The 8-3 Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the 7-3-1 Steelers in this week’s Sunday night matchup. Both teams have won 4 of their last 5 games but are coming off very different weeks. The Chargers destroyed the Arizona Cardinals at home 45-10. The Cardinals had a 10-0 second quarter leave but the Chargers scored 45 unanswered points. They now currently sit in second place in the AFC West behind the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers snapped a 6 game win streak with a disappointing 24-17 loss on the road to the Denver Broncos. They had a chance to tie but Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception with 1-minute left and his team on the Broncos 2 yard line. Even with the loss, the Steelers sit atop the AFC North division.
Philip Rivers set some records with his performance against the Cardinals and finished with a passer rating of 138.4. He completed 28 of 29 passes for 259 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He set 2 NFL records with the most consecutive completions to start a game and the highest completion percentage in a single game. His favorite target was Austin Ekeler who had 10 catches for 68 yards. They rushed for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns with Melvin Gordon having a nice game with 68 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries. For the season, the Chargers offense has averaged 27.9 points and 413 yards per game. Defensively, they intercepted Josh Rosen once and sacked him twice. They shut the Cardinals run game down as they gained just 62 yards on 24 carries, which is an average of 2.6 yards per rush.
Roethlisberger threw for 462 yards against the Broncos but it wasn’t enough. He completed 41 of 56 passes with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The team had 4 turnovers in total as they also lost 2 fumbles. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team with 189 receiving yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions. They gained 75 rushing yards with James Conner leading the team with 53 yards on 13 carries. On the year, the Steelers offense has averaged 28.7 points and 430.6 yards per game. Defensively, they did not force a turnover and sacked Case Keenum twice. They allowed the Broncos to average 5.4 yards per rush as they gave up 124 yards on just 23 carries.
The Steelers will have home field advantage and are favored by 3.5 points. They have gone 6-4-1 against the spread including 3-2 at home. The Chargers have gone 6-5 against the spread including 4-1 on the road. In bad news for the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon has been ruled out for this game with a knee injury and will be re-evaluated before he can possibly return in week 14. This is a big loss for the Chargers as he has rushed for over 800 yards and 9 touchdowns so far this season. If the season ended today, these teams would meet in the wildcard game so this could be a preview of things to come.