The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 of the 2019 regular season. After dropping four of their first five games to start the season, they face a Chargers team who also searching to get back in the win column after a loss to the Broncos in Week 5.
This isn’t a unique matchup for the Steelers. They know their AFC West rivals very well, and lost a game at Heinz Field to Philip Rivers and company in 2018. But there are different faces in the lineup so I wanted to do was to get the lowdown on what the Chargers might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Bolts from the Blue, SB Nation’s Chargers website, editor Richard Wade to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.
In this first of many installments, I asked Richard what he thinks the Chargers defense will do when tasked with stopping the Steelers’ offense. Check out his response:
Well, with the Steelers on their third-string quarterback, one has to expect Gus Bradley will stack the box and dare undrafted free agent rookie Devlin Hodges to beat them. I would anticipate that we will see more base defense from the Chargers than we normally do, and this should play right into the team’s current depth given their multiple injuries in the secondary.
This means we should see a front four of Joey Bosa, Brandon Mebane, Justin Jones, and Uchenna Nwosu backed up by a linebacking corps of Denzel Perryman, Thomas Davis, and Kyzir White. The problem with that course of action is that Perryman and Davis have both been downright lousy this year. Don’t be fooled by raw tackle totals. Their lack of speed and poor angles have resulted in offenses being able to move the ball with ease against them.
If Pittsburgh is able to get their run game going, it will likely be thanks to taking advantage of them. In theory, Casey Hayward and Desmond King should be able to prevent the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson from having big games, but the rest of the secondary is a bit of a mess, and it would not be a surprise to see them break at least one big play thanks to poor safety play.
To be honest, if you thought the Steelers’ offense was a complete crap shoot every time they took the field prior to Week 6, who knows what it will look like with Hodges at the helm. Will Fichtner and company let Hodges sling the rock? Or will it be a similar conservative approach like they did with Mason Rudolph before his injury? Only time will tell what the offense looks like this week.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Chargers in Week 6.