Steelers suffer heartbreaking offensive collapse after 27-point fourth quarter

You have to give the Steelers credit. With injuries all over the defense and a patchwork offensive line, Pittsburgh faced a 27-10 deficit to the Chargers on Sunday night as the fourth quarter began, and then, Ben Roethlisberger and his crew went on a roll. The Steelers managed to put together six drives in that fourth quarter, and the first five ended with two Chris Boswell fields goals, a one-yard Najee Harris touchdown run, and touchdown passes from Roethlisberger to tight ends Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth.

But it was in vain, as Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Williams with 2:09 left in the game to put L.A. up, 41-37, and then, a Steelers offense that could do no wrong fell apart in epic fashion.

There were two consecutive sacks from Chargers defenders Kyler Fackrell and Joey Bosa, which put Pittsburgh back at their own six-yard line. An incomplete pass to Diontae Johnson and a delay of game penalty which halved Pittsburgh’s field position gave them fourth-and-32 from the three-yard line, and then, instead of taking an intentional safety and perhaps getting the ball back in more favorable circumstances, Roethlisberger threw a quick incomplete outlet pass to receiver James Washington, and the game was effectively over.

Roethlisberger finished his day with 28 completions in 44 attempts for 273 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Herbert, going against Pittsburgh’s undermanned defense, completed 30 of 41 passes for 382 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Herbert also picked up a team-high 90 rushing yards on 10 attempts, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 375 yards and rush for 90 yards or more in a single game.


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