More than 25,000 people showed up at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA, to watch the Steelers and Chargers play on NBC's Sunday Night Football. About 22,500 of them were rooting for Pittsburgh and they were very happy.
A pair of first quarter turnovers put the Chargers in hole they could not climb out of in a 24-17 loss to the de facto home team.
The first turnover came when Philip Rivers overthrew Melvin Gordon and the ball flew backwards ... but Gordon just sat and looked at it while Steelers linebacker Devin Bush scooped it up and ran nine yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Just four plays later Rivers was picked off by Bush to give Pittsburgh the ball back. Undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges led a TD drive that finished with a 12-yard James Conner TD run to make it 14-0.
Hodges threw his first career touchdown pass to Conner in the 2nd quarter, a 26-yard strike that gave the Steelers a 21-0 lead at halftime. Usually when it's a blowout the home fans will start filing out. The stands stayed awfully full with folks in black and yellow.
Scoring dried up for the most part in the 2nd half. The Steelers kicked a field goal to make it 24-0. The Chargers got a field goal of their own to end the shutout and in the 4th quarter finally found the end zone when Rivers hit Hunter Henry for a 5-yard TD pass. It was the first time the Chargers offense scored a touchdown in seven quarters.
Rivers hit Henry once more for a touchdown to make it 24-17 but threw an interception inside of two minutes to seal the loss.
The Chargers head to Nashville to play the Titans next Sunday for their latest scheduled road game.