Since 1971 the Chargers had played 15 regular season games in Pittsburgh. They lost 14 of them. Their only win came on their last trip to West Pennsylvania back in 2012.
The Bolts winning streak is now at two.
The Chargers won again on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, taking out the Steelers 33-30.
This was the Bolts’ opportunity to show that their 8-3 start was not a fluke and they are, indeed, among the AFC’s elite teams. Despite not having running back Melvin Gordon they were able to do just that.
On their opening drive Chargers kicker Michael Badgley missed a 52-yard field goal and it took the Steelers just four plays to score. Ben Roethlisberger hit wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 47 yard gain to the 1-yard line and James Conner punches it in for a 7-0 lead. Conner scores from the one on their next drive (the extra point was no good) and it was 13-0 but a missed call from the officials helped the Chargers stay in it.
Right tackle Sam Tevi obviously moved before the ball was snapped but no false start was called. Rivers used the play to hit Travis Benjamin for a 46-yard TD to cut the lead to 13-7. The Bolts did not score again in the half while the Steelers padded their lead.
A field goal and a 28-yard TD pass from Roethlisberger to Brown with 17 seconds left put the Steelers on top 23-7 at the break.
Credit the Chargers, they came back in a big way with a little more luck. Rivers threw one right to Steelers corner Joe Haden but he was blasted by his own teammate, the ball popped straight up and Keenan Allen caught it for a 10-yard touchdown. Rivers found Antonio Gates for the 2-point conversion to make it a 23-15 game.
A Joey Bosa sack set up a Pittsburgh punt and Desmond King redeemed the special teams unit with a punt return touchdown. Rivers hit Allen for another 2-point conversion to tie it 23-23 and the Bolts had all the momentum.
They used it to score again, this time on an 18-yard run by third-string running back Justin Jackson that put the Chargers on top 30-33, their first lead of the night coming with eight minutes to play in the game.
The Steelers marched right back down the field and scored on a Roethlisberger pass to Jaylen Samuels to tie it 30-30 and set up Rivers and the offense to put together a season-defining drive.
On third-and-5 from the 35, Rivers hit Allen again to get into comfortable field goal range. Two running plays made the Steelers use up their remaining timeouts and Badgley’s 38-yard try on the final play of regulation. He missed. But Pittsburgh was caught offsides so he got another chance from 33 yards away.
This time it was blocked but the Steelers were called for another penalty so Badgley got a third shot and finally, it went through. The Chargers improve to 9-3 and stay a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West.