PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the all-time series against the Chargers 23-10 (including the post-season), Pittsburgh has an uphill battle as they struggle against teams when traveling across time zones.
The last 3 meetings against teams on the West Coast (or relatively close) has resulted in losses. In 2018, the Steelers fell on the road to the Oakland Raiders (24-21), Denver Broncos (24-17) and in ’19 walked away winless when facing the San Francisco 49ers (24-20), respectively.
This week, the Chargers are at home and face their own struggles. Sitting at 2-3 and 3rd place in the AFC West, Los Angeles is coming off of a loss to division rival Denver Broncos.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers — who Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin labeled a, Hall of Fame caliber quarterback” — has a completion percentage of 68% on 194 passes and 7 touchdowns, however, is missing his anchor on the offensive line for the season. Mike Pouncey (twin brother to Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey) was placed on the team’s injured reserve list on Oct 9 after suffering a neck injury against the Broncos. An injury that will have him sidelined for the season, possibly longer.
Rivers, who has faced adversity before, said in a press conference, “We have to be physical, come out and be hungry.”
The Steelers — on the other hand — must rely on their defense to carry the load and stop the Chargers offense who has proven to be efficient in recent history. The addition of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has assisted Pittsburgh in defensive stops across the middle. In his Steelers debut, he recorded an interception and has made a significant impact in the secondary. Fitzpatrick was acquired from the Miami Dolphins for a 2020 1st round pick and a 6th-rounder in 2021.