Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers

PIT
24
LAC
17
FINAL
1234T
PIT 1473024
LAC 0001717

Game Information
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park Carson, California
Attendance: 25,425

CARSON, Calif. (AP) Pittsburgh's Devlin Hodges walked into the stadium properly attired for his first NFL start. He was wearing a T-shirt with a duck on it that read "I'm The Boss," befitting his nickname and quiet confidence.

The rookie quarterback directed the Steelers offense like a boss and not a third-string rookie as he led Pittsburgh to a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night.

"I liked his effort. We knew we couldn't give him a lot of exposure to that defense, so we did some things in other areas," said coach Mike Tomlin, who nicknamed Hodges "Duck Dynasty" during offseason workouts.

Hodges, who was elevated into the starting spot after Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion last week against Baltimore completed 15 of 20 passes for 132 yards with a touchdown and interception. He benefited from a strong running game and a defense that scored the game's first touchdown and forced three turnovers.

"It's nice to get a win in my first start. It's something I have always dreamed about," said Hodges, who got the shirt for $5 in Venice Beach on Saturday. "I've always had a belief in myself and it's just amazing."

It is only the fifth time in 26 games in franchise history that the Steelers have won a road game with a quarterback making his first start.

James Conner had his first game with both a rushing and receiving touchdown and accounted for 119 scrimmage yards (41 rushing, 78 receiving). He suffered a quad injury during the third quarter and did not return.

On defense, Devin Bush recovered a pair of turnovers, including returning a fumble for his first NFL touchdown.

"It was a big win for us on the road in a very fragile state," Tomlin said. "I think we had a lot of quality efforts tonight from a lot of people."

The Chargers (2-4) trailed 24-0 after three quarters but rallied to get within seven on a Chase McLaughlin field goal and two TD passes from Philip Rivers to Hunter Henry.

"We dug ourselves in a hole. I still believe in this football team. We dug ourselves in a hole and I believe we'll dig our way out," coach Anthony Lynn said.

After Henry's 11-yard TD catch made it 24-17, Los Angeles tried an onside kick with 1:28 remaining, but it was recovered by Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton. The Chargers forced a three-and-out and got the ball at the 1 after a punt, but Rivers was picked off by Sutton to preserve the Steelers' win and improve to 2-4.

"It's pretty tough. I don't know if we've been down by three touchdowns, but we've had a comeback like this before," said Rivers, who was 26 of 44 for 300 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. "It's tough but our guys believed. You saw we gave ourselves a chance. They pin you down there on the 1 and have to go 99 yards with no timeouts, that's about as rough as it gets."

Bush scooped up a backward pass from Rivers that Melvin Gordon was unable to handle and went 9 yards to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead

The rookie got his second turnover four plays later when he intercepted a Rivers' pass that was deflected by defensive end Tyson Alualu at the line of scrimmage. That would lead to Conner's first TD, a 12-yard run around left end with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.

Conner put Pittsburgh up by three touchdowns with 6:34 remaining in the second when he caught a short pass from Hodges and went 26 yards up the right sideline after Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown was unable to tackle the third-year running back at the 25.

Los Angeles didn't get on the board until one minute into the fourth quarter on McLaughlin's 38-yard field goal. Rivers ended the offense's seven-quarter drought without a touchdown when he found Henry in the back of the end zone from 5 yards out with 7:13 remaining.

HEINZ FIELD WEST?

It felt like a home game for the Steelers as the stadium was dominated by Pittsburgh fans. Hodges said he joked in the huddle on the first drive that he might have to motion for the crowd to quiet down.

The Chargers' game staff did troll the Steelers fans during the fourth quarter when it started playing Styx's "Renegade" only to go into a Rickroll with Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

"That was amazing until they made it a joke. It was cool," Bush said.

STAT OF NOTE

Pittsburgh came into the game converting only 28.3% of its third downs (15 of 53), but was 8 of 13 on Sunday night.

"We were on schedule. More than anything, we were in manageable third downs," Tomlin said. "We've been working hard to be in manageable third downs and haven't necessarily done what we did tonight."

IMMEDIATE FORCE

Bush has been involved in six of the 14 turnovers the Steelers have forced. He has had an interception two straight weeks and leads the NFL with four fumble recoveries. He is the first Steelers' linebacker to return a fumble for a touchdown since L.J. Fort last season against Atlanta.

STILL IN NEUTRAL

Los Angeles' running game struggled again as Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler were held to 13 carries for 32 yards.

"The run game is tough right now. Austin and I can't get things rolling," said Gordon, who is averaging 2.5 yards per carry in the two games since he ended his holdout. "How it's looking right now, the pass is going to have to open up the run."

STRONG RETURN

Henry, who missed the past four games due to a knee injury, set career highs in receptions (eight) and yards (100).

"Going into the game I wasn't planning on playing probably 50-60 snaps," Henry said. "I was feeling really good, so it's just kind of how it went."

INJURIES

Steelers: LB Stephon Tuitt (pectoral), LB T.J. Watt (oblique) and CB Joe Haden (groin) were also injured during the game and did not return.

UP NEXT

Steelers have their bye week before hosting Miami in a Monday night game on Oct. 28.

Chargers travel to Tennessee next Sunday to start a stretch of three of their next four on the road.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Steelers Chargers
10:51 Devin Bush 9 yd opp fumble return (Chris Boswell kick) 7 0
04:29 James Conner 12 yd run (Chris Boswell kick) 14 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Steelers Chargers
06:34 James Conner 26 yd pass from Devlin Hodges (Chris Boswell kick) 21 0

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Steelers Chargers
08:12 Chris Boswell 20 yd FG 24 0

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Steelers Chargers
14:00 Chase McLaughlin 38 yd FG 24 3
07:13 Hunter Henry 5 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Chase McLaughlin kick) 24 10
01:29 Hunter Henry 11 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Chase McLaughlin kick) 24 17

Team Stats
  Pittsburgh Los Angeles
1st Downs 18 23
Total Yards 256 348
Passing 132 316
Passing Completions/Attempts 15-20 26-44
Yards/Pass 6.6 7.0
Rushing 124 32
Rushing Attempts 36 14
Yards/Rush 3.4 2.3
Turnovers 1 3
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 1 2
Possession 34:05 25:55

Pittsburgh Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Devlin Hodges 15 20 132 6.6 1 1

Los Angeles Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Philip Rivers 26 44 320 7.3 2 2

Pittsburgh Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Benny Snell Jr. 17 75 4.4 0 20
James Conner 16 41 2.6 1 12
Devlin Hodges 3 8 2.7 0 7

Los Angeles Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Melvin Gordon III 8 18 2.2 0 7
Austin Ekeler 5 14 2.8 0 11
Philip Rivers 1 0 0.0 0 0

Pittsburgh Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
James Conner 7 78 11.1 1 26
Diontae Johnson 2 14 7.0 0 7
Benny Snell Jr. 1 14 14.0 0 14
Donte Moncrief 1 11 11.0 0 11
JuJu Smith-Schuster 1 7 7.0 0 7
Vance McDonald 1 5 5.0 0 5
Nick Vannett 1 5 5.0 0 5
Johnny Holton 0 0 0.0 0
Ryan Switzer 1 -2 -2.0 0 -2

Los Angeles Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Hunter Henry 8 100 12.5 2 21
Mike Williams 5 72 14.4 0 20
Jason Moore 2 43 21.5 0 32
Keenan Allen 2 33 16.5 0 19
Melvin Gordon III 3 30 10.0 0 14
Virgil Green 1 15 15.0 0 15
Austin Ekeler 3 14 4.7 0 11
Geremy Davis 1 13 13.0 0 13
Travis Benjamin 1 0 0.0 0 0

Pittsburgh Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Minkah Fitzpatrick 5 0 0 0
Devin Bush 4 3 0 0
Artie Burns 3 3 0 0
Terrell Edmunds 3 2 0 0
Cameron Heyward 2 1 0 0
Mike Hilton 2 1 0 0
Kam Kelly 2 0 0 0
Vince Williams 2 2 0 0
Tyson Alualu 1 2 0 0
Bud Dupree 1 1 0 0
Joe Haden 1 1 0 0
Javon Hargrave 1 1 0 0
Cameron Sutton 1 0 0 0
Anthony Chickillo 0 1 0.5 2
T.J. Watt 0 3 0.5 2
Jordan Dangerfield 0 0 0 0
Johnny Holton 0 0 0 0
Justin Layne 0 0 0 0
Tyler Matakevich 0 0 0 0
Daniel McCullers 0 0 0 0
Stephon Tuitt 0 0 0 0
Nick Vannett 0 0 0 0

Los Angeles Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Thomas Davis Sr. 5 2 0 0
Desmond King II 5 1 0 0
Denzel Perryman 4 1 0 0
Rayshawn Jenkins 3 2 0 0
Roderic Teamer 3 2 0 0
Joey Bosa 2 2 0 0
Michael Davis 2 3 0 0
Justin Jones 2 6 0 0
Uchenna Nwosu 2 1 0 0
Drue Tranquill 2 2 0 0
Kyzir White 2 0 0 0
Brandon Mebane 1 0 0 0
Isaac Rochell 1 0 0 0
Damion Square 1 0 0 0
Keenan Allen 0 0 0 0
Nick Dzubnar 0 0 0 0
Brandon Facyson 0 0 0 0
Melvin Gordon III 0 0 0 0

Pittsburgh Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Cameron Sutton 1 26 0
Devin Bush 1 6 0

Los Angeles Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Rayshawn Jenkins 1 8 0

Pittsburgh Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Ryan Switzer 1 9 9.0 0 9
Cameron Sutton 0.0

Los Angeles Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Desmond King II 2 49 24.5 0 26
Troymaine Pope 2 48 24.0 0 29

Pittsburgh Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Ryan Switzer 2 14 7.0 0 9

Los Angeles Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Desmond King II 1 7 7.0 0 7

Pittsburgh Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Chris Boswell 1 1 100.0 20

Los Angeles Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Chase McLaughlin 1 2 50.0 38

Pittsburgh Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Jordan Berry 4 185 59

Los Angeles Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Ty Long 3 128 44