Steelers vs. Chargers: Did the Steelers save their season?

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: Defensive end Tyson Alualu #94 and linebacker Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate a touchdown during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: Defensive end Tyson Alualu #94 and linebacker Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate a touchdown during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 13: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stiff-arms Denzel Perryman #52 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 13: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stiff-arms Denzel Perryman #52 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

The Steelers running game finally gets on track and the time of possession battle is won

Through six games of the 2019 season, the Steelers offense is ranked 29th in yards per game, averaging 276.5 yards per game.  Let’s just call that what is: Bad.  The offense managed only 256 yards against the Chargers, which is below the season average.  That’s also bad; however, the running game finally got on track with a 124-yard performance.

Leading the way on the ground was Benny Snell Jr., the Steelers fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. Snell rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries and added one reception for 14 yards.  Snell will have to continue to improve his game if we are to have a chance at turning things around on offense.

Another running back who contributed both on the ground and through the air was James Conner. While not much of a factor in the running game with 41 yards on 16 carries, Conner excelled in the passing game – amassing 78 yards on 7 catches, which led the way in the aerial attack.

There is no better way to help out a rookie QB than to be able to run the ball effectively, which is something the Steelers offense had not been able to do up to this point.  So what changed? Let’s save that answer for the end of the discussion.

Despite putting up 124 yards on the ground, the Steelers run game is ranked 28th.  Let’s call that what it is: Bad.  We had better continue to improve the run game if we hope to be playing in January.

Coupled with finally getting the running game going, the time of possession battle was won by the Steelers. We possessed the ball for almost 9 minutes more than the Chargers possessed the ball.  I don’t think there’s any denying that if you win the time of possession battle, you generally win the game and that is what transpired on Sunday.