Steelers beat Raiders in Las Vegas

Steelers vs Raiders
Karl Roser/ Pittsburgh Steelers

All the Steelers needed was a trip to Las Vegas to put their offensive problems from their opening two games behind them.

Just that this trip wasn’t meant to be a leisurely one. The Steelers were traveling for business. And business was brisk on Sunday night.

Playing in front of a fervently supportive Steelers fanbase at Allegiant Stadium, the Steelers upset the Raiders 23–18 on Sunday night thanks to two touchdown passes from Kenny Pickett.

Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Steelers, expressed his pride in the players’ efforts and playmaking. We took the necessary actions to ensure our success. We are still in the very early months of this year. Although we still have a lot to learn and impart, it is beneficial to do so in light of the win.

With 235 yards passing and touchdowns to Calvin Austin III and Pat Freiermuth, Pickett—who had only thrown two touchdown passes against three interceptions to start the season—posted the first multi-touchdown pass performance of his short career.

Pickett declared, “It’s never going to be perfect.” I’ll always want to go back to the drawing board and work on some areas. Nonetheless, I believe that our team’s success in traveling and winning back-to-back primetime games is commendable.

In the early going of this game, both teams were looking for an opportunity, thus it was punch-counterpunch.

After forcing the Steelers (2-1) to go three and out on their opening two plays, the Raiders (1-2) took a 1-0 lead thanks to a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Devante Adams on a play-action fourth-and-inch play.

On their subsequent possession, the Steelers, who had not yet secured a first down, chose not to attempt a drive.

On a third-and-seven play, Pickett connected with Austin for a 72-yard touchdown throw between the hash marks, trailing safety Marcus Epps and cornerback Marcus Peters 40 yards down the field. The play knotted the score at 7–7.

The touchdown, which was Pickett’s first completion of the game on his fourth throw attempt, was the longest of the season for the Steelers, surpassing a 71-yarder to George Pickens last week against the Browns.

Early in the second quarter, the Raiders had a chance to take the lead, but Levi Wallace intercepted Garoppolo by jumping inside rookie tight end Michael Mayer at the Las Vegas 31.

With 8:33 left in the second quarter, Chris Boswell’s 43-yard field goal gave the Steelers a 10–7 lead. That helped set up the play.

At 1:56 of the first half, the Steelers forced a three-and-out on Las Vegas’ next drive, then drove to the Raiders’ 24 before stalling and settling for another field goal from Boswell, this time from 42 yards, to give them a 13-7 lead.

After regaining possession of the ball, the Raiders advanced to midfield; however, on third down, T.J. Watt picked up his second sack of the game, forcing another Las Vegas punt to close the half.

In the first two games for the Raiders, Garoppolo had not been sacked. In this game, the Steelers got to him four times. With three games remaining, Watt has the most sacks of any Steelers player in franchise history with six.

On the first play of the second half, the Steelers drove the Raiders into a three-and-out, but Las Vegas punter A.J. Cole flipped the field with a big punt that went out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 9.

It made no difference, though, as Pickett found Pickens for a 32-yard gain on third-and-5 to move the ball to midfield and set the stage for Boswell’s 57-yard field goal early in the third quarter to extend the Steelers’ lead to 16–7.

On Las Vegas’ next possession, Watt scored once more as he pressured Garoppolo into an incorrect pass as he was closing in. Patrick Peterson outran Garoppolo to the ball and intercepted it before it went out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 19 yard line. Garoppolo attempted to lob the ball downfield to Jakobi Meyers.

After that, the Steelers went on an 81-yard drive behind big plays of 17 yards by Pickens, 16 yards by Jaylen Warren on a screen, and 17 yards by Najee Harris on a run. With 3:56 left in the third quarter, Pickett then found Freiermuth for a 13-yard touchdown pass, giving the Steelers a 23-7 lead.

For the remainder of the game, the Raiders used a hurry-up offense, but with 5:41 left in the fourth quarter, they drove 80 yards for a 2-yard touchdown throw from Garoppolo to Adams after turning the ball over on downs early in the quarter. Adams had 19 targets and grabbed 15 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

With a two-point conversion pass to Meyers, Garoppolo was able to trim the Steelers’ lead to 23-15. The Steelers attempted to extend the play clock, but Nate Hobbs knocked up Pickett’s third-down pass to Freiermuth, deep down the middle, and the Raiders recovered possession at their own 48.

After being halted on a fourth-down play, the Raiders had Carlson attempt a field goal, but DeMarvin Leal was called for a personal foul, which gave the Raiders a fresh start at the Pittsburgh 14. However, with 2:22 left in the game, the Raiders managed to narrow the margin to 23–18 with a field goal from 26 yards out after failing to convert once more.

All you have to do is grasp them. That was the way of thinking, linebacker Alex Highsmith said. We were aware that we would most likely go out once more. However, we had to hold them. Although we were far from flawless, we made progress.

With 12 seconds left in the game, the Steelers forced the Raiders to burn all three timeouts after the team picked up one first down. Wallace then picked off Garoppolo again to seal the victory.

Wallace stated, It’s our responsibility to take away the ball and set the offense up to score points. We aim to place them on as many short fields as we can. When we accomplish it, it’s beneficial.

Credits: www.steelers.com

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