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Final: Steelers 24, Chargers 17

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FOURTH QUARTER

00:34 With Joe Haden on the bench, Cam Sutton intercepts Philip Rivers to seal the win.

1:29 The banged-up Steelers defense is starting to show some wear and tear.

Philip Rivers leads an eight-play, 74-yard drive and finds Hunter Henry for another score.

24-17 Steelers.

2:00 Steelers cornerback Joe Haden has a groin injury and is questionable to return.

3:53 Steelers running back James Conner has a quad injury and is questionable to return.

7:13 The Chargers aren’t going away quietly. Philip Rivers to Hunter Henry in the very back of the end zone makes it a two-score game. 24-10 Steelers.

14:00 After T.J. Watt and Anthony Chickillo combined to sack Philip Rivers on third down, the Chargers settled for a field goal after an 11-play, 66-yard scoring drive. 24-3 Steelers.

THIRD QUARTER

8:12: The Steelers took 6:48 off the clock on a long drive that ended in a Chris Boswell field goal. They have a 8:20 advantage in time of possession. 24-0 Steelers.

15:00: The Steelers will start the second half with bad news. Stephon Tuitt will not return with his pectoral injury.

Steelers DL Stephon Tuitt Out for Game with Pectoral Injury

HALFTIME STATS

SECOND QUARTER

4:23 Devin Bush down on the field and appears to be in considerable pain. Not good news for the Steelers defense already playing without Mark Barron at inside linebacker. Vince Williams will play next to Tyler Matakevich. The only other inside linebacker dressed is rookie Ulysees Gilbert.

6:34: Devlin Hodges hit James Conner in the right flat and he broke a tackle and scampered 26 yards for a touchdown to put the Steelers in the driver’s seat, 21-0.

FIRST QUARTER

3:38 Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt has left the game with a pectoral injury and is questionable to return.

4:29 The Steelers take advantage of the short field. James Conner scored on an off-tackle play from 12 yards out.

Mike Tomlin made scoring touchdowns after turnovers a focus for his team this week after failing to do so against Baltimore:

“We were able to deliver a couple turnovers and get the ball on a short field, but we weren’t able to punch those in. We settled for three, and there’s a price to pay for that.”

14-0 Steelers

8:59 Tyson Alualu got his hands on the ball and Devin Bush played a perfect tip drill for his second interception in as many weeks. He now his six takeaways in six games.

10:51: Devin Bush recovered a fumbled lateral and returned it 9 yards for his first career touchdown as the Steelers score on defense on the third possession of the game. 7-0 Steelers.

GAMEDAY INFO

Sunday, Oct. 13 2019, 8:20 p.m.
Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, Calif.
TV/Radio: NBC (Nationally), WPXI-TV (Pittsburgh), Steelers Radio Network (102.5 WDVE-FM)

SN Coverage: Alan Saunders

FORECAST

72 degrees, sunny

BETTING ODDS

Steelers +6 (opened +6). Total: 42.5

INACTIVES

Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph (concussion), WR James Washington (AC joint, left shoulder), CB Steve Nelson (groin), LB Mark Barron (hamstring), RB Jaylen Samuels (knee surgery), FB Roosevelt Nix (knee surgery), DE Isaiah Buggs.

Chargers: K Mike Badgley (right groin), WR Andre Patton (quad), S Nasir Adderley (hamstring), DE Melvin Ingram III (hamstring), WR QB Easton Stick, DT Cortez Broughton.

INJURY UPDATES

OUT: Steelers QB Mason Rudolph (concussion), FB Roosevelt Nix (knee), CB Steve Nelson (groin), RB Jaylen Samuels (knee surgery), WR James Washington (AC joint, left shoulder), LB Mark Barron (hamstring).

DOUBTFUL: Chargers S Nasir Adderley (hmastring), K Michael Badgley (right groin), RB Justin Jackson (calf), WR Andre Patton (quad).

QUESTIONABLE: Chargers DE Melvin Ingram III (hamstring), TE Hunter Henry (knee)

STEELERS NOW COVERAGE THIS WEEK

Duck Season: Devlin Hodges to Start at QB for Steelers vs. Chargers

Steelers Promote Trey Edmunds, Paxton Lynch to Active Roster

Report: Ravens Safety Earl Thomas Fined $21,000 for Hit on Mason Rudolph

Injuries Putting Question Marks in Steelers Pass Defense

Mic Drop: Tomlin’s Future; A Duck Dynasty in Pittsburgh

NFL Picks Week 6

Steelers Sights and Sounds: Duck Tales from Practice

Are the Steelers Ready to Defend Keenan Allen?

Devin Bush’s High School to Retire His Uniform

Steelers QB Devlin Hodges ‘Calm, Cool, Collected’ while Preparing for First Start

Reports: Steelers WR James Washington to Miss Multiple Weeks with Shoulder Injury

Steelers Put Kick Return Woes under the Microscope

Devin Bush’s Progress a Big Positive from 1-4 Steelers Start

Steelers Prep for Devlin Hodges Start with Mason Rudolph’s Status Up in the Air

Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels Out a Month after Knee Surgery

Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels Out a Month after Knee Surgery

Steelers Re-Sign LB Robert Spillane to Practice Squad

Steelers Believe ‘Duck’ Hodges Can Keep Them in the Hunt

Steelers Release QB Taryn Christion from Practice Squad

Steelers Will Need Defense to Lead Charge to Escape 1-4 Start

Steelers Open as 6-point Underdogs to Chargers

Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/24/20

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While it’s odd to see referees standing out in a clip of highlights, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s plan to incorporate actual refs into practice this week happened on Thursday.

Tomlin explained he is adding refs to practice to ensure his team is more disciplined, which hopefully leads to less penalties in their game this week compared to last week.

Wide receivers James Washington, Diontae Johnson and tight end Eric Ebron run routes and catch passes in this clip.

Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger Says Form, Mechanics Can Be Better Despite Hot Start

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To hear Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tell it, he can better than what he’s shown on the field in his first two weeks since returning from elbow surgery.

He’s not happy with his footwork, he thinks he’s dropping his arm a bit and needs a more consistent release point.

The statistics, however tell another story. They say Roethlisberger has been operating at a higher level of precision than ever before. So which is it? Maybe both.

“I do feel I got a little lazy with my feet, which then, in turn, translated to a lazy arm,” Roethlisberger said. “There were some throws that I kind of dropped my elbow, if you will. I don’t want to get too technical, but it became more of a three-quarter release instead of an over the top when I didn’t need to. There are obviously times you have to change your release point. There were too many throws, I felt looking back, that I just have to get my feet working better, and that will then translate, hopefully, to the rest of the body. Then, I won’t be guiding some of the throws.”

Here’s an example from the game Roethlisberger’s form getting a little sloppy. He throws this ball flat-footed and almost all with his right side, getting less power behind it than usual and resulting in a pass that ends up behind JuJu Smith-Shuster instead of allowing him to build a head of steam toward the defenders at the line of scrimmage.

Is this a big deal here? Not really. Smith-Schuster probably couldn’t have done much better than he did at bulling over the defender, anyway. But this is also a route into the flat on the near side of the field. Over longer distances, that can make a big difference.

“I’ve gotten away with it in the past being able to not necessarily be perfect from the ground up and just letting my arm kind of make up for a lot of things, a lot of imperfections if you talk to quarterback people,” Roethlisberger said. “I feel great. I just need to get it in my mind that I can still make the throws when I’m not in the perfect position to make them.”

All of that can be true, and yet, it’s hard to argue with the results. Through two games, Roethlisberger has a 68.5 completion percentage. His career season high was 68% in 2015. In a game and a half last year, it was 56.5%.

His passer rating, even with an interception against the Broncos, is 107.1. His career season-long high came in 2o07, when he finished with a 104.1 mark. Last season before his injury, it was 66.

Some of that can be explained by a passing scheme that has take fewer deep shots down the field than it has in years past. His yards per pass attempt sits at 7.4, lower than all but four of his other 16 seasons.

Mechanical inconsistency can certainly have a greater impact on longer throws, so the Steelers’ somewhat more methodical offensive approach could be helping Roethlisberger get into the swing of things.

“Maybe some of that just comes from not playing a lot of football,” he posited. “I played two games this year. I played a game and a half last year, so really, it’s about three and a half games in two years if you think about it. It’ll come. Like I said, if I’m having these issues and we are still winning football games, that’s a plus.”

If a 2-0 record with career highs in passer rating and completion percentage is what he looks like with mechanical issues, the NFL should be very worried about what might happen if he gets into a groove.

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Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/23/20

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David DeCastro practices with the Steelers after missing the first two games of the season. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained to the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, that he is evaluating DeCastro and he could start their week 3 game against Houston.

Joe Haden can also seen working on one-on-one coverage drills with the rest of the secondary.

Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

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