Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (11/21/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (11/21/21)

The 5-3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road this week to take on the 5-4 Los Angeles Chargers at Sofi Stadium for this Sunday’s primetime game. Both teams are coming off of a rough week 10 after the Steelers tied the 0-8 Detroit Lions 16-16 and the Chargers fell to the Vikings 27-20. Ben Roethlisberger was out in week 10 after testing positive for Covid-19 and it is unclear whether or not he will be back for this week’s game. The Steelers suffered other injuries that have questionable returns, and these will be crucial in determining the outcome of this game.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds

The Chargers are the 5-point favored team and the over/under is 47. Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh offense were only able to put up a mere 16 points against the 0-8 Detroit Lions last week. Herbert and the Chargers put up 20 against the Vikings. The Steelers are 3-6 against the spread this season while the Chargers are 5-4 against the spread overall and 2-3 as the home favorite. Roethlisberger’s attendance will be important for a result but even if he is back, he still has to knock the rust off after a Covid spell, which I’m not sure he will be able to do.

Their best bet is to put the ball in the hands of Najee Harris and work down the field past the Charger’s poor rush defense. I don’t foresee this being a super high-scoring game as the Steelers have the sixth-fewest total points in the league, and their strong defense may prevent the Chargers from scoring very much either. Neither team is overwhelmingly good at covering which makes it hard for me to pick either team.

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TV Schedule

Date: November 21st, 2021
Time: 8:20 PM ET
Location: SoFi Stadium – Inglewood, CA
TV Coverage: NBC

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Live Stream

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Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis

Injuries and illnesses will be key to the Steelers’ performance this week. Ben Roethlisberger is questionable for a return after missing last week’s game against Detroit due to Covid-19. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick joined him on the Covid-19 list this week. But perhaps the biggest question is the return of T.J. Watt, who left the Detroit game in the third quarter last week with pain in his hip and knee. An MRI showed hope, as no major injury was sustained, and there is a chance for him to return for Sunday’s game. 

The strength of Pittsburgh’s offense will depend on the status of Roethlisberger. Rudolph’s performance led to a tie with the 0-8 Lions and this simply won’t work against the Chargers, who are able to put points on the board. Najee Harris will continue to be the Steelers most imminent offensive threat, but behind a weak offensive line. Harris has 646 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns, as well as 317 receiving yards for 2 touchdowns. The Steelers will certainly look to exploit the Chargers weak rush defense and keep the ball in the hands of Harris.

Their defense has the eighth fewest points per game against them in the league, with T.J. Watt’s 12.5 sacks leading the charge on this. Their solid pass defense could force the Chargers to run the ball but T.J. Watt’s playing status will be crucial to their success or lack thereof as a run defense overall. Watt’s status is especially important with Fitzpatrick, who is leading the team in tackles, out on Sunday. Fitzpatrick’s absence leaves their secondary especially vulnerable to the Charger’s passing game. 

The Steelers are 2-1 away which is promising but are coming west and have the time change as a possible barrier.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: Najee Harris
RB2: Benny Smell Jr.
WR1: Diontae Johnson
WR2: Chase Claypool
WR3: James Washington
TE1: Pat Freiermuth
TE2: Eric Ebron

Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers have proven that the passing game works for them, as they are ranked eighth in total passing yards and seventh in passing yards per game. Justin Herbert sits sixth in passing yards among all the quarterbacks in the league and has thrown for a total of 2,545 yards this season. 

Keenan Allen is their other big threat offensively and has the third-most receptions in the NFL. He has tallied almost 700 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Mike Williams is another solid pass option, with six touchdowns on the season.

In last week’s game Herbert passed for just 195 yards, completing only 58% of his passes and throwing one interception. The Steelers pose a bigger threat to Herbert’s passing game and if Herbert can’t connect with wide receivers Allen or Williams they may be forced to run the ball, something that they are obviously less confident in as the Chargers have only 902 rushing yards this season. However, Austin Ekeler has proved to be a solid option in the run game for them with 523 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season, so if the Steelers pass defense shows up as expected, Ekeler still proves to be a good option. 

The Chargers are able to defend the pass well and are currently ranked fourth in the league in passing yards against them. But the Chargers are in last place in rushing yards against them, as they have given up 1,396 rushing yards this season. This poor rush defense up against a threat like Najee Harris could cause problems for the Chargers. And now with linemen Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery on the Covid reserve list, it is unknown whether they will be able to play on Sunday which would be a big defensive hit for the Chargers. Bosa has 5.5 sacks this season and is tied for first in the league on strip-sacks. 

The Chargers are 2-3 home and with the Steelers traveling fan base, it will not help their case.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Justin Herbert
RB1: Austin Eckler
RB2: Justin Jackson
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2: Jalen Guyton
WR3: Mike Williams
TE1: Jared Cook

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers Daily Fantasy Picks

Austin Ekeler may be a good pick for this game as the Steelers strong pass defense may force the Chargers to keep the ball on the ground and have Ekeler run the ball more. He has proved to be a solid run option for the Chargers when they need him and this week presents a good opportunity to use him a little more. Ekeler is tied for third among points by running backs in the league averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game. 

Najee Harris, who averages 16.8 fantasy points per game, should also be big in fantasy this week considering how weak the Chargers rush defense has been. The Chargers defense is the eighth-worst in the league for fantasy points allowed.

Week 11 Matchup Previews
  • Bills @ Rams
  • Saints @ Falcons
  • Browns @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Bears
  • Steelers @ Bengals
  • Eagles @ Lions
  • Colts @ Texans
  • Patriots @ Dolphins
  • Ravens @ Jets
  • Jaguars @ Commanders
  • Giants @ Titans
  • Chiefs @ Cardinals
  • Raiders @ Chargers
  • Packers @ Vikings
  • Buccaneers @ Cowboys
  • Broncos @ Seahawks
Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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