INGLEWOOD, California – Justin Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 2:17 left, and the Los Angeles Chargers kept the Pittsburgh Steelers from 41-37 Sunday night.
Los Angeles (6-4) had a 27-10 lead into the fourth quarter before the Steelers (5-4-1) rallied to take a 37-34 lead on Chris Boswell’s 45-yard field goal with 3:24 left . Los Angeles took over at 25 and scored four games later as Williams was open and went up untouched on the left sideline.
Herbert was 30 of 41 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He had 90 yards rushing, which is the most of a Chargers quarterback in a game. Keenan Allen had nine receptions on 112 yards and Williams had 97 yards on five catches.
Austin Ekeler scored four touchdowns in his career. Ekeler, who had 115 scrimmage yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing), is the ninth player in the Super Bowl era with at least two rushing and two receiving goals in a game.
Ben Roethlisberger passed 273 yards and three touchdowns for Pittsburgh after missing last week’s game against Detroit after testing positive for COVID-19.
Diontae Johnson had seven catches on 101 yards. Najee Harris was held to 39 yards and a TD
Two of Pittsburgh’s scores during the tournament came from the Chargers’ mistakes. Harris scored on a 1-yard run to make the Steelers 27-20, four games after Miles Killebrew blocked Ty Long’s punt and it rolled off the field at LA 3.
Ekeler brought the Chargers back with two goals with his fourth score of the game before the Steelers scored 17 equal points to take the lead. Roethlisberger joined Eric Ebron for a 5-yard TD to pull them ton 34-27. On the ensuing drive, Cameron Sutton picked up Herbert’s pass intended for Allen and returned it to the 10’s. Pat Freiermuth equalized the three games later on a 5-yard TD run.
After Pittsburgh took the initial kickoff and scored on Chris Boswell’s 36-yard field goal, Ekeler brought Los Angeles to the top 7-3 with a 6-yard carry off left tackle.
Ekeler extended the lead to 14-3 with 3:42 left in the second quarter with a 10-yard reception on a check-down from Herbert. His best play of the night, however, came on his third TD when he took a screen from Herbert, beat Steelers’ cornerback James Pierre, broke a tackle by Terrell Edmunds and then pulled Taco Charlton into the final 3 yards into the goal zone to make it. 24-10 three minutes into the third quarter.
The Steelers were on the verge of taking the lead on their second drive. They had first-and-goals at 5 and reached 2, but could not score. Roethlisberger completed a pass to Friermuth on fourth-and-goal, but was stopped by Derwin James and Joe Gaziano without a win.
Steelers: G JC Hassenauer suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return. … CB Maulet was evaluated for a concussion during the fourth quarter.
Chargers: CB Asante Samuel Jr. suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter. … Assistant offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett missed the match due to a non-COVID illness.
Steelers: In Cincinnati on Sunday.
Chargers: In Denver on Sunday.
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