With the Chargers leading by four points in the last minute on Sunday night, Joey Bossa stood in front of the Pittsburgh Steelers to drop guard Joe Hague and trade with Kyler Fackrell immediately after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger snatched the ball in the first game. did. His final drive.
The Chargers’ edge rushers crossed paths to make room for Bossa, leaving Dan Moore Jr. to work against the Steelers, but Fackrell found an open alley inside and sacked Roethlisberger for an 8-yard loss. .
Bossa was a split-second late, but the game plan of moving the star defender inside and overloading the sides with edge rushers was working. Chargers edge rusher Uchena Navosu first had a crucial sack in the fourth quarter.
Bossa was due for a sack and got one in the play after Fackrell brought down Roethlisberger. The three-time pro bowler was on the inside and Navosu to his right on the sidelines but no crossover, Bossa had a bullrush over the guard before passing to Roethlisberger.
The Steelers faced third and 29 after Bossa’s dismissal and eventually turned the ball down the side as the Chargers’ 41–37 in a wild “Sunday Night Football” matchup at Sophie Stadium.
“For me, I just hugged Uchenna and Kyler because they both got a sack in the fourth quarter,” Bossa said of his sack celebration. “Kyler was the first play. I felt like we’ve all done it together. I feel like, as an Edge group, we’re looking forward to a really big impact on the games. I think the last few games we’ve really played I’m doing a great job. It was amazing to end up like this. It’s great to be celebrating that moment with him.”
The Chargers’ creative game plans for Bossa over the past two games have helped them break free from double- and triple-teams and have benefited Navosu and Fackrell as well.
Navosu, who started the season losing to Fakrell, found his rhythm in Brandon Staley’s defensive plan. He had his breakout game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 with two quarterback hits and two tackles for the loss, and then a standout performance against the Steelers.
Nwosu and Fackrell are competing for snaps, but they’ve been productive together on the field to make life easier on the Chargers’ star edge rusher.
“It helps him a lot,” Navosu said. “Joy Bosa is one of the leading pass rushers of this decade. Either way we can take the pressure off him so that he can do his job and be successful. If he’s matching up with him on guard, or getting an overload on one side so that he can work on tackle, whatever, being able to send pressure or run with a four, people get their hands up. lifting up and bumping in, which really frees up Joy to do her job.”
The Chargers found success with a four-man rush from Bossa, Fakrell, Navosu and defensive tackle Justin Jones during the final drive. Backup defensive linemen Breeden Fehoko, Joe Gazziano, Andrew Brown and Forrest Merrill stepped up during the first three quarters to provide pressure on Roethlisberger.
The Chargers were thin on the inside of the defensive line as Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington are on the COVID-19 reserve list and Linval Joseph was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Joseph Tillery and Covington were added to the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday after testing positive.
The Chargers (6-4) may have a thin defensive line again this week against the Denver Broncos, but they’re getting results from their backup defensive tackles and it helps when passes are wreaking havoc on the line of scrimmage. .
Bosa missed last week’s practices as he was forced to quarantine for five days after being deemed a close contact with Tillery. Bossa said the extra time allowed his body to recover and that was why he had his best performance of the season with three quarterback hits and a sack against the Steelers.
Or maybe Chargers Edge Rushers coach Jay Rodgers has practiced over the past two weeks.
Bossa said, ‘Coach Rogers is doing a great job. “He came in two weeks ago with this whole new attitude. I was kind of annoyed at first, like, ‘What is this guy doing?’ But no, it was great. He pushed us to work really hard that week. Unfortunately, I missed last week, but I hear he had another good week. We were really out of the ball The get-and-run emphasizes being aggressive within the game, just getting away from people.
“I think we were doing a good job of attacking at the start of the season, but we weren’t doing a good job of getting out of the block and being really effective in the run game. Last week, I think we definitely did We have taken a step in the right direction. Then, this past week, it was great to finally have three big sacks.”
The Chargers allowed 300 yards on Sunday, but they restricted the Steelers to only 55 rushing yards. He entered the game with the league’s worst defense (155.1 yards allowed per game).
Bossa was concerned after getting several double-team sides on the sidelines during the eighth-week loss to the New England Patriots. He wanted more opportunities from inside and Staley fulfilled his wish in the last three games.
Bossa has a three-game sack streak in Week 12 after a memorable night against the Steelers.
“I felt like our pass rush came alive when we needed it,” Staley said. “I felt like we were on the offensive all night.”