Sunday Night wrapup: Steelers hold on for 24-17 victory over Chargers

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The Chargers blew halftime leads in their first two losses. They fell too far behind at halftime in their two most recent losses.

They trailed the Broncos 17-0 at intermission last week before losing 20-13. On Sunday night, the Chargers were down 21-0 at halftime.

Los Angeles rallied in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.

They lost to the Steelers 24-17.

The Steelers moved to 2-4 on the season, two games behind the Ravens in the AFC North. The Chargers fell to 2-4, two games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West.

Steelers third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges, making his first career start, threw only 20 passes and passed for only 132 yards. It was enough, with the Steelers rushing for 124 yards and forcing three turnovers, including one they returned for a touchdown.

James Conner scored two touchdowns, one on a 12-yard run and another on a 26-yard catch-and-run, and Benny Snell had a team-leading 75 rushing yards.

The Chargers scored all 17 of their points in the fourth quarter as Chase McLaughlin kicked a 38-yard field goal and Hunter Henry caught touchdown passes of 5 and 11 yards from Philip Rivers. Henry finished with eight catches for 100 yards.

Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton recovered the Chargers’ onside kick with 1:28 left, but the Chargers got one last chance.

The Chargers were left with no timeouts and 1:03 to go 99 yards, and Sutton ended it with an interception.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. It doesn’t take a franchise quarterback to win. At least in the short term.

Teddy Bridgewater is 4-0 as the starter in New Orleans since replacing the injured Drew Brees. Kyle Allen is 4-0 as the starter in Carolina since replacing the injured Cam Newton.

Ben Roethlisberger went 0-2 for the Steelers this season before being lost for the season. Mason Rudolph went 1-2 before his concussion last week.

Hodges got lots of help from his friends in moving his career record to 1-0. He became only the second Steelers quarterback since 1990 to win his first start, joining Roethlisberger.

2. Kickers matter.

Cowboys kicker Brett Maher missed a 32-yard field goal in a two-point loss. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant missed an extra point with a chance to tie the Cardinals late.

The Chargers are on their third kicker of the season. They need Michael Badgley back.

Badgley, who made 15-of-16 field goals in 10 games last season, has not played this season because of a right groin injury. Punter Ty Long pulled double duty in the first four games, making 7-of-9 field goals.

McLaughlin made 2-of-3 tries last week against the Broncos. He clanked a 43-yard try off the left upright with 32 seconds remaining in the first half.

With the Chargers trailing 24-0, McLaughlin hit a 38-yarder.

3. The 2019 Chargers aren’t the 2018 Chargers.

The Chargers had Melvin Gordon holdout for 64 days. They have lost center Mike Pouncey (neck), left tackle Russell Okung (pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots), defensive end Melvin Ingram (hamstring), Henry (knee), safety Adrian Phillips (arm) and safety Derwin James (foot), among others, miss time. The Chargers have 11 players on some sort of reserve list.

The Chargers began last season 7-2 on their way to a 12-4 record. They already have four losses this season.

4. Devin Bush is a star in the making.

Everyone got a chance to see why the Steelers moved up in the 2019 draft to select the Michigan product 10th overall. Bush, 21, entered Sunday night with 45 tackles, three fumble recoveries, an interception and two pass breakups.

He made seven tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, a touchdown and a pass breakup against the Chargers.

Bush limped off the field after rolling his ankle in the first half but returned for the second half. He did draw a taunting penalty in the third quarter.

5. Melvin Gordon has yet to play a big role for the Chargers.

Gordon played 32 snaps in his 2019 debut last week, getting 16 touches for 38 yards. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn expected to use him more this week, but after the Chargers fell behind early, they have to play catch-up.

Gordon ended up with eight carries for 18 yards and three catches for 30 yards.

33 responses to “Sunday Night wrapup: Steelers hold on for 24-17 victory over Chargers

  1. Good game Chargers. Almost had a come back. Devin Bush looked good, and happy the Steelers finished with a win. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from up here in Canada.

  2. Lac does not look good. Rivers threw those last 2 passes like he didn’t care & didn’t like his coach. The chargers game plan did not look good. They couldn’t squeeze the steelers inexperienced qb.

  3. I REALLY underestimated how important Derwin James was to their defense, mind you I know they were down both him and Ingram today but ever since James got injured that defense has fallen from elite to garbage.

  4. qckappa says:
    October 13, 2019 at 11:32 pm
    Lac does not look good. Rivers threw those last 2 passes like he didn’t care & didn’t like his coach. The chargers game plan did not look good. They couldn’t squeeze the steelers inexperienced qb.

    NO. Rivers always makes dumb throws. He’s an overrated QB but he’ll probably get in the HOF because of his stats. The guy is notorious for making boneheaded plays when the game is on the line. He’s not clutch.

  5. Great game Steelers. Their D is underestimated. Thanks for the free beer at the new stadium display. Steelers fans travel well wherever I have went.

  6. Steelers are better then people think. If they could ever get the qb to help out the defense. The Steelers could still make some noise. They will have to pass the ball a whole lot better eventually.

  7. Chargers made a huge comeback which should make the Steelers seriously question whether they have much of a defense. This is basically the Steelers Super Bowl. It means they’ll finish 2-14 instead of 1-15. When’s the parade?

  8. It doesn’t even take a QB to win playing the QB position. Lamar Jackson Five can’t beat a defense that is above the average level with his arm. So he has to run for as many attempts as passes he completed. That is a sham and a mockery of the position that needs to be addressed. Either you run as a running back or you pass as a QB. But you are a fraud when you do it as often.

  9. For over a decade I’ve been saying that Rivers will never win anything–and he’s living up (or down) to that. He just can’t lead his team to victory when it counts, and never has. He’s had lousy coaches and a lousy front office, but they don’t play on the field. Rivers does, and he folds when it counts. Always has, always will.

  10. v2787 says:
    October 14, 2019 at 8:24 am
    For over a decade I’ve been saying that Rivers will never win anything–and he’s living up (or down) to that. He just can’t lead his team to victory when it counts, and never has. He’s had lousy coaches and a lousy front office, but they don’t play on the field. Rivers does, and he folds when it counts. Always has, always will.

    ======================

    Rivers is the only reason that team even has a chance. He’s been the heart and soul of that team for ever. Get off his back, your ignorance is insulting.

  11. Oh please, there was no real late push. The game wasnt that close as the score shows. The Chargers were gosh awful the entire game and only started playing with 5 minutes left.
    Their vet QB couldnt pass gas against a rookie third stringer who was able to handle the basic duties. This game was so bad I couldnt watch it. Its amazing how the Chargers have gone so downhill in one season versus last year.
    Put a fork in these suckers, they have a QB whose time has come to pack it in he doesnt have it anymore.

  12. Rivers has never won an important game in his life. Just watch how the Patriots came out and destroyed them last year in that playoff game. He had the best roster in football early in his career, and that team last year was pretty stacked. Injuries this year have decimated them, but Rivers just is never going to win you a big game. He’s good enough to beat the bad and above average teams, but he’s never going to beat the best.

  13. Eli is bang average and mediocre but I will take his career riding 2 great defenses to super bowl wins over the mess that Dean Spanos created and squandering Rivers’ career. Archie Manning was 100% right in forcing that trade and the Giants did the right thing.

  14. Chargers should’ve lost the opener to the Colts. Vinateri and the 7 points on missed kicks. They should be 1-5. AFC West not so good this year. Maybe the Raiders do have a shot at this division!

  15. Sad. The “re-location” aka betrayal of true SD fans is a total disaster for the NFL…and they’re closed mouth about it. The franchise is broken as there are only a trickle of LA Charger fans. 80% of the crowd were Steeler fans. Other NFL owners hate Spanos and couldn’t care less about the disastrous “re-location.” But they should.

  16. It was like watching two drowning men cling to one another trying to save themselves…. Both these teams are putrid

    Judging from your post you sound like you wouldn’t go out of your way to help save the drowning men……cold hearted.

    Thought the game was what the Steelers needed and the defense is improving very game. They have lost three games by 9 points…..thats not putrid in my book.

  17. 2-4. Maybe still a shot at a winning season, hard to picture the playoffs in their future this year.

    The defence looked and played great. Running game showed up. The passing game may develop in the second half as Rudolph gets his groove back.

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