Quick Take: Steelers back in AFC title game

It was over when ...
Willie Parker scored on a 16-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes to play. Parker carried the ball five times for 53 yards on the decisive drive that put the game out of reach at 35-17.

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Game ball
Parker surpassed 100 yards in a playoff game for the first time in his career, finishing with 146 and two touchdowns. Parker carried the ball 27 times -- his most attempts since Week 2 -- and opened up the play-action passing game for Ben Roethlisberger by consistently gashing San Diego's defense.

Key stat
In the pivotal third quarter, the Steelers ran 24 plays to only one for the Chargers. Pittsburgh controlled the ball for all but 17 seconds in the quarter and that domination paid dividends down the stretch as the Chargers defense wore down during the fourth quarter.

Noteworthy
In his first career start, Chargers RB Darren Sproles finished with just 15 rushing yards on 11 carries. He did have a late 62-yard touchdown catch and a 63-yard kickoff return. ... Roethlisberger showed no ill-effects from a concussion suffered in Week 17 and was sacked just once, while dropping back 26 times. ... The Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the third time in five years.

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