A pair of potential AFC Playoff teams will square off in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The Steelers will host the Los Angeles Chargers in a game that could impact the playoff picture and seeding the AFC. This has the potential to be a high scoring game as both teams feature a veteran quarterback with explosive playmakers surrounding him.
The Los Angeles Chargers are keeping the pressure on the Kansas City Chiefs at the top of the AFC West. The Chargers bring an 8-3 record into this game and have won seven of their past eight games. Pittsburgh had won six straight games entering last weekend but suffered a tough loss to the Denver Broncos. The Steelers still lead the AFC North with a 7-3-1 record. The Steelers are a 3.5 point favorite over Los Angeles in this matchup.
Conner Becoming a Workhorse For Steelers
Steelers running back James Conner is having a monster season in taking over for Le’Veon Bell. Conner has racked up 849 rushing yards this season and has also caught 49 passes. Pittsburgh has been getting the ball in his hands of late, and he has been very productive. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been taking chances with the ball this season, throwing 12 interceptions but also 3,664 passing yards. The Steelers offense will look to put up points in this game on Sunday.
Pittsburgh has forced just 12 turnovers this season, despite being an aggressive defense. Linebacker T.J. Watt leads the team with 10 sacks this season, but he was forced to leave the Steelers loss to the Broncos last week. His status for this game is questionable and would be a huge loss for the Steelers. Pittsburgh has given up just 22.6 points per game this season, which is better than league average.
Philip Rivers Putting Up Huge Numbers
The Los Angeles Chargers have some terrific talent on offense, but quarterback Philip Rivers has been the most impressive this season. Rivers has thrown for over 3,100 yards and 26 touchdowns this season while completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. The veteran QB set a new NFL record last weekend by completing his first 25 passes of the game. The Chargers will need to rely on Rivers and the passing game in this contest as top running back Melvin Gordon will not make the start.
Los Angeles has been even better than the Steelers on defense this season, giving up just 19.9 points per game. The Chargers have a terrific secondary that has intercepted 11 passes this season. Defensive backs Derwin James and Desmond King will be tested by a talented group of Steelers receivers in this game.
Chargers Get Win Over Steelers
Both the Steelers and Chargers have suffered a loss to the Denver Broncos in recent weeks. Pittsburgh has a slight edge due to the fact that they are the home team, but the Chargers have been great on the road this season. Look for the offenses to shine in this contest, with the Chargers eventually winning the game. Bet on Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.