By César Castillo (@ cesar_jul1o)
Week 11 of the 2021 NFL Season brings us a duel between Chargers and Steelers, who reach the next Sunday Night Football looking to reach his sixth victory of the campaign. Despite the fact that both teams are suffering from COVID-19 infections that could represent important casualties, without a doubt this meeting looks like one of the most interesting of the week due to the implications in the Playoffs panorama within the AFC. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about it.
The Chargers: A Downward Draft?
One of the projects that looked more interesting in the previous offseason was precisely the beginning of the HC Brandon Staley era with Justin Herbert as quarterback. After an extremely surprising start that got the Los Angeles fans excited and even dreaming of winning the division, this team has hit a small bump by losing three of its last four games.
While the schedule hasn’t given them a break during this four-game span, what’s most troubling about the losses is that they have hinted at shortcomings and weaknesses that could complicate postseason aspirations for those led by Staley.
Most alarming for this team is their defensive drive, particularly on the ground, allowing an average of 155.1 yards per game, an amount that places them as the worst in the NFL in the field. To reinforce the argument, we only have to consider that, although they triumphed over Philadelphia, Nick Sirianni’s men rushed them for 176 yards, something that alarms greatly considering that the Eagles’ backfield was commanded by RB Jordan Howard and Boston Scott, players that are far from being included in the talk of the best running backs in the league.
As for the offense, there have been lapses in which Herbert has not looked quite right, such as the game against the Ravens where the attack was inoperative or against the Patriots, where he threw a pick six extremely expensive.
It seemed that this season was the perfect time to join the Chargers narrative as a serious Playoff contender, however, there are issues that concern and must be polished if this team wants to continue in the postseason contention, and even fight its division. Otherwise, the picture can be complicated in a highly contested AFC.
Stellar duel with stars at risk
Both Steelers and Chargers have lived difficult times on COVID issues this week. With Pittsburgh, QB Ben Roethlisberger already missed the previous game against the Lions, while S Minkah Fitzpatrick is in doubt after testing positive last Monday.
For its part, in Los Angeles the trend is very similar. DT Jerry Tillery – who is vaccinated – was placed in the COVID-19 Reserve. Whereas, DE Joey Bosa, being considered high-risk close contact and not being vaccinated, must be isolated for a period of five days.
For both teams, losing these pieces could be very significant. On the one hand, we already saw the poor performance offered by QB Mason Rudolph when replacing Big ben, This without neglecting the possible absence due to injury of an element as important and unbalanced as LB TJ Watt in Mike Tomlin’s team. And in Los Angeles the red alarms would go off when losing two of its front elements in a defensive line that has been more than permissive in stopping the running game.
For the sake of the show and their teams, the aforementioned players are expected to be able to play next Sunday’s match once they have fully complied with the COVID-19 protocols established by the league, presenting the best possible product. on the pitch.
In Pittsburgh, a future plan is urgently needed in the QB position
Last week, in a bitter draw against the Lions, we got to see what Mason Rudolph has to offer the Steelers when Roethlisberger is absent. A backup unreliable that constantly puts your team in compromising situations that are difficult to overcome, particularly against high-caliber teams. His performance against a defense as bad as Detroit’s was not encouraging at all, so it seems difficult to trust this quarterback if against the Chargers. Big ben again was not available.
Roethlisberger’s best years look far away and the generational change in position should not take long if this team wants to appear at least competitive. Even with Big ben in the controls it is clear that there is an urgent need for a plan and project to be developed, especially if one wants to avoid falling into times of mediocrity. It shouldn’t be long before we see Mike Tomlin embark on the search for his new franchise QB.
Will we see full Steelers and Chargers at the SNF? Will a new quarterback be coming to Pittsburgh soon? Can the Chargers bounce back against the rest of their schedule? We read you in the comments below this article and on our social networks.
You may also like:
We want to give thanks to the author of this post for this incredible web content
Steelers vs Chargers: stellar card with stars at risk?