LA Chargers News

Chargers melt Steelers: The Good, the bad and the lucky

By Dennis J. Hassell
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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In the name of all the unjust and unlucky endings that Chargers fans have endured for decades, we will take this pixie-dust win, gratefully.

In all 222 home games where the Pittsburgh Steelers led by 14 points or more, the Steel Curtain lost exactly zero games.  A perfect record of finishing off foes. Until  December 2, 2018, against the Los Angeles Chargers.

After the Chargers’ historic win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night,  there is one great unanswered question:

What was said at half time? !

Not just what was said by the Chargers’ head coach Anthony Lynn, what, reader, was being said by you? Was it..

“This is the same old Chargers” ?

“Rivers can’t handle the big games”?

“Chargers always find a way to lose”?

We don’t blame anyone for saying their fears out loud.

The BAD

The entire first half was a nightmare come true.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense was men against beach boys, and their run defense kicked sand all over the Bolts’ running backs. The loss of FOUR starters on our defense (CB Jason Verrett, LB Denzel Perryman,  linemen Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane) was glaring.  Cornerback Michael Davis was exposed as a pretender when he took several well deserved, and huge, penalties. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram were throwing themselves against a steel curtain, and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had time to check his text messages before he threw countless balls  to his wide open receivers.

The Chargers’ offense was worse. Not that they rushed for no yards. The Bolts ran for negative yards.  For the whole half. It felt like the Storm Troopers had the Death Star — but the two Jedis still fighting were mostly the ever-flowing Philip Rivers, and the Slayer,  Keenan Allen.

The LUCKY

 Allen grabbed the pop up in the end zone. Remember when he caught Melvin Gordon’s fumble for a touchdown early in the season? Agile KA-13 is a cobra-killing mongoose.

The missed blatant false-start penalty on offensive lineman replacement Sam Tevi, allowing Travis Benjamin a rare touchdown.

Three tries at a field goal. This isn’t just lucky, it’s karma. I also found it hilarious, after I stopped closing my eyes.  And fainting. And barfing. The facts are,  Mike ‘Badger’ Badgley missed his first attempt, and it was the Steelers’ ferocity that gave the Chargers a second chance to win. Los Angeles kicked Steeltown right between the uprights.

In the name of all the unjust and unlucky endings to games Chargers fans have endured, from the ‘Holy Roller’ loss to Oakland, to Marlon McCree’s last-minute post-interception fumble in the playoff game against the New England Patriots, we will take this pixie-dust win, gratefully.

The GOOD

Head coach Anthony Lynn at halftime somehow reminded all the younger players that they are war horses. And it worked. The beach boys stopped tripping on their flip flops and caught a big wave.

Philip Rivers defeated Three Rivers. He kept his men in it until they could win it.   MVP, MVP, MVP.

Justin Jackson had his graduation party and was Prom King for the night. Austin Ekeler kept plowing until he found daylight.  Same for the offensive Line, who never surrendered.

Keenan Allen. You don’t need to check the game book to realize the game Keenan had. If he stays healthy for a handful more years, he will eclipse every receiving record of the Chargers.

More from Bolt Beat

BOLD PREDICTIONS?

Follow-up fact checks on my pre-game predictions:

1….”Joey’s gonna get up close and personal, meatgrinding Roethlis-into-burger.”

ACTUAL:  True — eventually — although  the grinding was more about pressure than sacks. The Bosa doesn’t back down.

2.  “Sean ‘McCaulay’ Culkin in the passing game” 

ACTUAL:  False.  But I take comfort that his blocking and special teams play was notable.

3.  “The Williams’ Bros. and KA-13 will fight over the football like cheetahs”

ACTUAL:   True. Look at the stats against a dominant defense. I did confuse Tyrell with Travis, but Allen won raves from the national TV commentators as “unstoppable”.

4. “WIthout Melvin Gordon, this game will be tougher than any so far”

ACTUAL:  True. If you can find a tougher game, with more obstacles to overcome, that the Chargers won so far this season, please state your case.

Please leave your own Bold Predictions for the next game in the comment section.

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