pro, threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Andre Rison with 1:33 remaining that snapped a six-game losing streak against New Orleans.
Miller and Rison twice kept an 80-yard drive alive with fourth-down completions, the first covering 45 yards to the New Orleans 27 and the second for 16 yards to the 6.
"I'm just thankful I got the chance and thankful we made the most of it," said Miller, whose fumble and interception earlier had resulted in two Saints' field goals. "In the huddle I said, 'Guys, this is it. We got to do it. This is our last chance.' "
Miller completed 23 of 44 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns. Rison had 10 catches for 154 yards and two scores.