News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 PFF ReFocused: Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Los Angeles Chargers 17

James Conner and the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ defense got off to a hot start against the Los Angeles Chargers on the road and never looked back, beating the Bolts, 24-17.

PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

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Final Score

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Los Angeles Chargers 17

Pittsburgh Steelers

This was about as conservative of a game plan as you'll see in a 2019 NFL game. Devlin Hodges was the definition of game manager in this one, taking just a few shots on Sunday night that traveled further than 10 yards downfield. When asked to throw, Hodges spent much of the night getting the ball quickly into the hands of his playmakers – primarily James Conner – and put the honus on them to keep the offense moving.

Conner was asked to carry the load, and he did just that until a quad injury knocked him out in the second half. Conner was especially fantastic as a receiver, where he hauled in all seven of his targets and picked up crucial first downs on balls thrown to him short of the sticks, forcing one missed tackle after another.

Devin Bush recorded the first two turnovers for the s=Steelers, but neither of the plays required him to do a lot. One was a poor pass from Philip Rivers that went backward for a fumble, and the other was a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage that he intercepted.

T.J. Watt gave Sam Tevi problems all game long. He recorded a sack, three hits and also a batted pass. Watt showed his ability to win with speed consistently against Tevi.

Los Angeles Chargers

Rayshawn Jenkins had the highlight play of the night for the Chargers' defense, getting a great read on one of the few deep balls thrown by Hodges and jumping the route for a crucial interception as LA tried digging themselves out of the hole they got themselves into in the first half.

It was a quiet night for the Chargers' pass-rush. Pittsburgh did a nice job at scheming plays to get the ball out of Hodges' hands quickly, but Los Angeles finished the night without knocking Pittsburgh's quarterback on the ground a single time.

Rivers had a tough game with his offensive line unable to find a consistent way to protect him and the Steelers getting pressure without blitzing and leaving two safeties deep for most of the game. While he recorded 320 yards passing, most of this came late as the Chargers tried to claw their way back into the game. The worst play by Rivers was overthrowing a flare route to Melvin Gordon that went backward and was recorded as a fumble for Rivers.

Hunter Henry broke the two-deep shell of the Steelers. He caught eight of his nine targets for 100 yards and two touchdowns, with his best catch coming at the back of the end zone where he managed to toe-tap both feet to give the Chargers a little bit of hope down the stretch.

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