7 Steelers surprises in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers

The Pittsburgh Steelers walked into SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to face the Chargers on Sunday Night Football – with mostly a shorthanded squad.

It wasn’t until Saturday that QB Ben Roethlisberger was cleared to play. Big Ben was flown out on a private flight separate from his teammates as the future Hall of Famer cleared COVID protocols.

His participation in this game was one of my picks for a Steelers surprise of the week. Some were good, and some were, well, not flattering.

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Ben Roethlisberger

Having not practiced all week, Roethlisberger was cleared to play at the final moment on Saturday. The team flew him out individually, showing just how vital he is to the lifeblood of the team.

With no practice whatsoever, and the team having game planned starting Mason Rudolph instead, Big Ben would throw for 273 yards and three touchdowns for a 103.7 rating.

Perhaps Roethlisberger shouldn’t practice ever again if this is the result?

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37 Points

The Steelers offense putting up 37 points was a surprise, as they never cleared 30 points all season.

The bigger surprise?

Scoring 27 in the fourth quarter alone!

Taking The Lead

The Steelers were down 17 points to start the fourth quarter – and somehow not only closed the gap, but took a 37-34 lead off of a Chris Boswell field goal.

Unfortunately, their defense had a bad night.

Injuries/Inactives

This was more of a surprise carried over from earlier in the week, but not having T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick or Joe Haden, is a gut punch still the same.

DE Isaiahh Loudermilk has played well and would’ve helped in a contributing role, but he too was ruled out at the end of the week, further hurting the defensive side of the ball.

533 Yards

That’s the total amount of yards the Steelers defense gave up.

It’s hard to believe that the offense could put up 37, but it’s a tougher pill to swallow when the defense gives up that many yards – and 41 points.

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Splash Plays

While the defense was getting murdered and could not stop the Chargers, they actually did come up with some stops.

A three-and-out led to the Chargers first punt of the game – which would be blocked by Miles Killewbrew, setting up a Steelers touchdown.

Cam Heyward would also bat a Justin Herbert pass into the air, which was intercepted by Cameron Sutton for a “Cam-to-Cam” connection.

Unfortunately, the tide turned back toward the Chargers with a late, game-winning 53-yard touchdown catch by WR Mike Williams as the Steelers defense had a busted coverage.

Perfect Ben

 

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