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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers have been perennial playoff contenders since their respective quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, entered the NFL. But so far this season, these teams put on some of the league’s worst performances.
Things are a bit better in Los Angeles than in Pittsburgh. The Chargers have won only two games, against a Colts team shocked by Andrew Luck’s retirement and the historically bad Dolphins. Last week, the Chargers lost to a previously winless Denver squad.
During that game, Denver’s defense froze LA’s offensive attack. Rivers threw for only 211 yards, with two interceptions along the way. No Chargers running back averaged more than 2.6 yards per carry.
Entering the game ranked at 28th in DVOA, the Chargers let the Broncos running game take over. Phillip Lindsay ran for 114 yards, and Royce Freeman added 61.
Outside of Austin Ekeler’s dynamic play, the Chargers haven’t done much well. However, they have the advantage over the Steelers because they won’t have to start their third-string quarterback.
The Steelers did everything they could on defense against the Ravens last week, pulling down three interceptions and five sacks. But when you have a quarterback combination of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, defense can only do so much. Pittsburgh’s lone win during this season was against the Bengals, and you have to wonder if they will get many more.
Pittsburgh’s running game has been OK at best, and their passing game has been abysmal. With good odds that Hodges will start, you have to lean toward LA. Even a down season for Rivers is better than a third-string undrafted QB.
Yes, the Steelers almost beat the Ravens last week, and they have been surprisingly competitive against good teams. However, they have so few offensive weapons. It’s hard to imagine them being the favorite in nearly any game. While they have kept games close, they have also lost.
|HOW TO WATCH STEELERS VS. CHARGERS WITHOUT CABLE|
|HULU WITH LIVE TV||TRY NOW|
|SLING TV||TRY NOW|
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- When: Sunday, Oct. 13 at 8:20pm ET (coverage begins at 7pm ET)
- Where: Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA
- Streaming: Sunday Night Football airs exclusively on NBC and is available on any platform that carries the network. Fans have a number of options for streaming the week’s marquee game.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers live stream: How to watch Sunday Night Football online
- Cost: $54.99 per month
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone. (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
3) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Both Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month) include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels and NBCSN—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels. While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Devices: Roku, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox, iOS and Android devices
If you have cable, or one of the aforementioned live TV streaming services, you can download the NBC Sports app and watch Sunday Night Football there in HD. If you’re using a web browser, you may need to install the latest version of Adobe Flash and your browser will need to be current enough to support HTML5 Media Source Extensions. You’ll also need a minimum internet connection of 10-plus Mbps. (Here are some tips for faster WiFi.)
Fantasy football: Who should I start?
James Conner, Running Back: Conner has been serviceable, if not amazing, during the first few games. With so much uncertainty at quarterback, he is the only Steeler you should feel comfortable starting, except maybe the defense.
Austin Ekeler, Running Back: The Steeler defense has been surprisingly strong against the run, and it looks like Melvin Gordon is still working his way back to form. Lean on Ekeler for at least one more week, since he is a threat in the pass game as well as the running game. If the Steelers snuff out the running game or rattle Philip Rivers, Ekeler could still produce.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Why it matters
In terms of record, this game matters more for the Chargers than the Steelers. This LA squad could still be in the mix for a wild-card berth in an AFC that isn’t that deep. With each passing week, it seems less likely that this is a playoff team, but there is still a glimmer of hope.
Then for the Steelers, this season matters insofar as the team can see what they have for the future. With Devlin Hodges under center, Pittsburgh will get a look at what their long-term backup situation might look like.
If this Steelers defense continues to play well, the front office could begin making determinations on how to shape an elite unit down the road. In Pittsburgh, all eyes are looking squarely down the road.
Overall, this is the kind of game that would get flexed out of primetime late in the season. However, this could be a close matchup. Both squads are deeply flawed, and while LA has the better offense, if the Steelers D has a great game, that could be an equalizer.
Look for an ugly game that might turn out to be a fun one to watch.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.