The Chargers came close, but couldn’t overcome a 24-0 deficit against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. Photo credit: Ty Nowell,

A fourth-quarter rally to offset a 24-point deficit fell short as the Los Angeles Chargers lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-17 Sunday.

Quarterback Philip Rivers committed two first-quarter turnovers, which the Steelers converted into touchdowns. He threw 5- and 11-yard touchdown passes to Hunter Henry in the fourth quarter, when the Chargers scored all their points.

The Chargers’ hopes of completing the comeback ended when Cameron Sutton intercepted Rivers’ hurried pass from inside their own end zone with less than a minute to play.

It was the the Chargers’ fourth loss in five games, aired on the NFL’s nationally televised Sunday night showcase. Viewers commented on social media how Steeler fans appeared to easily overwhelm local fans, despite it being a Chargers home game.

Operating with a patchwork offensive line, the Chargers (2-4) were outgained 348 yards to 256, before a decidedly pro-Steelers crowd announced at 25,425 at Dignity Health Sports Park. The Steelers held the Chargers running game to 32 yards on 14 carries.

Rivers completed 26 of 44 passes for 320 yards. Despite being pressured all night, the Steelers only sacked him once.

“I think everybody’s pressing a little bit because were all anxious, we all want to turn this around,” head coach Anthony Lynn said.

In his first NFL start, undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges completed 15 of 20 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. Pittsburgh (2-4) avoided its first 1-5 start since 1988.

The Steelers only previous victory this season was over the winless Cincinnati Bengals. Two of the losses came at the hands of the league’s only undefeated teams, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.

The Chargers crossed midfield just once in the first half when they advanced to Pittsburgh’s 26-yard line. Chase McLaughlin’s 43-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright.

Chris Boswell kicked a 20-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the third quarter for the Steelers’ second-half points. McLaughlin kicked a 38-yard field goal with 14:00 to play for the Chargers’ first points.

The Chargers played without center Mike Pouncey. The team placed the four-time Pro Bowl selection on injured reserve Wednesday because of a neck injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

Dan Feeney replaced Pouncey at center after starting the past 30 regular-season games at left guard. Forrest Lamp started at left guard in place of Feeney.

Hodges started because Pittsburgh’s starter, Mason Rudolph, could not play due to a concussion. He suffered the injury in last Sunday’s 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Rudolph replaced Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a season-ending elbow injury on Sept. 15.

– City News Service

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