Steelers stock up, stock down following loss to Chargers: Receivers shine, but usual suspects doom Pittsburgh

The Steelers had every reason to pack it in after falling behind by 17 points near the end of the third quarter Sunday night against the Chargers. Pittsburgh was without several key players on defense, and it had never rallied from 17 or more points in the fourth quarter during their previous 230 games being in that situation. 

History was almost made. Sparked by Miles Killebrew’s blocked punt, the Steelers rallied to score 27 of the game’s 34 points to take a 37-34 lead with 3:24 left. But just when it appeared that Pittsburgh would leave Los Angeles with a win, Justin Herbert exploited a mistake made by the Steelers’ secondary that resulted in the game-winning score. The Steelers fought but ultimately fell, 41-37, to drop to 5-4-1. And while they lost their first game in 49 days, the Steelers are still very much alive and well in the AFC playoff race. 

Let’s take a look at which players saw their stock go either up or down during Sunday’s game. 

Roethlisberger, who missed practice all week after testing positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, had his first three-touchdown performance of the season. He threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter on Sunday night that included a game-tying score to Pat Freiermuth with 4:23 remaining. After a slow start to the season, Roethlisberger has nine touchdowns and no interceptions over his last five games. 

Stock down: Offensive line

The unit regressed for a third consecutive week. Specifically, the interior of Pittsburgh’s line continues to struggle to open up holes for Najee Harris, who finished the game with just 39 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Pittsburgh’s 55 rushing yards on Sunday night was the third-lowest output of the season and the lowest total since the Steelers’ Week 4 loss to the Packers. 

Stock up: Diontae Johnson/Chase Claypool 

Pittsburgh appears to have found its next great receiving duo. Johnson, who was…

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