The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a much-needed win in Week Six, and in the process, kept their season alive.
For one of the first times this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked like the contender everybody thought they could be entering the 2019-20 season. Despite starting a third-string, undrafted rookie quarterback against a Los Angeles Chargers team with something to prove, the Steelers were able to come away with a 24-17 win. It wasn’t always perfect, but this was a much-needed victory and one that shows that maybe the Steelers season still has hope.
It all starts with the defensive effort that Pittsburgh showed tonight. The Chargers were shut out through three quarters, and even after a late comeback from Los Angeles, it was the defense that pulled through to seal the game with an interception. Though it doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, the pass-rush was in Philip Rivers‘ face all night long, and the secondary played relatively well. Rookie linebacker Devin Bush was the real star, however, as he recorded a touchdown and an interception to go with seven tackles. His touchdown, in particular, showed Bush’s awareness as he recognized a backward pass as a live ball and took it to the endzone. To this point in the season, Bush has a legitimate claim to the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
On the other hand, the offense played well enough to win, and given the situation they were in, that was more than good enough. Devlin “Duck” Hodges wasn’t truly impressive in any one area, but his decision-making and comfort within the offense were generally on-point. James Conner continued to struggle as a runner outside of his scoring run, but he shined as a receiver in this one. Benny Snell, Conner’s backup, shined in a bigger role and may have earned more carries moving forward considering Conner’s ineffectiveness on the ground.
All in all, this was the type of team win that the Steelers needed. With a bye week coming up, it was imperative for the team to pick up some momentum, and they got it by beating up a spiraling Los Angeles team. With the Cleveland Browns continuing to struggle and the Baltimore Ravens’ inconsistency so far, the AFC North may not be out of reach for the Steelers if they can keep playing as they did on Sunday night. With their season on the edge, Pittsburgh’s resiliency in Week Six showed that we shouldn’t rule out the Steelers just yet.