Week six of the NFL season is about the time when teams really need to hunker down or get ready to miss the playoffs entirely. This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers flew to California to take on the Los Angeles Chargers. Let’s see what we learned in the Steelers vs Chargers.
Three Takeaways from Pittsburgh Steelers vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Defense Makes a Game
It is no surprise that the Steelers are having a bad year. Their field general Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season. The second-string quarterback Mason Rudolph was knocked out of last week’s game with a concussion and ruled out for Sunday’s game. For the third string, they have Devlin Hodges starting his first NFL game.
This was not going to be easy by any means. In fact, almost everyone in sportscasting wrote the Steelers off as a sure loss. The Pittsburgh defense was not listening to any of it and came out of the gate with their hair on fire. The first score came from a blown throw from Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers. A backward throw was dropped and quickly picked up by Devin Bush and brought back nine yards for a touchdown.
From then on, the defense kept the pressure on Rivers and kept him from making any headway in regaining ground that was quickly being lost. By halftime, the Steelers had 21 points and the Chargers weren’t able to put any points on the board. This was largely due to the defense not giving any ground or leeway for Rivers to make any downfield plays.
The Evolution of the Steelers
One thing the Steelers have always been able to do is to adapt to the problems that arise. Losing a star wide receiver? Ju-Ju Smith Schuster is ready to step up and shine, whether he catches or throws a block for other receivers. Having problems with a running back? No problem, James Conner is more than capable of being the next man to run for yardage.
So when there is a need to fill in for injured Roethlisberger, both Rudolph and Hodges will step up. One of the things that have kept the Steelers in contention for so many years is their ability to pull together as a team and help out in areas that need it. Hodges has talent but not the experience, so the defense and special teams made key plays throughout the night to take the pressure off the young quarterback.
The Steelers have proven time and again that no matter what the adversary, they are able to rebuild regroup and move forward.
Never Away from Home
While the Chargers’ new home will be shared with the Los Angeles Rams next year. Right now they are in a temporary, small, soccer stadium called the Dignity Health Sports Park. They haven’t been getting many of their own fans there as it is. However, the Steelers always travel well and Sunday night was no exception. Adding to the fact that it was a prime time game, where the Steelers also have a great record of excelling. In addition, an ill-conceived but well-meant joke backfired on the Chargers.
The beginning of the song “Renegade” by Styx was played and then rolled into Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” However, with that many Steelers fans in attendance, the fans continued singing and it was heard by many of the Chargers players. The Steelers have great confidence in the fact they never have to feel they are not with a home crowd.
Onto The Next
Now the Steelers have a bye week to sort out what is working so well and what to keep and discard. While the Chargers need to regroup and go on the road to the Tennessee Titans. Onward to week seven.
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