Steelers positional report card after win vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Defensive line: A
There really isn’t a thing I could have asked this group of guys to do better. The Steelers’ defensive line was fantastic against both the run and the pass. They were mainly responsible for holding Melvin Gordan and Austin Ekeler to a rushing attack that averaged just 2.3 yards per carry. Against the pass, Rivers was sacked only once by T.J. Watt and Anthony Chickillo, but the Chargers quarterback was harassed all night long.
It wasn’t always the cleanest game for the linebackers, as Devin Bush missed a few tackles he should have cleaned up. However, Bush is budding into a superstar. He was responsible for two takeaways in the first quarter of the game – one he took for a touchdown. Vince Williams also had an excellent showing as he aided in stuffing the run at the line of scrimmage all night. This may have been the first time since Ryan Shazier was playing that I spoke so highly of the linebacker play.
Defensive backs: C+
I’m not going to come down too hard on the defensive backs in this game, but if there was a weakness on defense, it was here. Artie Burns had a chance to redeem himself with Steven Nelson nursing a groin, but he gave up one catch after another. A few players, like Cam Sutton and Minkah Fitzpatrick, had very solid performances, but others left a lot on the table. This secondary gave up too many big plays and allowed the Chargers to stick in the game until the very end.
This was one of the most exciting games of the season so far for Steelers fans. The defense was on fire, and they came away victorious on the road in a game they weren’t expected to win. The defense stole the show in this one. Pittsburgh will look to keep the pace against Miami after the bye this week.