Yes, that just happened. The Los Angeles Chargers looked like they were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers of old on Sunday night.
It’s hard to say whether the Steelers were that good, or the Chargers were that bad. For most of this game, the Chargers were being embarrassed on national television in more ways than one.
For starters, the stands were filled with Steelers fans swinging around their “terrible towels”. Al Michaels mentioned during the broadcast that he felt that about 80 percent of the fans in the stands were cheering for Pittsburgh.
In addition to that, the Steelers, who have won just one game this season and were starting an undrafted rookie at quarterback making his first career start, were ahead 24-0 at one point in this game.
It was a frustrating night for the Chargers, who drop to 2-4 on the season, having lost four of their last five games. The only win in that time frame came against the still winless Miami Dolphins.
Where do the Chargers go from here? This was supposed to be their “get right” game.
It went south in a hurry for the Chargers. After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, Philip Rivers lost a fumble that was recovered by Steelers rookie Devin Bush who returned it for a touchdown. On the next drive, Rivers was intercepted by Bush, a turnover that set up another Pittsburgh touchdown.
The Steelers created a simple gameplan for Devlin Hodges, the quarterback for the time being. He used his running backs in both the running and passing game and the combination of James Conner and Benny Snell totaled 208 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
The Chargers also hurt themselves by turning the ball over three times.
Still, they were able to rattle off 17 unanswered points to give themselves a chance to tie the game up late, but that would not come to fruition. Instead, this game should be looked at as one that wasn’t really as close as the final score indicates.
The Chargers did have one major bright spot and that was the return of Hunter Henry. Many reports suggested that Henry would see only a handful of snaps in this game as the team tried to ease him back onto the field, but he had a career day.
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Henry caught eight passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to get the Chargers the victory. Mike Williams also played well, catching five passes for 72 yards but he also had a key drop in the game.
Melvin Gordon was a non-factor for the second week in a row, gaining just 18 yards on eight rushing attempts. As a team, the Chargers rushed for just 32 yards on the night and if you combine their last two games, the Chargers have rushed for 67 yards on 30 carries.
The Chargers will need to regroup and focus on the next opponent, which will be a reeling Tennessee Titans team. The Chargers will have to trek to Nashville for that game and even though the Titans were shut out by the Denver Broncos on Sunday, a win is anything but a sure thing for this struggling Chargers squad.