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Steelers vs. Chargers – Game Recap – November 21, 2021




INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers had an uncanny knack for hitting double digits and losing in the last minute.

Not anymore.

Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 2:17 left as the Chargers rallied to hold off the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-37 despite leading 17 points at the start of the fourth quarter.

Five of the Chargers’ six wins this season are fourth-quarter comebacks. Last season, they lost five times when they led the fourth.

We had our best things at the end,” said freshman coach Brandon Staley. “I feel like we really showed things in 10 games. I am really proud of this group. This game was definitely one of my favorites.

Herbert is the fifth quarterback in NFL history to pass at least 300 yards and rush at least 90 yards in the same game. He passed for 382 yards and rushed for 90, the most by a Chargers QB in a game.

We did a great job moving the ball and responding back when needed, said Herbert, who completed 30 of 41 passes. It certainly came a little too close. We’ve had our chances to put it aside. The defense did a great job coming up with stops and then we scored points on what was a great day for us.

Los Angeles (6-4) held a 27-10 lead going into the fourth quarter before the Steelers (5-4-1) rallied to take a 37-34 lead at the 45-yard Chris Boswell field goal with 3:24 to go. Los Angeles took over at 25 and scored four plays later when Herbert found Williams between the cornerback and safety. Williams, who had 97 yards on five catches, caught the ball at the Steelers 36-yard line and went down the left sideline untouched.

We originally mentioned a way out to Keenan but the corner back covered the flat very hard. Justin told me to be ready. I was open and running straight to the end zone, said Williams, who had five receptions for 97 yards.

Austin Ekeler had a career-high four touchdowns and 115 scrimmage yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing). He is the ninth player in the Super Bowl era to have at least two rushing and two receiving scores in a game.

The Chargers generated 533 yards in offense, their fourth most since 2000. It’s also tied for the eighth the Steelers have allowed in a game in franchise history.

I thought we had them, said Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson, who had seven catches for 101 yards. But it’s football. A lot of things are going to happen and we haven’t reacted the way we should.

Ben Roethlisberger scored 273 yards and three touchdowns for Pittsburgh after missing last week’s game against Detroit because he tested positive for COVID-19. Najee Harris was held at 39 yards and a TD.

Roethlisberger described the challenges he had in preparing for the past week.

It’s hard not to get practice perspectives, not look at training from behind, he said. Watching it on film at night is different. It’s definitely a different process, but we got through it.

Two of Pittsburgh’s scores during the rally came from Chargers errors. Harris scored on a 1-yard run to take the Steelers to 27-20, four plays after Miles Killebrew blocked Ty Long’s run and it rolled off the track at the LA 3.

Ekeler put the Chargers back by two scores with his fourth score of the game before the Steelers scored 17 straight points to take the lead. Roethlisberger linked up with Eric Ebron for a 5-yard TD to pull them ton 34-27. On the ensuing drive, Cameron Sutton grabbed Herbert’s pass that was intended for Allen and brought it back to the 10. Pat Freiermuth tied the score three games later on a 5-yard TD run.

After Williams’ go-ahead score, Pittsburgh took over at the 25. Roethlisberger was sacked twice and the Steelers eventually turned it around on downs at the 3, leading the Chargers out in the last 1:15.


The Chargers scored on their first five possession possession against Washington for the first time since 2017. Ekeler finished three of the drives with TDs and put Los Angeles in the top 7-3 with a 6-yard carry off left tackle.

Ekeler extended the lead to 14-3 with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter with a 10-meter reception after a check-down from Herbert. Still his best play of the evening came on his third TD, when he grabbed a screen from Herbert, brought in Steelers cornerback James Pierre, broke a tackle from Terrell Edmunds, then dragged Taco Charlton the last 3 yards into the end zone to make it 24-10 three minutes into the third quarter.

It was certainly a special evening. I was able to take advantage of what I had in front of me and, you know, eventually got it into the end zone, he said.


Heyward appeared to beat Josh Palmer and Herbert after Herbert’s 36-yard scramble. Officials called unnecessary rudeness, but didn’t eject Heyward.

In a pool report, Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson said it just didn’t look like it rose to the level of a foul that would result in a disqualification.

Heyward said there was nothing malicious and that I don’t think I was trying to hit him, but I know it looks worse than slow motion.

Herbert said he didn’t take offense at the game.


Steelers: TE Eric Ebron was unable to return with a knee injury. … OL JC Hassenauer injured his pectoral muscle and will be re-evaluated. … DB Arthur Maulet injured his neck and did not return, said coach Mike Tomlin.

Chargers: CB Asante Samuel Jr. suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter. …Assistant Attack Line Coach Shaun Sarrett missed the game due to a non-COVID illness.


Steelers: Sunday in Cincinnati.

Chargers: Sunday in Denver.





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