The Los Angeles Chargers won a spectacular Sunday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 41:37. In the final quarter, the Steelers struggled to get back into the game after a big deficit. However, the guests’ weakened defense found no answer as quarterback Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler scored four touchdowns.
Two minutes before the end of the first quarter, Ekeler found the opponent’s end zone for the first time: during the hosts’ first drive, the ball carrier sent the ball into the end zone six meters away. The Chargers had already walked the field for twelve games and 73 yards. This should only be the start of an outstanding performance from Herbert (30/41, 382 YDS, 3 TD, INT, 9 ATT, 90 YDS) and Ekeler (11 ATT, 50 YDS, 2 TD, 6 REC, 65 YDS , 2 TD) be.
In the home team’s second practice, the Chargers covered 98 yards and reached the end zone again. From the ten-yard line, Herbert found his running back on a route from backfield to midfield, Ekeler’s second touchdown increased Los Angeles’ lead to 14: 3.
This was followed by a 30-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins on the third practice and another touchdown by Ekeler on the fourth practice. This time, the 26-year-old made a short pass from Herbert over 17 yards into the end zone, shortly after which Hopkins scored the next basket – it was a pace the Steelers couldn’t quite do. just not call in the first half.
A punt blocked by Miles Killebrew, who gave the ball to the Steelers on the three-yard line and thus allowed a touchdown from Najee Harris (12 ATT, 39 YDS, TD, 5 REC, 20 YDS) at 8:27 pm , seemed to make the game exciting again, but in return, Herbert and Ekeler immediately scored the next touchdown: After a long run from the quarterback, the running back sent the ball five yards into the end zone. Touchdown number four, 34:20!
NFL: the game turns into a crime thriller
But the Chargers wouldn’t be the Chargers if the game hadn’t become exciting again. Ben Roethlisberger (28/44, 273 YDS, 3 TD) threw a touchdown on Eric Ebron (3 REC, 24 YDS, TD), Cameron Heyward rigged a Herbert throw on the line of scrimmage, Cameron Sutton caught the Air rebound. Another touchdown, this time from Roethlisberger to Pat Freiermuth (4 REC, 11 YDS, TD), and suddenly it was 34:34.
This was followed by Joe Schobert’s 4.5-inch save against Austin Ekeler on the opposite 34-yard line and a successful field goal from Chris Boswell (3/3 FG, 4/4 XP) and under four. minutes before the end suddenly drove the guests. In a cover bust on the other side, however, Herbert found receiver Mike Williams (5 REC, 97 YDS, TD) with a 53-yard touchdown pass. The Steelers had another chance to touch down, but the O-line of the guests was so dominated by Joey Bosa and Co. that Big Ben was sacked twice with no real chance of a passing attempt.
Herbert impressively demonstrated his exceptional combination of athleticism, arm talent and playing intelligence throughout the match. The 23-year-old has always found the right pieces in the Steelers’ zone coverage; he often used scrambles against the cover of the men and thus ensured on several occasions big gains of space and important first tries. He finished the game with 90 rushing yards.
On the guest side, the lack of key players such as TJ Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden in defense was clearly visible. Pittsburgh didn’t have enough pressure on Herbert without Blitzing, and there were several high school voting issues.
Ben Roethlisberger moved the ball well in the air over long distances, Diontae Johnson (7 REC, 101 YDS, TD) and Chase Claypool (5 REC, 93 YDS) won their direct duels with the Chargers cornerbacks – thus than Opposite Keenan Allen (9 REC, 112 YDS) his duels with the Steelers corners – regularly. In their second practice, however, the Steelers let a tight screen play with a fourth held at the two-yard line – it was stopped, it was supposed to be a game-changer in the end.
Kyzir White and Heyward were both adversely affected by a hard blow to the head against Harris and a blow to Herbert, and they could be suspended afterwards. The Chargers face the Denver Broncos away from home next week. The Steelers have an away game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) – Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1)
Result: 41:37 (7: 3, 10: 7, 10: 0, 14:27) BOXSCORE
Chargers vs. Steelers – the most important stats
- There were two firsts in the Steelers’ first defensive drive: For the first time this season, Pittsburgh had to accept a touchdown on the opening drive, and James Pierre also received the first passing interference against the Steelers defense. during the current season.
- Out of 230 games in which they were 17 or more points behind in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were unable to win any. Against the Chargers, they actually took the lead after such a deficit, but in the end it was loss number 231.
- The Chargers received a total of twelve penalties for 75 yards, almost twice as many penalty yards as the guests. In addition, they lost the turnout duel with 0: 1 and received a punt block. Leaving the field victorious under these circumstances is definitely a rarity.
- This was also reflected in the yards for the teams. The Chargers totaled 533 yards tonight. The Steelers on the other hand “only” at 300.
The star of the game: Justin Herbert (Quarterback, Chargers)
An exceptional performance from the 23-year-old for a long time. Whether it was Zone or Man Coverage, Blitzing or Four-Men-Rush – the Steelers couldn’t find an answer to the Chargers quarterback. Herbert repeatedly caused great plays in the air and also on the ground several times for danger. The interception was also not on his cap. Also very strong: running back Austin Ekeler, who not only scored four touchdowns, but also made a very important block on the decisive touchdown.
The flop of the game: the secondary of the Steelers
Cameron Sutton was quick to react to Herbert’s deflected shot, but other than that, the guest’s defensive backs didn’t have a good game. They often lost their direct clashes and on several occasions they also revealed real coordination issues – especially, of course, during Mike Williams’ winning touchdown. The absence of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden was clearly felt tonight.
Analysis: Chargers vs. Steelers – The Tactics Board
- The Steelers had to do without a lot of top players defensively. The Chargers tried to take advantage of the guests’ unfamiliarity with a rushed attack. Los Angeles continued to slam the ball with plenty of time on the game clock.
- Pittsburgh, in turn, tried to absorb the loss of TJ Watt with modified defensive tactics. The Steelers flashed more than usual to bolster their own passing rush. Herbert has always made good use of the space behind.
- Brandon Staley also stayed true to his defensive strategy against the Steelers and played plenty of snaps from so-called two-height looks with two deep safeties. The Steelers ran the ball but weren’t always successful with their battered offensive line.
- In the second quarter, the Steelers marched to the opposing goal line. Like the week before, Najee Harris didn’t receive any litter in this area: Pittsburgh first threw from the two-meter line on a Chase Claypool fade route, then screened for Pat Freiermuth on Fourth Down – without success.
- The Chargers put Joey Bosa in the middle of the defensive line again and again in the second half. Bosa continued to put pressure on the midfield of the offensive line and even forced a very important sack shortly before the end of the game.
- With just under four minutes to go, the Chargers were clearly facing a quarter-inch in their own half. Staley dropped the game, but Austin Ekeler was stopped by an unlocked Joe Schobert as he attempted to run.