Two AFC playoff contenders meet on Sunday Night Football after disappointing showings in Week 10. The Pittsburgh Steelers fly to Tinseltown to battle the Los Angeles Chargers in a match-up of two of the current three AFC wild card teams.
The tie with the Detroit Lions put Pittsburgh at 5-3-1, fifth in the AFC, and a half-game back of Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. Los Angeles holds the final wild card as the seventh seed and is now a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the West with a 5-5 record.
Unlike some NFL action this week, the spread in this game is all over the board of every PA online sportsbook:
- The Steelers will enter as underdogs on the road, available at +5, +5.5, and +6.
- The total varies as well, from 46.5 to 47.5.
Steelers vs Chargers – Week 11 NFL Preview
- ATS Records: Steelers 3-6, Chargers 5-4
- Total Records for Overs: Steelers 2-6-1, Chargers 3-5-0
There’s a fairly obvious reason for the line favoring the Chargers: the unknown status of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. When he was ruled out Sunday against Detroit due to COVID-19, the line dropped 3.5 points on some sites. Mason Rudolph had a nice day with 242 yards in the 16-16 tie. However, there’s certainly something missing in confidence and execution without 7 under center. Pittsburgh didn’t help its cause with the only turnovers of the game (3), including the one that ended any chance of winning in overtime.
Los Angeles had a chance to keep pace with the Chiefs but lost at home to the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had over 36 minutes of ball control and 381 total yards in a 27-20 win where they led most of the way. They may be short a couple of big names, as Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery entered COVID-19 protocol Tuesday.
The Chargers will challenge the Steelers defense. Justin Herbert will look to bounce back from an off game. They have a dynamic weapon in Austin Ekeler out of the backfield. Their wide receivers are good.
Steelers vs Chargers – Week 11 X-Factor
A key to a Steelers victory, with or without Big Ben (but especially without), will be feeding Najee Harris. He has done very well establishing himself as a three-down back in this league as a rookie.
Talented offenses like the Chargers do far less damage when on the bench. Los Angeles is prone to giving up yards on the ground. Handoffs on first and second down will not only slow the pass rush but also lessen the likelihood of a long throw needed on third down to prolong a drive, which has been a recent issue.
Looking Ahead: NFL Futures, As Of Week 11
When it comes to NFL Futures, Sports betting apps in PA usually differ from sportsbook to sportsbook.