Rivers Picked Apart Steelers Defense

LISTEN-Steelers defenders explain what LA did

Jeff Hathhorn
December 03, 2018 - 1:57 am

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Steelers linebackers said Sunday night they were just beaten by a veteran quarterback who knew what was coming in a 33-30 loss to Los Angeles.

“They knew what we were in,” linebacker Jon Bostic said of Philip Rivers and the Chargers coaching staff.  “They figured it out.  I mean he’s a smart quarterback.  We got him in the first half with a couple of things, they made some adjustments.  Some of those adjustments really helped them out in the second half.”

Rivers said the Steelers didn’t adjust back in the last 30 minutes and the Chargers played a lot better as the game wore on.

“I think the big thing was it wasn’t that we were getting 25-yard chunks, it was seven, eight, nine yard gains.  There were big third downs or those completions that kept the chains moving.”

Rivers threw for 299 yards and a couple of touchdowns, one to Keenan Allen, who was targeted 19 times and caught 14 for 148 yards.

“They started identifying the matchups,” said linebacker Bud Dupree.  “They put him in the slot and every time they saw a backer on top of him (Keenan Allen), like myself or Fort or Vinny (Williams).  Guys who they know he could get good matchups on, they were throwing the ball to them and targeting him right away.”

“They schemed it well,” Dupree added.  “I feel like they knew how we played our leverages.  We have to make sure that when we have a real skilled athlete at number two, we have to be on top of our game.”

Dupree said he could hear Rivers change the play at the line to get them in the right situation, saying it’s tough for coaches to identify the changes in preparing for a game.  Dupree played the players for not adjusting.

“They had a really good game-plan.  He’s a really good receiver and Philip was getting him in position where there were mismatches at certain times.” Said corner Joe Haden.

It wasn’t the only issue that bothered the Steelers defenders.  The first touchdown happened on what appeared to be a false-start penalty that wasn’t called.

“I feel like they had five, six false starts every play,” Dupree said.  “T.J.’s tackle was jumping a lot, even in the inside.  You can go back and look at the film, guys were moving at different times across the whole o-line.  But, we really can’t blame the referees because we still had control of the game.”

Dupree admitted it was frustrating.  Head coach Mike Tomlin said, “I’m gonna keep my mouth shut.  I’m going to do that, because I sent enough of my money to New York.”

At 7-4-1 and currently teetering on the post-season, the Steelers play at Oakland Sunday before games with the first-place New England Patriots followed by the first-place New Orleans Saints.